Executive director of brokerage services, Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq
Veteran office broker Tom Tracy, 48, was named the 2013 Broker of the Year by the Minnesota Commercial Association of Real Estate (MNCAR), one of the association's highest honors. Since joining Bloomington-based Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq in 1997, Tracy has been responsible for leasing Normandale Lake Office Park in Bloomington, the Twin Cities' largest multitenant office property. The park spans 1.7 million square feet in five towers and is home to more than 85 companies with 5,000 employees.
The property is owned by a joint venture partnership led by Equity Group Investments, a Chicago-based private investment firm founded by billionaire Sam Zell. EGI acquired the property from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund in December 2012 and retained Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq to lease and manage it.
"On average every year, we do about 30 transactions," Tracy says. "So in my 16 years here, I'm pushing 500 transactions just here." Law firm Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren recently signed a 49,000-square-foot lease at the park and will relocate from Wells Fargo Plaza in Bloomington.
Tracy, a past president of MNCAR, also was honored with the President's Award at NorthMarq in 2010. He's also an organizer of Movember campaigns aimed at fighting cancers in men.
Q: Any changes for you in working for EGI?
A: It's been a great outcome for us. They're much smaller. They're entrepreneurial. They came in and had a goal, and we came up with a plan and they just stick right to it. Since Equity Group closed on the property in fourth quarter 2012, we've done over 300,000 square feet of leasing. It's now over 90 percent leased.
Q: What continues to motivate you?
A: I'm a deal junkie, and what's really unique about our business is every deal is different.
Q: How has being an office broker changed in your 24-year career?
A: It's just gotten more competitive and more professional. Every single deal – until it's signed – is anybody's deal.
Q: Tell me about the Movember campaign.
A: My best buddy was [St. Paul author] Vince Flynn. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2010. A bunch of us said, 'What can we do?' So we got one of these Movember campaigns going. The first year we did it was November 2011 and we raised $75,000. We did it again in 2012 and 2013 and have raised $130,000 over the course of three Novembers. We call our team Mitch Rapp and the Killer Moustaches." [Mitch Rapp was Flynn's main character in his novels. Flynn died in June 2013 at age 47.]
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.