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Real Estate Movers and Shakers Honored 4/17/15  04/16/15 11:03:24 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version


The Deal of the Year Award was given for the development and construction of Pacific Life’s office building and parking structure in Aksarben Village. Construction is progressing on the building depicted in this architect’s rendering.
Real Estate Movers and Shakers Honored
By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Two businesses were honored and seven individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame last Friday at the CRE Summit, which was held at the CenturyLink Center.
Pacific Life was awarded Deal of the Year for the development and construction of its new office building and parking structure in Aksarben Village. A $40 million project, the five-story, 125,000-square-foot building will be a mixed-use development, and will have 19,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor to accommodate shops and restaurants. It will also include an 880-stall parking structure. Four-hundred-plus employees will move there from the company’s downtown office several weeks before the end of the year. John Hughes of Magnum Development Corp., one of the partners on the project, accepted the award.
NuStyle Development was awarded Development of the Year. The 25-year-old company has several projects completed and in development; however, a few were singled out, including the 194-unit apartment block at 2223 Dodge St. and the 106-unit building at 19th and Farnam. Together, Todd and Mary Heistand are refurbishing previously overlooked properties and are changing the face of Omaha’s downtown area. Todd Heistand accepted the award.
Hall of Famers
The late John Bendon of NorthMarq Capital was the first to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. Recognized as one of the top producers in the industry, the senior vice-president and managing director of NorthMarq’s Omaha regional office was responsible for financing most of the apartment communities in Omaha. His wife, Marion Slattery Bendon, and his son, John Jr., were present to accept the award.
Steve Farrell and Jerry Heinrichs, cofounders of Investors Realty, a company celebrating its 40th anniversary next month, were the next to be inducted. Farrell started his career working at a construction company. After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in real estate, he got a job at Dial Realty. Farrell co-founded and served as president of Investors from 1992-2010. In total, he has spent 45 years in the real estate industry. Heinrichs was president of Investors until 1991, before becoming chief executive of Mid America Real Estate Investment. He returned to Investors in 1998, and has, he said, been trying to transition to retirement for the last seven years. “If you are old enough, and you run enough, you get a reward,” he said, before thanking Farrell and his wife.
The late Marvin Krout, planning director of the City of Lincoln, was the next to be inducted. He was singled out for having guided the city’s downtown master plan, which included such projects as the Pinnacle Bank Arena. While accepting the award, David Cary, acting city planner of the City of Lincoln, referred to Krout as a “great mentor and friend.”
John Lund of the Lund Company has 35-plus years in the real estate industry, and when he took the stage he said that he was both “surprised and honored” to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. “Three things haven’t changed in this industry: You need to surround yourself with people who are smarter and brighter than you; you still need to listen to your parents – my father told me to get a real estate license – that it was worth more than a university degree; and that relationships are the cornerstone of your career,” he said. He thanked his family for allowing him to be a “real estate junkie,” and remarked that one of the keys to success is to “find what you like to do, because then you never have to work a day in your life.”
Since 1992, Mike Wiese has been vice-president of Pacific Realty, now known as Colliers International. During his career, he has been involved with a variety of projects, including the First National Tower, the First National Business Park and Gallup University headquarters. “I started working summers as a road man on a surveying crew,” he said. “Without the support of my family, I would not be here. I have had the opportunity to work for some truly bright people, and big thinkers who were willing to teach me what they knew.”
The final inductee, Leslie Peterson of Lamp Rynearson & Associates, came onto the stage accompanied by the Charlie’s Angels theme song and welcomed by a standing ovation.
Peterson began her career with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in the mid-1970s. At that time, she was one of 85 Midwest representatives, and the only woman. The UNL graduate worked for Experian and BVH Architects before joining Lamp Rynearson, where she is a principal. She has managed client development and marketing since 2004. Peterson also helped found Commercial Real Estate Women of Omaha.
When she began helping to plan the annual Summit conference 11 years ago, she said that she never thought she would be old enough or experienced enough to be honored. “When I look around I see so many people who have impacted my life,” she said. “2014 was a challenging year, and I want to thank my friends and family for their support.”
The brainchild of Jerry M. Slusky of Smith Gardner Slusky Law, the now-named CRE Summit has a 26-year history, and continues to grow every year. The theme this year was “Change Agents,” reflecting the fact that the Omaha market is constantly changing. The day-long event began at 8:30 a.m. with a Chamber-driven session, and ended at 4 p.m. with an opportunity for participants to meet and discuss commercial real estate over complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. For more information about the CRE Summit, please go to: www.attendcresummit.com. For more information about Smith Gardner Slusky Law, please visit: www.lawsgs.com.

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