The Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council has grown and evolved over the past nine years since its inception, with membership increasing from 150 members in 2004 to more than 350 members this year.
That membership will celebrate excellence in the commercial real estate industry during the 12th annual Pinnacle Awards presentation April 25 at Memphis Country Club. The industry’s top producers from 2012 will be honored.
The independently governed council was created with the goal of giving the region’s commercial practitioners a stronger voice within MAAR, as well as the Tennessee Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. That voice covers a wide gamut of issues such as new building commercial codes that require seismic considerations or issues with leaseholders writing off lease costs versus owning.
“Currently we are also keeping an eye on neighborhood blight and its effect on commercial and residential properties, while examining what the public and private sectors can do to help the problem,” said 2013 MAAR Commercial Council President Greg DeWitt of Newmark Grubb Memphis.
Other Commercial Council officers include Patrick Reilly of CB Richard Ellis Memphis, Tony Argiro and John Mercer of Highwoods Properties Inc., Catherine Anderson of Crye-Leike Commercial, Michael Donahoe of Sperry Van Ness/ Investec Realty, Andy Cates and Andrew Phillips of Colliers International Memphis, Tanis Hackmeyer of Hackmeyer Realty, Frank Dyer of Loeb Realty Group LLC, Angela Klipfel of Premier Commercial Real Estate Services, Justin Lubin of Lubin Commercial Realty LLC, Jay Snow of Belz Enterprises, Greg Glosson of Fast Track Realty LLC, and Bob Turner of Southern Properties.
Lubin, Donahoe and Anderson are new to the board, and Hackmeyer is the president-elect for 2014.
At the height of the commercial real estate boom in 2007 MAAR had 5,400 overall members, with 300 to 350 commercial members.
“As the real estate market compressed over the next few years, our membership dropped down to around 3,000, but the number of commercial brokers who remained MAAR members remained steady,” said Melanie Blakeney, MAAR CEO and executive vice president.
Providing educational opportunities is a major component of MAAR and its calendar is loaded with a variety of events each month.
The organization received news this month of approval from the National Association of Realtors for a $2,500 grant, which will fund an all-day course for commercial brokers that is anticipated to start in the fall.
The council’s annual Commercial Property Forecast Summit is held in early February.
“We really dig into the numbers and feature a variety of prominent guest presenters talking about office, industrial, retail, multifamily and investment sales,” said DeWitt, who sees positive signs across the Memphis market.
“All in all everything is moving in the right direction, with some sectors moving more quickly than others. It’s obviously a good sign for Memphis and the Memphis area,” said DeWitt, who sees industrial coming back in a big way, multifamily doing really well, and office owners being more bullish on their product.
Giving back to the local community is central to the council’s mission.
“We also want to use the MAAR Commercial Council as a platform for fundraising activity to benefit the community, and we now have our annual Commercial Council Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South as well as our annual efforts to aid the Binghampton Redevelopment Corp. and the Urban Farms,” DeWitt said.
The council held its first golf tournament three years ago.
“The goal at that time was to raise enough money to be able to grant one wish to a child, and that has grown every year so that this year we will be able to grant four wishes,” said DeWitt, who has worked in the commercial real estate industry for more than 18 years. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get people involved and shine a light on the great work that the Make-A-Wish Foundation provides.”
This year’s golf tournament will be held at Windyke Country Club on May 23.
Each fall council members work at the urban gardens in Binghamton as part of that neighborhood’s redevelopment plan, helping out with setting up worm farms, moving greenhouses, and other gardening duties.
The Daily News is a sponsor of The Pinnacle Awards.