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Close Up With Jeff Venghaus

Houston Industrial

JLL EVP Jeff Venghaus closed two leases for Gulf Winds International totaling 543k SF. Although big deals like this are his thing (even the recession didn’t stop him from inking 300k SF leases), Jeff would rather be known as a great mentor.


Jeff tells us the Gulf Winds work includes a new 243k SF BTS on a 12-acre site in Seabrook. He and his partner VP Ryan Fuselier negotiated the deal and locked in Duke Realty as developer. The building will deliver at the end of the year with a 10-year lease in place. The duo also helped Gulf Winds extend and expand a 300k SF lease at 359 Old Underwood Rd in La Porte. In a roundabout way, the deals wouldn’t have happened without Cushman & Wakefield’s Matt Trozzo and Baker Katz’s Jason Baker. The two of them were Jeff’s roommates 15 years ago and gave him leads into the real estate industry. He joined Staubach Company in ’99.


One of Jeff’s favorite deals was Ashley Furniture’s 300k SF North Houston outlet/distribution center in 2010. Closing anything in that tough market was impressive, and this was one of the largest leases done that year. (Jeff won NAIOP’s 2010 industrial broker of the year.) But Jeff’s most proud of being named leader of JLL’s industrial leasing team. Since 2012, it’s grown from eight to 12 brokers, and Jeff tells us it’s very important to him to grow each member professionally, personally, and spiritually. Above, the team volunteered recently at Generation One. Jeff’s on the board of that charity, which helps at-risk kids in the Third Ward.


Jeff is also passing on his passion for service to his four young kids (above, they’re all with his wife Jenny). Recently, he and the two older kids went on a mission trip to Honduras, and it’s on his bucket list to do one with the whole family. (He’d also love to climb a 14,000-foot mountain with all the kids—maybe they can multi-task?) Fun fact about Jeff: He played baseball and football for Rice University, and was part of the Rice football team involved in that wild four-way tie for Southwest Conference Champs in ’94. He was also part of the last SWC championship baseball team in '96.