Champion Realty Advisors founder J.D. Salazar hasn?t been a recluse like that author with a similar name, but it doesn?t mean he lacks quirks. Yesterday, we talked to him and others who never planned on real estate careers.
J.D. started Champion in 1997 and made a name for himself as a dealmaker in the I-80, I-55, and Central DuPage corridors. But real estate wasn't his first plan. When the oil industry collapsed in the late '80s, his developer father-in-law recommended he join the business. J.D. grew up north of Taos, NM, where race was never a big issue in school, so he admits it's different when, at real estate events, he often finds he's the only Spanish-American. He was recently named to the CEO Council of Chicago United, an organization that recognizes business leaders of color in the area.
He tells us the size of his bigger deals has gone down, from the 860k-SF deal he did with Kraft on I-55 last year to this year's biggest, 163k-SF in Bolingbrook with Ozburn-Hessey Logistics. He's encouraging tenants to renegotiate leases and invest in the short term if they can. But while the business market is down, he's going out to New Mexico to visit friends from elementary and high school, as well as taking a mission trip to Israel this fall.