HSA Commercial profiles a broker at our firm each month as part of our HSA News & Views blog. In this edition, we talk with Michael Havdala, senior vice president with the Retail Services Division. Michael is a veteran retail broker with extensive experience in both tenant and landlord representation.
HSA: Has the recessionary climate changed your business at all?
Havdala: My brokerage career was essentially built on tenant representation having completed over 50 deals for National City Bank (now PNC Bank) as part of their Chicagoland expansion, approximately 70 UPS Stores, over 30 deals for Yum! Brands, and numerous other tenant rep assignments. The situation now is that the field of tenants which are aggressively expanding continues to dwindle, and the competition for those limited and often fruitless assignments is fierce. My business simply had to evolve.
HSA: How would you say it has evolved?
Havdala: Though I still work closely with several tenants, my primary focus is on surplus real estate disposition and asset monetization for corporate clients like Jewel-Osco, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Burger King. The economic circumstances have left many of these national companies with excess real estate that has either outlived its useful life for the retailer or is not fulfilling its total value, and we’ve used our knowledge and local expertise to help our clients to realize the highest and best use for these properties.
HSA: Why do you think local expertise matters?
Havdala: During the boom years, when expanding tenants were abundant, working with a local broker may not have mattered as much as it does now. The times have changed and, in a lot of cases, these properties will not likely attract interest from national chains or even retail users at all. Most of my surplus deals now are with health care, office, or local retailers, which may not have been uncovered by a national disposition service or some out-of-market brokerage company, but they may now present the best opportunity to recapture the value of a particular real estate asset.
Mr. Havdala has represented the following national retail tenants in multiple transactions: National City Bank, T.G.I. Friday’s, Darden (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn, and Seasons 52), Golden Corral, Yum Brands, Denny’s, SuperValu, UPS Store, Charter One, GNC, Public Storage, Eddie Bauer, LA Boxing, and Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers. Michael has also represented the following developers / owners in multiple transactions: SuperValu, PNC Bank, The University of Chicago, Burger King, IBT Group, Sedes Corp., T.G.I. Friday’s, Darden, Location Finders International, and National Shopping Plazas.