Real Estate Profile: Steve White

Company: CB Richard Ellis

Education: BA in Economics and Management, Albion College, Albion, Mich.

Family: Spread all over the country

City of Residence: Milwaukee’s fashionable east side

What are you working on? "There seems to be a wide diversity in my active deals – a couple of investments sales, some non-traditional tenant representation, and a number of explorations for sublease or buyout of existing lease obligations. Although few deals are smooth sailing, the lease renewal business is clearly the strongest. The biggest challenge that my partner, Matt Hunter, and I face is being strategic in our selection of business to pursue. We want to make certain we are adequately servicing our clients and avoid spreading ourselves too thin."

How does the market look to you? "A little weaker than a year ago, but there are still tons of opportunities. Despite some negative press, the market is actually holding up pretty well, and a number of clients are still reasonably positive, albeit a little cautious. It seems that office users are using this time to retrench and ride out the economic storm, but most people seem to understand that this is a cycle, and that the tide will inevitably turn."

What was the best deal you’ve ever been involved in? "In recent history, the relocation of Independence First from the Tannery to 405 S. First Street was a great deal to be involved with. I got to work with the team of Kevin Armstrong and Scott Furmanski in our office; the search process involved talking to a number of potential projects with some very innovative developers. The decision-making process included the tenant’s architect, a selection committee and the board of directors. And, as often happens, we had a couple of false starts along the way which gave us all the opportunity to learn what to do differently or do better as the process went along. In total, working with such exceptional people on all sides of the transaction was a great benefit, and in the end, very rewarding."

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