Starting this month, HSA Commercial will profile a broker at our firm each month as part of our HSA News & Views blog. In this edition, we look at Tim Thompson, executive vice president and managing director of the Industrial Services Division. Thompson is a former president of the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers (AIRE) and is an active member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR).
HSA: What is the activity level like in the industrial market?
Thompson: There’s been an increase in activity across the spectrum. In the beginning of the year, I felt that the I-88 submarket showed stronger activity. Now, companies are active in all submarkets, across the board, looking for a variety of sizes and spaces. Speaking just from my own experience, I have completed deals this past year in the I-88, I-55, and O’Hare submarkets with sizes ranging from 550,000 square feet to smaller office-type deals.
The absorption that we needed is clearly taking place, and there have even been a couple of build-to-suits for specialty buildings in the I-88 and I-55 submarkets, because the costs associated with modifying existing product were too excessive.
HSA: Apart from the build-to-suits, what does the future look like for industrial development?
Thompson: In order for us to have a significant improvement in industrial development, the absorption numbers will have to continue their decline, and rents will have to stabilize.
Once that happens, I believe we will see a boost in development as the excess inventory decreases, which will probably be within the next year or two. Just as with other real estate sectors, when development comes back in a substantial way, it will be mostly infill. The infill today was the outskirts of yesterday.
HSA and their partners have available land in Southeast Wisconsin, Will County and Northern Lake County, which we are keen to break ground on when we believe the market is ready.
HSA: How did you get involved in the commercial real estate industry?
Thompson: I started my real estate career back in 1981 with Korman Lederer and Associates, a Northbrook-based development and brokerage firm. I was a former teacher who took a summer job with the intention to go back to teaching in the Fall. Since I enjoyed the challenge at Korman Lederer, I quickly realized that I had another mission, and I stayed with them for 17 years as I began building my career.
Prior to joining HSA, I also served as executive director of Insignia/ESG’s Chicago industrial services group, which has since merged with CBRE.
Tim Thompson has over 30 years of experience working on teams representing a host of industrial users and building owners throughout the metropolitan Chicago area and works closely with third-party owners to market their assets for sale and lease. So far this year, Tim has completed approximately 1.5 million square feet of real estate transactions. In the last 11 years, Tim has played a major role in HSA’s development of over 7 million square feet of new industrial product in the Chicago metropolitan area, identifying development sites and overseeing the leasing teams that market the finished product.