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Location, Location, Location: Just One of the Many Pieces to a Successful Commercial Plan 3/10/17  03/13/17 12:52:54 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

Pictured from left are H. Daniel Smith, who will be inducted into the CRE Summit Hall of Fame; and Jerry M. Slusky and Thomas H. McLeay, who are both 2017 CRE Summit Planning Committee members.
Location, Location, Location: Just One of the Many Pieces to a Successful Commercial Plan
By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

This year’s Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Summit promises to offer the most, across the board, educational topics ever, said Jerry Slusky, founder and chair of the annual event. “If you attend, you will come away with something that will help you in your profession.”
Now in its 28th year, the CRE Summit is an opportunity for professionals to earn continuing education credits and to network. The wide range of topics to be covered includes Omaha’s changing landscape, pre-construction costs and challenges, and the shift in retail, Slusky said.
When asked to give a rundown of this year’s Summit, he was quick to respond.
First up, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. is the leadership panel called “Cultivating Growth Within Our Already Growing Community.” For that, said Slusky, “our more than 35-member committee and I reached out to our prominent community leaders – people in high places like Terry Kroeger, publisher at the Omaha World-Herald; Leslie Anderson, president of [Bank of Bennington]; and Jim Krieger, vice chairman and CFO of Gallup – and we asked them to tell us what they saw as new opportunities for growth in Omaha, and how the real estate industry can fit in.”
Up next until 10 a.m., is “The Drivers and The Vision for the Changing Demographics of Our Nebraska Real Estate Markets.”
“We have the largest auto dealer [Mickey Anderson from Baxter Auto Group] coming; Todd Heistand from NuStyle Development [Corporation], the largest in-fill apartment developer; Ben Kiser from Nelnet; Ken Cook of Mutual of Omaha/Midtown 2050 [Corporation]; and Jay Noddle, who is president of Noddle Companies, which was instrumental in the development of Aksarben. We also have Othello Meadows from 75 North, which is a redevelopment project eight blocks around 30th and Parker that is being transformed by Susie Buffett’s Sherwood Foundation. It’s one of the biggest deals in North Omaha.”
Attendees will hear about the challenges facing Omaha, and how they can attract and cultivate local growth. Discussion will include development in the Central Business District (CBD), medical development, changing demographics and the return to urban lifestyles, and view from the top on the economic and non-economic issues facing the business community and its impact on commercial real estate.
The future of retail – stores versus internet – is a hot topic right now, and it will be addressed during the “Clicks and Bricks” panel, which runs from 10 to 10:45 a.m.
“My nephew, Mike Slusky, who lives in Chicago and is senior director of real estate at Kimco Realty, will bring a 50-state view on shopping centers. Mark Hasebroock, co-founder of Hayneedle, one of the early internet retail companies, will be here. He’s since left Hayneedle and founded Dundee Venture Capital, which backs internet startups. Michael Staenberg, president of The Staenberg Group, develops Walmart shopping centers. And Ben Meier (The Lerner Company) and Brian Kuehl (Investors Realty), are both brokers who bring a lot of local retail know-how.”
The breakout sessions, which run from 11 to 11:45 a.m., are designed to provide attendees with a wide range of information. During “Creating Clients for Life,” Van Deeb, who sold Deeb Realty and is now a nationally known motivational speaker, will show people how to become more productive, creative and forward thinking.
Before a company can “go vertical,” it must have a thorough assessment of its site. To know what is involved, one should attend “Today’s Pre-Construction Issues & Site Due Diligence,” which will cover title and topographic surveys, soils and environmental issues, and planning for site feasibility, Slusky said.
Newcomers to the real estate industry or those considering diving into the field will get a lot of valuable information from “Accelerating Your Commercial Real Estate Career,” he said. Panelists include Barry Zoob from Colliers International, Ryan Ellis from PJ Morgan Real Estate, David Beberwyk from the University of Nebraska at Omaha Center for Real Estate and Asset Management, and Danielle Dring from Smith Slusky Law, LLP.
“There is a lot of activity in industrial in Omaha, so we put together “Strong Demand in Industrial/Industrial Surge or Hype?,” he said. “People will walk out knowing exactly what’s going on.”
The afternoon breakouts, from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., are just as noteworthy, Slusky said. For instance, multi-family development has exploded since 2012, and “it’s still going crazy.”
Talking about this issue will be Joshua Larsen from NorthMarq Capital, “one of the area’s biggest lenders;” Scott Mausbach of Mainland Valuation Services, “one of the biggest appraisers;” and Tanya Shapiro of The Lund Company. “She runs 6,000 units in the Omaha area and Des Moines … people will learn about where it’s at and what’s going on.”
“Appraisals: The New Commercial Information Exchange and How to Manage a Successful Appraisal Process” is an exciting breakout because Drew Stange and Michael Blackman, both of Midlands Regional Commercial Information Exchange, will be talking. “It’s launching May 1, and attendees can learn about this robust, cost-effective information exchange,” he said.
Other breakouts are “Law/Finance/Title,” to which Slusky will contribute; and “Putting Together the Puzzle: Making the Development Pieces Fit,” during which the panelists will take a hypothetical situation and then show the audience how to solve for it. Every stage, from deciding on the type of development – industrial, retail, office or mixed use – to property financing, leasing and investment intent will be covered.
Keynote Speaker
After the mayoral candidates – Heath Mello and Mayor Jean Stothert – engage in a short debate, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Keynote Speaker Bill Rancic, an entrepreneur who won the first season of NBC’s The Apprentice, will talk about everything from running a multi-million dollar business to working for Donald Trump developing real estate. Slusky called Rancic’s appearance “timely.”
Last year’s CRE Summit was highly successful, with 750 in attendance. This year, they are on target to do even better, he said. “This time last year, we had 430 people signed up; as of now, we have about 520. We have had a lot of interest because of the credentials of the panelists. People want to hear from successful people. We’re very proud of it.”

700 attendees turned out for last year’s Commercial Real Estate Summit, a number founder and chair Jerry M. Slusky thinks will be bested this year.

The Hall of Fame luncheon will run from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. H. Daniel Smith of Smith Slusky Law, LLP; Tim Holland and J. Keith Basham, both of Holland Basham Architects; Dennis P. Hogan, III of Pansing Hogan Ernst & Bachman, LLP; and Ellen Albrecht of First American Title Insurance Company will be inducted.
Also during this time, the following awards will be given: Deal of the Year to HDR Headquarters and Development of the Year to the Henry Doorly Zoo – African Grasslands. The inaugural Summit Award, which is given by the Greater Omaha Chamber in partnership with the CRE Summit to a company or entity that has made a positive impact on the community, will be given to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine.
A meet-and-greet reception, with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, follows from 4 to 5 p.m. The 2017 CRE Summit will be at the CenturyLink Center on March 24. For information about registration, go to www.attendCRESummit.com.
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