Close Up With John Spafford
He's the man to talk to if you want space in Bank of America Center. (Though, you're welcome to talk to him about anything, he's very personable.) PMRG director of leasing John Spafford has leased 1.2M SF in the property since '07, and that's just a small portion of the 12M SF leasing portfolio he oversees.
John started his career with a developer in 1980 and has gotten a taste of every aspect of real estate, but he really loves leasing. (Not to make other branches of the industry jealous, but the heart wants what the heart wants.) The 24-year PMRG vet especially loves working with so many different people, and attributes much of his success to his clients MM Properties, Clarion Partners, and KBS. His favorite building just may be the Bank of America Center. One of his most challenging deals there was the six-floor, 180k SF lease with ANR Pipeline, which is building out its space and staging its move now. He had to negotiate with multiple tenants to build the block, and it took some work to get all parties happy.
John’s buildings are spread around town—he’s pre-leasing 3737 Buffalo Speedway and Westchase Park 2 and is getting lots of activity at West Loop I and II for KBS—but Downtown holds a special place in his heart. He’s officed there since 1988, has represented many of its prestigious towers, and participates in several office leasing and business development committees with Central Houston Inc. Above, John and and colleague Wade Bowlin hunting in Argentina.
Now that their four kids are out of the house, John and his wife Robbin like to travel—above is a picture from their Paris trip a couple of years ago, and they’re going to Italy soon. They don’t always have to go far; they also spend a lot of time at their vacation home on Lake Travis. It must feel natural for him; John used to waterski professionally, performing in ski shows at AstroWorld and the old Shamrock Hotel swimming pool in Houston and Kings Dominion in Virginia. (He was also part of the first intercollegiate waterski championship while he was at UT.)