January 20, 2015

My Story: Eric Northbrook

In 2006, fate took Eric Northbook's ability to walk when he was in a motorcycle accident in Baja, causing a T7 spinal cord injury. Five years later, fate took his wife by cancer. This past summer, one of San Diego's top office/corporate HQ brokers saw a different turn of events: getting remarried and being tapped to lead Voit's local office.

“I'm a leader and a coach,” Eric tells us. He's certainly a veteran of the commercial real estate wars. His career began in 1989 with what was then Sher-Voit, and there he built a name for himself as an aggressive and successful office broker. By 1993, he sprang from there and joined Colliers and then Cushman & Wakefield a year later. It was clear Eric hit his career stride. But what came next tested every fiber of what it meant to be a father, a leader and a business professional.

During a broker outing riding motorcycles in Baja on Jan. 27, 2006, Eric was going too fast in a very technical area and hit some rocks. He flipped and crashed, and almost immediately knew he had been paralyzed from the chest down, he says. A grueling eight-hour drive back across the American border ensued to get to a hospital, followed by five months of rehab. It was July before Eric returned to work. The second tragic change came four years later when his wife, Denise, died of cervical cancer, leaving Eric with his two children, 9 and 11 at the time.

“What motivated me and what kept me going every day was my kids. They were young,” Eric says. He says that though the kids appear to be doing very well on the surface, everybody goes through the grieving process differently. Where some people may have collapsed underneath the misfortunes, Eric says it was his kids who kept him going. And he's just as active today as he was prior to the accident, including snow skiing. Eric fell a lot, but says he had no plans to give up. "You can't give up,” he says. Eight years later, he's skiing blues, and making it look easy. "But trust me, it wasn't easy.”

Lee & Associates' Rusty Williams can attest to Eric's strength as a leader as well. “It seems to me the accident put some perspective in his life, so to speak,” Rusty says. Rusty, the current SIOR president, tells us that when he took the reins of the organization this year, Eric was one of the first people he reached out to for more involvement as a member of the board of directors. He says Eric's experience makes his input valuable.

Outside of Voit Real Estate Services, Eric heads up his own foundation, “HeadNorth,” a nonprofit that raises money for those with spinal cord injuries in San Diego County. The organization – which recently merged with the nonprofit Sharp Healthcare Foundation – has assisted more than 500 people with back injuries and paralysis. And Eric remarried this past November to Annie as well. Eric says he views his experiences – and, more importantly, how he confronted those experiences – as the main leadership lesson he wants to impart, summed up this way: “You can keep on living or start dying. And I choose living.”

  Share: Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn  
 
  
  
CoMerge (ConferenceCenter) SAN
Chase (NoFees) SAN
CohnReznick (Field) SAN
Bisnow (Writers-Stop) HALF
Perforation

Top stories on Bisnow.com

Consumer Prices Stagnate Home Prices in China Benefit From Interest Rate Cut
Blackstone To Make $1.7B Rental Apartment Buy Airbnb Faces Crucial Hearing
Perforation

MG Gets Taste of Tuscany

San Diego-based MG Properties Group has picked up Tuscany Ridge Apartments in Temecula for nearly $39M in what company officials describe as a value-add play. MG's Rob Singh calls the buy a "strategic fit," given its proximity to the company's existing portfolio and his expectation for growth in the Inland Empire. The 1999 property includes 220 units, and is adjacent to MG's Sage Canyon Apartments. MG plans to invest more than $3M in capital improvements. 

  Share: Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn  
 
Perforation

Old Town Charter School Sells
(2120 San Diego Ave)

Colliers' Paul Lafrenz and Cresa's Don Mitchell helped sell 2120 San Diego Ave, a 20k SF office building that is part of the former Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the Old Town area for $4.85M. An affiliate of PacVentures sold the remodeled property that is now being used by The Old Town Academy Charter School to a local investor. Included in the sale is 44k SF of land that includes athletic fields for the students.  

Perforation

Gaslamp Mixed-Use Trades for $930/SF

The Charles J Williams Trust has unloaded the historic Gaslamp Quarter mixed-use building for a whopping $930/SF. Gaslamp Quarter, the 3k SF building at 538-542 Fifth Ave was purchased by investor Victor Salem, and the building is occupied by My Yogurt and has two apartment units on the upper floor. Colliers International's Bill Shrader brokered the sale. “This price represents some of the highest rates in the country, as do the lease rental rates in this stretch of Gaslamp," Bill says.

Perforation

Bisnow's Capital Stack Report: And 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Allowed to Expense It...

  1. You'll learn which metros are attracting the most capital...
  2. As well as what fees developers are charging...
  3. You'll be a pro on real estate vs. the stock market...
  4. And an expert on how leverage is being used by asset class...
  5. Last but not least, who the most active foreign investors are...

This incredible report includes easy-to-understand charts, graphs and bullet points that sum up complex information neatly and accurately. Fortify yourself with useful knowledge as you move forward in 2015. To get your discounted copy, please use the code: jan50.

Perforation
Tell Us

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Imagine how much if he read Bisnow! Send your news to Jarred@Bisnow.com.