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Real Estate Bisnow
January 10, 2013 

Meet Cassidy Turley's

New Prez


How did Mike Kamm celebrate his new post at Cassidy Turley? By working around the clock at year-end (with time out for a skiing trip with his wife and kids). Yesterday, Mike told us how he went from being a fish broker (he was born in South America, where his dad worked in import-export) to a real estate broker.


Previously, he led Cassidy Turley’s NorCal ops for 12 years, which grew from five offices to 15 and 100 pros to 400. Much came through the acquisition of six firms, including Damon Raike, Terranomics, and CPS. The NorCal operation just finished its strongest year ever with revenues up by as much as 20%. Mike joined the company—then BT Commercial—in '94, a year after it changed its name from Blickman Turkus. (Not to be confused with Bachman Turnover Overdrive.) Like many brokers, Mike started as a runner at Coldwell Banker Commercial, where he had to be in before 6 am and make 100 cold calls per week. Besides spending time with his family, Mike likes skiing, cycling, and getting out on his boat.

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We also chatted yesterday with TCA Architects CEO Thom Cox, who just opened the SoCal-based firm’s new Bay Area design studio at Oakland City Center’s 1111 Broadway office tower. The firm’s workload here “pretty much is demanding that we have face-to-face people on the ground in the Bay Area.” TCA has 18 active projects in the East Bay and 680 Corridor, as well as on the Peninsula. Three just started construction: one in Corte Madera for MacFarlane Partners, another in San Mateo for Sares-Regis Northern California, and the third in Redwood City for Raintree Partners. Later this year, TCA has two projects starting in Pleasanton for BRE and another two in Sunnyvale for the Irvine Co.

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201 Marshall is now under construction. Thom’s a newly minted Bay Area resident—he’s making the Oakland studio his home port and oversees it as senior design principal. Why Oakland? He and his wife bought a house in Orinda—they’ve formally moved their dog up here and his wife has taken a job at St. Mary’s College. Thom says a big concern was the pool of people the firm can draw on for employment; it’s much easier for folks from the standpoint of both transit and cost of housing to be around the bay, instead of downtown. TCA expects to hire locally to get experience with the cities, the transportation systems, “and I would say even the idiosyncracies of different communities.” So brush off your resumes.

Here’s Thom with another reason to move up to the Bay Area: his first grandchild, Stella. Her mom, Thom’s youngest daughter, lives in Oakland with her husband and “has informed us that the second grandchild is on the way, so that is a huge motivator.” Thom is an avid cyclist who regularly does centuries, and among the first things he did after moving here was to buy a senior Clipper pass and a Zipcar membership. He says his goal is not to use his car at all.

Behind Greystar & EQR’s $1.5B Deal


Greystar CEO Bob Faith (snapped Tuesday morning) tells us his firm’s acquisition (with Goldman Sachs) of 8,010 apartments across 27 properties from Equity Residential will close in two tranches by the end of March. It’s free to exclude as much as 8% of the portfolio after due diligence, but Bob tells us his intention is to take them all. The parties know each other well: Goldman Sachs owns 20% of Greystar, and as co-founder of Starwood Capital, Bob sold a large portfolio to Equity Residential in 1993. The portfolio is 95.5% occupied, yet value can be harvested via improvements, leading to higher rents. The East Bay buys include Iron Horse Park, Park Central, and Gatewood, totaling 711 units.

We stumbled upon a paddle sale at the local sports store yesterday. It was quite an oar deal. Send your deals to julie@bisnow.com.
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