As part of an ongoing series on commercial real estate’s newbies and industry veterans, we sat down with CBRE’s Lindy Meyer to talk about what an influence her father’s career was, the three-pronged approach she takes to business, and how her interests have propelled her career in retail brokerage. Here’s what she said.
How did you enter the industry?
My dad and his brothers started a construction company from scratch in the 70s, Meyer Brothers Building Company. I always grew up around the development and construction side of it, and was always fascinated. I loved watching them build different things and really shape the trajectory of the communities we were building in. It was interesting to see the full cycle: to see the piece of dirt, see a building going up, and then watch tenants moved in. When my dad got into the brokerage side (with Heise-Meyer), I loved the flexibility of my dad’s schedule, but also saw that he got out what he put in. It was seeing his hard work ethic pay off.
What projects have you been working on recently?
David Hickman and I recently sold Brookside Shops. These are historic infill irreplaceable properties that are amazing to work on, and really the ownership of the center had only changed hands essentially twice until we sold it. It was great to be a part of that sale and now leasing the center. We only have one vacancy now: the former Hallmark space, which we’re splitting into two spaces with separate storefronts. We have a lease out for signature on the east side and a lot of activity on the west side as well, working with some very cool local boutique best-in-class operators. It’s really fun to work with the top talent and entrepreneurs in Kansas City; To get into their heads and see things from their perspective is very interesting. I’m also working on the redevelopment of Hawthorne Plaza, where we brought The Container Store and are working with other retailers through construction as all the stores are getting re-skinned and will be unveiled in the spring.
What kind of trends are you seeing in retail these days?
You hear about internet replacing bricks and mortar, and while I think it will affect everything, I don’t think it will be so drastic. As a shopper myself, I want to touch and feel and look at things in person. But a trend for retailers right now is everything is leaning toward being very experiential. It’s more than going to the coffee shop and grabbing a cup of coffee; It’s watching them craft a latte, and at a restaurant, it’s about the theater of watching food being prepared and being entertained. Retailers want to make sure they provide their customers with that niche experience that they won’t find anywhere else.
Is it a challenge or an advantage to be young, a woman, and relatively new to the industry?
Some people think it’s a disadvantage, but it’s all I know. It probably gives me a bit of an advantage in the fact that I’m inherently a shopper. I think women in general understand merchandising of the retailers at a shopping center. It really makes sense to me the placement of different retailers in a center, which is critical to a shopping center’s overall success. I understand that aspect well and that’s a skill that I can bring to the field. It’s a shame there aren’t more women in the commercial real estate field.
On spending 5 years in Arizona:
One of my sisters went to Arizona State, and I visited quite a bit and loved it, and decided I wanted to do something different and get away. I lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., for 5 years working for Cassidy Turley. It was a great experience, but 120 degrees is hot no matter how you slice it!
Who helped shape your business philosophy?
My dad really instilled in me and my sisters a sense of work ethic. He’s definitely been a great mentor and someone to look up to. He always taught me a three-pronged approach: work hard, give back, and be kind and that will get you far.
(Brokerage) is very much an entrepreneurial business. You have to be very proactive in everything. The business is not sticking a sign in the ground and waiting for calls; You’re going out and actively pursuing the right retailers for your spaces and the right clients to purchase your centers.
What do you do in your free time?
Free time? (Laughs.) My free time is somewhat limited so I’m big into stress relief. You can find me at Fusion a couple mornings a week, doing these intense, hour-long workouts. I started going a year ago and became hooked. I also have a golden retriever, so you can find me out walking her around Loose Park, shopping and checking out different restaurants and retailers, and exploring the unique things Kansas City has to offer. I’m also very involved in Junior League, an organization for like-minded women to give back to the community. Next year, my placement is on the retail committee for Holiday Mart, so I get to work with retailers and help with merchandising on that and I’m really excited about it.
Cassidy Turley’s Deal of the Week
Mike Mayer, Jeff Winters and Tom Houts of Cassidy Turley represented Hays Companies in the relocation of its Kansas City offices to One Kansas City Place. The insurance firm, which relocated from 10 Main, is scheduled to move in in March, taking 15,766 square feet on the 23rd floor.
Jeff Kembel with JLL represented the landlord. It’s the first new tenant to move into the 840,000-square-foot downtown office building since Gaw Capital Partners purchased it in early 2014.
Do you have a recently completed deal to submit? Contact us and we may feature it as our deal of the week!
BBN Architects elevates employees to shareholders
Three long-term employees at BBN Architects with a combined 70 years of experience have been elevated to shareholders, announced principals Brent and Lorie Bowman and Patrick Schaub.
Austin Massoth (far left) joined BBN 10 years ago after graduating from Kansas State University. Today, the Prairie Village resident plays a role in all phases of design and construction. Scott Bingham (center) has been with BBN since 1996, and will serve as principal-in-charge for landscape architecture. He also serves as chairperson for the 47th and Mission Development Committee and an active member of the Prairie Gateway Chapter of ASLA. Erin Quigley (right) has developed an impressive portfolio since joining the architecture firm in 2008. She’s also the chair of the USGBC Central Plains Emerging Professionals, and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at KSU.
Two BBN employees out of Manhattan were also elevated to shareholders: Dan Crouch and Nancy Burton (not pictured).
CCIM, KCCREW pack Boulevard for holiday festivities
Members of the Kansas City CCIM Chapter and Kansas City Commercial Real Estate Women (KC CREW) packed into Boulevard Brewing Co. on Thursday evening to celebrate the end of a great 2014.
Check out more fun holiday pictures on our Facebook page!