Real estate profile: Bob Murray

Director of acquisitions, HSI Properties LLC

Title: director of acquisitions

Company: HSI Properties, LLC

Education: BBA Finance and Real Estate – UW-Milwaukee

Family: Single, mother and father (Terry and Claudia), one older brother.

City of Residence: Brookfield

What are you working on? "HSI just finished the 160,000-square-foot build-to-suit Derse, Inc. corporate headquarters and we are actively building our portfolio of commercial properties, focusing most of our attention on industrial sale-backs. In addition, we are searching for an office building in the western suburbs where we could relocate our operations."

How does the market look to you? "The last three months commercial real estate values have been declining. I believe this is a correction that will continue throughout the year with the largest changes occurring in the first half of 2009. Unless we see interest rates start to rise or significant increases in vacancies, values should stabilize towards the end of the year. Retail will see the most dramatic change but all areas will be affected. It’s hard to imagine that we will experience the inflated values of the past couple years again for quite some time, however, Milwaukee should be more insulated to the dramatic swings most other metropolitan areas are likely to experience. Well capitalized companies like ourselves will see opportunity this year."

What was the best deal you’ve ever been involved in? "Brokering the sale of the Mitchell, Mackie and Loyalty office buildings (Michigan Ave., between Water and Broadway) in downtown Milwaukee was a great experience. Besides the Pabst brewery this was the largest sale of historical buildings we have seen for quite some time. Maintaining the historical integrity was very important to the sellers as was keeping the potential sale strictly confidential. Both criteria were met and both parties were happy at the end of the day."

What was the funniest moment of your career? "During my second sale ever, the buyer’s bankers flew in from California to inspect the property and I decided to take them out for dinner. I was extremely green with entertaining clients so this was big for me. They were staying by the airport and I decided on the Packing House. As we were approaching the door, bright neon lights advertising steak, fish and poultry were blaring in my face.  The two bankers, whom had just moved here from India, then informed me that they were vegetarians. The guys were great and insisted that we stay. I have to admit, I did feel a little embarrassed eating steak as the only item on the menu that fit their diet was the raw vegetable platter."

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