Up Close with Eric Siegrist
DTZ senior managing director Eric Siegrist leases more than 7M SF of Class-A office buildings in Houston, including iconic properties like Allen Center and CityWestPlace.
Eric was working at the Pentagon for the Air Force and was sent to Wall Street to learn business practices the military could implement. His son had just been born and Eric was looking for a change, and the experience made him decide he wanted to go into business. He thought he’d join GE, but LaSalle Partners found him through an Air Force program that helped junior officers get into corporate America and intrigued him with its dynamic culture and pretty pictures of skyscrapers. He knew nothing about real estate and interviewed to be a property manager, but LaSalle saw his marketing background and brought him on as an office leasing broker in Miami in 1998. He moved to Houston in ’07 while working for Crescent.
Pictured is DTZ’s office leasing team—Eric, Elizabeth Layne, JP Hutcheson and John Pruitt (not pictured, Jessica Ochoa)—messing around with the gnomes between One and Two Allen Center. (Someone just pushed John over and is making a run for it.) One of Eric’s favorite assignments is leasing 1600 Smith with John and Jessica. Brookfield is designing a $10M renovation there, and Eric’s particularly excited about the whiteboxing it’s doing, which includes a graphic interface and staging that’ll be the first of its kind in Houston. The 1M SF building has 192k SF available, and Brookfield's being proactive in attracting new tenants and also trying to secure long-term commitments from Chevron and Continental/United, as any departures of this size would have a large impact on the property.
Eric’s passion is motorcycles, and it’s on his bucket list to ride a sport bike on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. (It only counts if he tops 150 mph, he tells us.) One of Eric’s most memorable deals was signing HOK for 39k SF at Phoenix Tower last year. (The office just celebrated its grand opening last month.) HOK was far down the line with a different building, and the deal took a lot of creativity. If Parkway Properties’ Mike Fransen hadn’t come up with an idea to get rid of a slanted roof to create a big open multi-floor area, or if JP hadn’t known the HOK and Fritsche Anderson teams so well, Eric doesn’t believe the deal would’ve happened.
Here’s Eric with his wife, Roxy, son Aaron (a senior in high school) and Aaron’s best friend Logan, who’s also part of their family. Not pictured is the new addition to the family, a puppy of indeterminate breed that Roxy just rescued. Eric tells us that he and Roxy would like to travel more, both as tourists and on missions around the world.