In honor of the developers

Did I happen to say that I like real estate developers? I don’t seem to love my wife, my kids, or even my dog, but real estate developers are definitely among my favorite people.

Think about it.

Real estate developers are like gods. [Well, miniature gods, at least.] They create much of the physical world in which we live. The house or condominium we live in. Street grocery stores and pharmacies. Enjoy leisure at resorts, casinos, golf courses and more. Restaurant. Shopping center. office building. Movie theater. Truck terminal. Medical and surgical centers. spa. factory. Warehouse. auditorium. Parking Lot. Hotel.

You give it a name. If that “artificial” was attached to dirt and could get into it, it was probably involved with a real estate developer.

Real estate developers have foresight. They have a vision that recognizes the need for trends and change. They recognize the imbalance between what exists and what is needed. They see areas, towns and areas as fluid, and opportunities for renewal and improvement. Real estate developers not only see the opportunity, they seize it. They envision change and commit to it. Then work on it. Massage it Shape it; squeeze it; stir it. Shake; blend it. Make it compatible; and make it happen.

Why can’t anyone like it

A real estate developer is a purposeful and visionary person. A visionary who knows how to turn his vision into reality. They are optimists. They are dreamers, actors in one. And for me they are fun. It’s not always fun, but it’s fun to be around. It’s fun to use together. It’s fun to dream.

I remember when John L. Marks of Mark IV Realty Group came into my office in 1992 and said he wanted to buy and redevelop the Marina City Commercial Complex in downtown Chicago. At that time, the Marina City Commercial Complex was a rat hole. Almost free. By foreclosure. Suffer from bankruptcy. The unpaid arrears real estate tax will be borne by approximately $10,000,000. It is physically corrupt and requires tens of millions of dollars to repair. Not surprisingly, the owners of the residential condominiums, which occupy the upper 40 floors of the two landmark corncob-shaped towers, were hostile and uncooperative.

But in all of this confusion, John saw an opportunity. He had the vision of turning this dilapidated, rotting and obnoxious behemoth into an economically viable and prosperous gem.

I spent most of the next four years on the project. The changes were significant. We exploded to make it happen.

Today, the Marina City Commercial Complex houses the House of Blues, House of Blues Hotel, Smith and Warren Ski Steak House, Bin 36 Wine Cafe, Crunch Fitness, 10 Pin Bowling Lounge, Marina Management, Skipperbad Marina and many more. There is. A thriving business. Starting from above the 20-storey parking garage of each house’s tower, the pie condominiums add significant value and offer views of Chicago’s most dramatic skyline. The entire Marina City complex in the heart of Chicago has been rebuilt as a thriving multipurpose and entertainment mecca.

why? John L. Marks, Chicago real estate developer, had the vision and commitment to do that.

Did I say that I love real estate developers?

More recently, in the spring of 2005, I received a call to join the development team at Madkatstep Entertainment LLC.

Madkat Step Entertainment is a joint venture of retail giants Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Ryan Companies US, a highly creative and entrepreneurial real estate developer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [Yes, I love Ryan Companies too.]

It started with an idea.

The Ryan company had the idea of ​​building and owning sports and entertainment venues in a rich community that needed convenient and unique entertainment options.

Sears moved its headquarters to Hoffman Estates, Illinois in the early 1990s. As part of that move, Sears acquired a large amount of adjacent land ready for development and available.

Hoffman Estates is a future-focused community seeking comfort in quality of life for people living in the rich and growing parts of northwest Chicago.

It was a match in heaven.

When I was convened as Chief Development Advisor, Sears and Ryan had already negotiated a memorandum that set out the basic framework for the new Sears Center Arena, including general terms for financing the Hoffman Estates village and the municipalities.

The main tenants of the new Sears Center Arena are professional hockey teams. The main development goal was to build a capacity of 11,000 and a 240,000-square-foot arena in preparation for the fall 2006 hockey season. Already in April 2005, only 18 months from the planned opening date. Even the most accelerated construction schedule took a minimum of 14 months from start to start. I’m out of time.

During the subsequent 100-day rush, the entire development team entered the zone, working 24 hours a day in the village of Hoffman Estates.

Ryan Companies, a real estate development company that works closely with real estate departments such as Sears and Roebuck, has negotiated for formal development approval, completion of local government funding, and formalization of naming rights contracts. Faced problems, overcome obstacles. Responding to project opponents threatening property agreements and lawsuits that delay or prevent the construction of arenas.

Ultimately, it was creativity, patience, and concentration that led to the official breakthrough development of the Sears Center Arena on July 21, 2005. It is a unique sports and entertainment facility that has served the Hoffman Estates village and neighboring towns for decades. come. It already serves as an economic engine for new jobs, new opportunities, and complementary development that provides a broad tax base.

These two examples of creative development by visionary real estate developers are not unique. Between these two notable examples and beyond, the scenario is repeated many times each day in large and small development projects.

Replace functionally obsolete or declining shopping centers, warehouses, and other structures with modern, prosperous businesses.

We will restore the devastated and degraded areas of cities and towns to houses and condominiums, and support the new areas with retail and service industries.

Recycle contaminated brownfields into a safe and productive environment for consumers and businesses.

Greenfield development to provide new opportunities, new jobs and new services to emerging communities and families.

Real estate developers are facing needs, stepping up the challenge and improving the world we live in.

While enjoying the process, I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with amazingly creative and dedicated real estate developers, big and small, who are making changes and making money.

Did you say it was fun? Overall, real estate developers are people who really enjoy what they are doing, although not at every moment while facing any challenge. As a commercial real estate lawyer, I have always been excited to work with real estate developers.

Why do you like real estate developers? Please ask yourself. How often do you have the opportunity to work with people who make your work “exhilarating”? What is not to love about it?

Therefore, the next time you meet a real estate developer, hold on to the developer’s hand to see him or her in person and say with your deepest gratitude and sincerity.

“Thank you! My friend, Kim Harp, thinks you are the most wonderful person in the world. He loves you and thinks you are a wonderful person.” [Then slip him my business card and ask him to call me.]

Thank you for listening.

R. Kimun Harp

PS Assistance is available to anyone with a “normal” name, or at least a spelling of a traditional name.

My name “Kim” is pronounced “Kim” in my family name. Think of “Kymn” as a “hymn of the church” with a “K” instead of an “H.” To remember this, associate my surname “Harp” with “Angel”. Then, if it helps, think of me as “Kymn Harp, Real Estate Developer’s Dart Angel” (Law Degree).

thanks again,


It’s a sequel.