January 6, 2015

Meet New DTZ Chief Exec Joe Stettinius

Yesterday marked the official merger of DTZ and Cassidy Turley under the DTZ brand (owned by TPG Capital, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan). Cassidy Turley CEO Joe Stettinius, now Chief Executive of the Americas for DTZ, gave us the details.

The new company, with $2.9B in annual revenues and more than 28,000 employees globally, will have the benefit of DTZ's global platform and Cassidy Turley's scale in the US, Joe tells us. There will be a big focus on building out services for investors and occupiers around the country via strategic infill acquisitions and recruiting, as well as abroad in Europe and Asia (DTZ has a particularly strong presence in China and the UK), he says.

A big merger also includes company cultures, less of a tall order given each firm's focus on entrepreneurial and nimble client service. Technology is a huge help: Getting everyone on the same platforms, from email to databases, on Day 1 (yesterday) wouldn't have been possible a few years ago, Joe says. With its global HQ in Chicago and Americas HQ in DC, DTZ plans to merge offices in each market where both organizations have offices around the country as quickly as possible (by summer), and in most of those markets DTZ people will move into the Cassidy Turley office. Now let's learn more about Joe, who's based in DC:

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Photo caption: Joe as “celebrity bartender” at a DC CREW event last year.
Job title: Chief Executive Americas.
What that means: Knitting together our strengths and resources globally to create a compelling solution for both clients and employees going forward.
What your company does: Global commercial real estate services provider.
Memorable project: The whole evolution of Cassidy Turley, from being a series of local boutiques to becoming a leading, full-service national company to this merger with DTZ. That's been the focus of my career over the last eight years, and the process taught me the importance of a common vision and strategy. What you're trying to do is much more important than how you're trying to do it.
Hometown: Richmond, VA.
First job: Exercising racehorses. Lesson learned – they're only running off when you're trying to stop them.
First commercial real estate job: I worked as a purchasing agent on the renovation of the Ritz-Carlton in DC.
Job in another life: Farmer. You get the benefit of the seasons and it seems like a great lifestyle.
Dream dinner party (guests can be alive or dead): George Washington, Custer (I'd love to know what he was thinking), Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
Daily habit: Making a cup of coffee at home in the morning is one of my great rituals of the day. Cream, no sugar.
Favorite song of the moment: “Home” by Phillip Phillips.
Favorite book: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
Favorite movies: Gran Torino, Braveheart.
Favorite vacation spot: Jackson Hole, WY, for fishing, riding and hiking.
Favorite restaurants: Rasika in DC (order the Palak Chaat, a crispy spinach dish) and Nobu (let the waiter order).
Bucket list: Go to Alaska, the North Pole and diving with great white sharks.
Family facts: Married with a 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.
Hobbies: Riding and fishing, especially for false albacore.
Startling fact: I'm an identical twin and so is my father. My twin brother is in the data center business. (And no, they didn't pull any Parent Trap antics as kids.)

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Championship Round for Obama Library: UChicago v. Columbia

After President Barack Obama's foundation made it clear that the president's library needs to be on land owned and operated by the City, Chicago's moving quickly and proposing a transfer of land from the Park District to City Hall in public forums next week, the Chicago Tribune reports. UChicago's narrowed its plans to either a Washington Park or Jackson Park location, and its biggest competitor still seems to be Columbia University in NYC (Obama's undergrad alma mater).

Time is short since a decision is expected in March, and if UChicago wins the university it has said it anticipates 1,900 new jobs and a $200M economic boost. Community support is still tricky, as George Lucas has learned with his proposed Star Wars treasure trove (The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art), so public forums seem like the right first step.

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Every Tech Firm Wants Something
Nobody's Done Before

Tech firms continue to drive Chicago real estate, prioritizing unique spaces and creative work environments. That's why we've pulled together gurus like Skender Construction VP and partner Andy MacGregor (snapped with the family) to explore both industries' symbiosis at Bisnow's Chicago Creative Office Summit, Jan. 28 at Willis Tower, beginning at 7am. In the past six months, Andy's noticed tech companies moving away from the stereotypical concrete floors. You're also beginning to see a lot of A/V installations for projections on common area walls and more LED design features, like a movable LED wall his firm put up at Motorola Mobility's Merchandise Mart offices.

For Andy, the term “creative office” comes into play during design and construction. Young startups and tech incubators often have no formalized plan and limited budget, so Skender serves as partner and adviser given projects' tight timelines. Even at Motorola, a 735k SF job well over $100M, Andy was working with engineers to consolidate around 50-plus labs into nine mega-labs. Another creative move: getting special permission from the City for powered adjustable-height desks on wheels, also favored by trading firms like Getco. Just back from visiting family in Maui (above), Andy's knee-deep in Google's top secret HQ at 1000 Fulton and enjoying this hockey weather.

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Five Hospitality Trends for 2015

Sorry, no more vacancy when it comes to hotel loyalty. Brand recognition is always good, but it's no longer enough, and personalized service is quickly taking on a deeper, more technical meaning. BKV Group partner Will Jensen (right, along with partners Jack Boarman and Mike Krych) tells us what will come around in the new hospitality reality:

The smartphone is the new concierge. It helps with everything from check-in/out to room service to controlling room temperature. And tell your app if you like your sheets tucked or untucked.

Sustainable environments are no longer a choice. It's not just the right thing to do; it's a business issue.

Lobby and amenity space are now co-working labs. A lobby should no longer just be a lobby. Wireless access should be free and lobby spaces should be customizable, with breakout areas, conference rooms and privacy pods.

In social media, be the brand that refreshes (often). Constantly update your social media with information the customer can use. And be “Instagramable.” If you have a giant chair in the lobby used for fun photos, keep posting those images.

Millennials are all the rage, but don't count out the Boomers. Baby Boomers represent 60% of the money spent in this industry. Know your targets!

For more info on our sponsor, BKV Group, and its hospitality solutions team, click here.

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Steel Yourself: Goodbye to Finkl

It's hard to look back, especially on 28 acres nearing demolition. Lincoln Park's 112-year-old Finkl Steel industrial park will soon meet its end, Curbed reports, with an uncertain future that could include tech, residential, retail or even an extended 606 trail. A use change at the site will be tricky, though, since it's zoned as a planned manufacturing district (PMD) with a pricey environmental cleanup likely.

Since the site's not far from Goose Island, the city's most buzzed about next tech mecca, a new haven for engineers and programmers does make some logistical sense. UI Labs and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute are nearby, as are Millennial-heavy neighborhoods featuring the necessary talent.

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Tell Us

What restaurant opening are you most looking forward to in 2015? Tell marissa.oberlander@bisnow.com and we just might send a free event ticket your way!