Q&A With Scott Morse: Big Deals & The Little Things In Life
On the heels of inking a 58k SF lease for accounting firm Weaver, Citadel Partners managing partner Scott Morse’s CV includes working with a laundry list of business giants with mammoth deals for Flextronics and TI. We sat down with the 2015 NTCAR Stemmons Service Award nominee for a Q&A for his take on the market and what’s on his agenda.
Bisnow: What was the highlight of 2015 for you?
Scott: Completing the Weaver lease at The Union was probably it for a variety of reasons. Our relationship started with Weaver in 1996 with 11k SF in one location in Dallas and has grown to a national assignment. The Dallas assignment is a culmination of the desire to have the live/work/play environment. The No. 1 issue we hear today from clients is how to address the needs, wants and desires of the four generations in the workplace in their real estate. It's definitely a challenge for the C-Suite to make everyone happy, and a project like The Union absolutely gets it. With construction costs up over 25% and rents at the highest levels I've seen in my career, the decision is not only about rents, but really more importantly about how this facility will drive top-line revenue, facilitate brand development, culture and offer the flexibility to allow the real estate to move and adapt as the business changes.
Bisnow: What was a big game changer for 2015 for the industry?
Scott: Corporate relocations. The buildings wouldn’t be going up without relocations and job growth. It’s all about the people and the job growth. Compared to the national market, Dallas is head and shoulders above the rest.
Bisnow: What are some of your bigger deals over the years?
Scott: Scott Jessen (Citadel partner) and I did a HQ for Flextronics that led to earning the William C. Jennings Award for the best deal in Texas in 2001. We also renegotiated 1M SF of corporate campus for Texas Instruments in 2010. It was a challenging assignment on both sides with JLL’s Brad Selner and Stephen Holley repping the other side of the deal. Plus, working with Scott has been great. We’ve been business partners for 20 years and that’s uncommon in our industry. We have a shared value system, our core beliefs are in sync and our business approach is diametrically different, which makes us a good team.
Bisnow: You’re one of four nominees for the NTCAR Stemmons Service Award. Tell us about your community involvement?
Scott: It starts with faith. That’s the foundation. I have been involved with my church. I've ushered, served on our board of trustees and taught Sunday School in past years. I’ve been a member at First United Methodist of Richardson and Preston Hollow Presbyterian. I love to be around kids and sports. I’m on the board for the Downtown YMCA and helped the Richardson YMCA in fundraising campaigns and as their chairman in the past. I’m a closet coach and love working with little kids on up to high school age. I like to see what athletics can do for a kid in teaching life lessons.
Bisnow: What would you like people to know about you?
Scott: I’d like to be known as a stand-up guy—someone who follows through on commitments and does business fairly.
Bisnow: What’s on your bucket list?
Scott: I have three kids between 22 and 30, so I’d have to say that I’d like to see them grown up and be responsible and develop into quality people. I would love to see the College World Series, a Super Bowl and have a lakehouse on Lake Texoma. Professionally, I’d like to do my part in helping this company grow in size, revenue and service lines. I’m goal-oriented, so I’d like for our firm to achieve some degree of significance that is lasting.
Pictured: Scott, TCN Worldwide CEO and president Ross Ford, and Citadel partner Scott Jessen at a TCN principals meeting in Miami last year where the board approved Citadel as the exclusive DFW affiliate for TCN Worldwide. TCN is a global real estate network of privately held real estate firms in 200 locations around the globe.
Bisnow: Here are some rapid fire questions for you. What are your 2016 goals?
Scott: Continue the growth of Citadel Partners
Bisnow: What’s your current strategy/deal flow?
Scott: We know a market shift is coming. We want to stay light on our feet, cash heavy, debt free and continue to offer a diversified services platform to our clients.
Bisnow: What are your market insights?
Scott: We expect 2016 to be strong.
Bisnow: What are you bullish on?
Scott: The continued success of our team at Citadel Partners, YMCA and its mission, the continued development of Dallas as an international city, Razorback football, etc.
Bisnow: What is your favorite food?
Scott: Cape Cod Lobster
Bisnow: Your last vacation?
Scott: The beach with family
Bisnow: Tell us about your family.
Scott: My wife, Liz; daughter, Megan and son-in-law Beau and granddaughter Charlie; sons, Michael, Mac and future daughter–in-law Megan
Bisnow: What is your alma mater?
Scott: The University of Arkansas
Bisnow: How long have you run the company?
Scott: Four years
Bisnow: What was your first job?
Scott: Pouring concrete.
Bisnow: What was the best present you ever received?
Scott: A surprise anniversary trip
Bisnow: Is there a dessert that you just can’t pass up?
Bisnow: What’s your go-to order at happy hour?
Scott: Modelo Especial
Bisnow: What is your secret talent?
Scott: Power boat racing