Vice president of U.S. Bank’s Corporate Real Estate Group
As the new president of Greater Minneapolis BOMA (Buildings Owners and Managers Association), David Wright, 55, is ready to tackle issues affecting the local commercial real estate industry. They include property taxes, the renovation of downtown’s Nicollet Mall and even the impact of e-cigarettes on owners and managers of office buildings. BOMA is a 500-member trade association for commercial real estate professionals.
Wright is vice president and a member of the leadership team at Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank Corporate Real Estate Group, where he’s responsible for the asset management of the bank’s 38-million-square-foot real estate portfolio. He’s also involved in organizations including Greater MSP, the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and the Downtown Council.
Q: How does managing a large corporate real estate portfolio help as you lead BOMA?
A: The great thing about stepping into this role is we own and manage for U.S. Bank a variety of commercial real estate buildings — from the small [bank] branch on the corner to the data centers and call centers — all the way up to the corporate headquarters here in Minneapolis. We have a breadth and depth of real estate that’s really quite unique to other corporate users. I get to go around the country and not only work with a variety of buildings, but also within different markets that all have the same challenges from a building and owner’s situation as we have here in Minneapolis. I get to see how other markets operate with challenges like property taxes, regulatory issues and energy management.
Q: What other challenges face the industry today?
A: At the local level, there are issues like e-cigarettes. It’s a big deal to our building owners. There’s not a set of rules out there yet, and we want to make sure we’re protecting our owners and managers from those things being allowed back into buildings and work spaces. We also focused really hard and long this year on the commercial/industrial tax shift. We advocated and were part of the coalition that got [Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature] to repeal the business-to-business taxes. We’re also working especially hard on the renovation of Nicollet Mall.
Q: What’s the primary role of BOMA?
A: Advocacy on behalf of our members. We’re constantly out in front, advocating for things like property taxes, codes and regulations, and even the simplest things like food trucks in downtown Minneapolis. A lot of our members have been hurt by them, and we’ve worked with the city to put ourselves in a position to advocate on their behalf.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.