James Connor: Closing the big Midwest deals

April 12, 2013  |  Dan Rafter  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article


James Connor

James Connor
Senior executive vice president — Midwest region
Duke Realty

James Connor hasn’t shied away from big Midwest deals during his 31-year career in commercial real estate.

As evidence, look to two recent transactions: In 2011, Connor, senior executive vice president in the Indianapolis office of Duke Realty, played a key role in the company’s $1 billion office portfolio sale, a portfolio that included mostly Midwest assets.

Connor also led Duke in its acquisition of $747 million of bulk industrial and medical office properties, most of which were, again, located in the Midwest.

These are just two examples. As senior executive vice president for Duke Realty’s Midwest region, Connor oversees significant transactions on a regular basis. The company’s Midwest region is no small player in the commercial industry; the region is made up of 72 million square feet of office, retail and industrial properties in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and St. Louis. The properties in this region carry a total aggregate value of more than $4.4 billion.

During his real estate career, with started in 1981, Connor has steadily moved to ever-more-important positions. He first joined Cushman & Wakefield as a broker, and eventually spent 17 years with the company. He eventually became the managing director of Chicago operations with Cushman & Wakefield. From there he moved on to senior managing director of the Midwest.

Connor moved to Duke Realty in 1998 as senior vice president of the company’s Chicago operations. In 2003, he rose again, this time assuming the title of executive vice president of the company’s Midwest region. He added the “senior” to this title in 2010.

The industry has recognized Connor’s talents. The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties awarded Connor with its 2000 Build-To-Suit of the Year award and its 2002 Redevelopment of the Year honor. The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors also honored Connor in 2008 for his work in closing the largest investment transaction in the country.

Despite his busy career, and his track record of tackling the biggest commercial transactions, Connor has found time to give back to his industry and his community. He is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, and previously served as the president of its Chicago chapter.

Connor is also a member of the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers, NAIOP and CoreNet Global. He sits on the editorial board of the Illinois Real Estate Journal.

On a community level, Connor is involved with the Craig F. Glattly Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and INROADS.

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