Real estate profile of the week: Jim Babiasz

principal, The Boerke Company

Title: Principal

Company: The Boerke Company Inc.

Education: BBA Accounting

Family: Wife, Pam; three grown children, Jennifer, Josh and Jason; and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Brittany.

City of Residence: Mequon

What are you working on? "I am fortunate enough to have some really neat properties that we are focusing on at this time. We have a couple of industrial buildings in Germantown and Racine that are generating a lot of interest from users. In addition, we have over 1,000 acres of prime industrial/commercial sites that are located on the Interstate that are outstanding development opportunities. We also have some very attractive leasing options."

How does the market look to you? "Get ready for a roller coaster ride. The economy, interest rates and the election have all had a profound effect on the market. There are many companies that are holding their own or actually seeing some growth. I have noticed that even though they are doing well, because everyone else is having troubles, they have taken a wait-and-see attitude. We need to be patient and keep them informed of the market changes and educate them. This is really a very opportunistic time for us to take advantage of the changing market. We need to get smart and listen to what our customers are telling us."

What was the best deal you’ve ever been involved in? "It’s hard to pick one but the time I spent working with Allan Retzlaff and his company Skyline Development Corp. in the development and sale of sites and buildings in the Germantown Industrial Park was a great time. Seeing farmland turn into roads, building sites and over 2 million square feet of building was incredible. We had the privilege of serving the needs of literally hundreds of great people in their search for new buildings."

What was the funniest moment of your career? "It wasn’t funny then but today I have to laugh. We had a 60,000-square-foo building in Clintonville. Well, it was located on about 15 acres of land on the outskirts of town. Now this really old industrial building had been added on to at least five times. And when it was time to show it, I always got there early, unlocked the front gate of the entirely fenced in property and proceeded to the front door. As I worked my way through the numerous additions trying to remember where the next circuit box was located with my trusty flash light I always wondered if I was alone in this building. Now I have to say, there were times when I wish I had a co-worker named Smith & Wesson for support, because it was dark and scary. Well, I finally reached the last set of breakers, waited for the lights to heat up and check the back door only to find out the door was unlocked and there were several empty beer cans scattered around the area. Not funny then, humorous now."

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