Up Close with John Ferruzzo
Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Houston players at one of our upcoming events!
NAI Houston partner/industrial division leader John Ferruzzo may not be in the development game anymore, but he’s still active in the space—he’s leased and/or sold 17 spec buildings this year and has 10 more under construction. The latest: Filling and selling eight facilities in 529 Commerce Park.
John got his broker’s license at 18 and put himself through UT by leasing condos—he became manager of that office while still in college. He came home to Houston after graduation, and Grubb & Ellis brought him on as an industrial broker in the mid-90s. Three years in, his client Capital Commercial bought land at 249 and the Beltway to build mini storage. John convinced them to build three spec crane-served industrial buildings, and he leased them up before delivery. Capital Commercial decided to keep building industrial, and brought John in to spearhead development.
In 2000, Dan Boyles asked John to help him kick-start NAI’s industrial brokerage. John intended to keep his foot in development, but got so busy closing deals and recruiting and training producers (the team now has 14 brokers), he couldn’t find time. John stays involved in new construction by repping developers—it’s about 50% of his business, including helping six firms with 27 spec facilities this year. John’s been particularly active with Adkisson Development at 529 Commerce Park—he’s pictured with his teammates there, Alisha Renshaw and Nick Peterson. Adkisson built eight spec buildings there all at once, and the last building sells tomorrow.
John is working to close 20 deals in the next 45 days, which would bring him to 65 closings in 2014: the best or second best year in his career. Five are over 100k SF apiece, and he tells us he has some really big things working for January. NAI’s industrial division is having the best year in its history, which is important to John—he says it’s a very team-centric group. (Almost every member has partnered up with everyone else on a deal this year.) Here he is with wife Andrea and kids Jack, Vincent and Katherine.
When he’s not at work, John’s spending as much time as possible with his close-knit Italian family. His 12- and 10-year-old boys have gotten into hunting, so John’s been in the field three of the last five weekends. He also coaches his kids' Post Oak Little League teams (including his daughter’s softball team), and the family takes an annual trip to the Caribbean. The kids have been asking to go on safari, so John says he hopes to take them to Africa in the next few years. But it’s not all about the kids—John and his wife try to get away, just the two of them, for an anniversary trip every year.