CRE Midwest

Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions to auction 26,000-square-foot retail center in Louisville market

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John Homsher, CCIM, advises his clients—institutions, private equity firms and high net worth individuals—on commercial real estate acquisition and disposition strategies. While the markets are greatly improved, over the course of the last several years the terrain has been rugged, perhaps as taxing as the trails he has biked across Europe.

In reflecting on his most memorable accomplishments in the real estate industry, Homsher points to the work he and the firm did in advising a client on the acquisition, repositioning, leasing and disposition of the Concourse Office Plaza in Skokie.

“In a time span of just over three years we touched on the complete life cycle of a real estate asset,” John recounts.

At the time of the client’s acquisition, the twin-tower 300,000-square-foot office building was over 95 percent leased—but very soon after went to 45 percent leased. Over a relatively short period of time, Homsher and the team orchestrated an extensive building modernization program and then brought the complex back up to approximately 75 percent leased.

“Ultimately, in about three years, we completely turned the property around and doubled our client’s investment,” he said.

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It is that type of scenario, and others much like it, that keep him engaged and coming back to the office day after day.

“This is a great industry,” Homsher said. “And it’s a great feeling to be solving clients’ real estate issues.”

He said that while the actual mechanics of his work may be similar from assignment to assignment, each day and each assignment is unique and has many distinct nuances.

“It’s always exciting and different,” He said.

As if client work wasn’t rewarding enough, Homsher also is the president elect of CORFAC International, a worldwide network of independent commercial real estate firms. Based in Des Plaines, CORFAC’s member network totals 55 firms in North America and 24 internationally.

As president during 2016, he will oversee the implementation of a newly adopted strategic plan, the development and creation of a new CORFAC website, and the furthering of various other CORFAC initiatives.

Homsher said that his elevation to president of CORFAC is the direct result of a friend and mentor who recognized John’s leadership capabilities and pushed him to get more involved.

“I took his advice to heart, got involved and am now about to become CORFAC’s president,” he shared.

In his spare time, which may diminish some in 2016, Homsher prefers to stay active with cycling—both the pedaling and motorized kinds. John says he has completed as many as 15 bicycling trips in various European locations over the last dozen years or so. His favorite was a trip through Switzerland because of the Italian, German and French influences along the way.

At first, Homsher planned his own trips and brought his gear. Now he books his trips through a local touring group.

“It’s a great way to see the country and meet the people,” he said.

On his traveling wish list, whether riding or just touring, is a two-week vacation to Asia.

Homsher also owns a motorcycle and has coordinated a group of real estate and related clients and friends who meet twice a month from May to September to go for a long ride, have dinner and then return to home base.

He’s proud of all the charity rides he has participated in to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association. But he is proudest of his record of riding for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Homsher has taken part in 21 of the 23 “Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour” events hosted by that organization. The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour is a two-day 150-mile ride from Milwaukee to Door County.

Having endured challenging real estate cycles while travelling across much of the world on his other cycles over a period of three decades, he is indeed a man of many cycles!