Finance V Michigan

Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame: Berkadia's Colin Callaghan

MIdwest Commercial Real Estate HOF Colin Callaghan,ph01

Each year, Midwest Real Estate News runs its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame edition to spotlight the careers of the most talented commercial real estate pros in the Midwest. This year, we are also running those profiles online. Today, we look at the Hall of Fame career of Colin Callaghan, senior managing director with the Southfield, Michigan, office of Berkadia.

Consistency matters: During the last four years, Colin Callaghan has secured more than$1 billion in HUD-insured debt in more than 80 transactions in 10 states. That kind of output, his people at the metro Detroit Berkadia office say, helped the office clear $1 billion in transactions in 2016.

Callaghan, a senior managing director, has worked at Berkadia or its predecessor companies for 18 years, and has been a company-wide “top 10” producer in every one of the last five. Berkadia was founded in 2009 as a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation. Callaghan has been in the CRE business for 20 years.

Big business: High-risk HUD-backed loans often mean big construction projects, and that often means big business, too.

“What I enjoy most about this business is that it is very entrepreneurial by definition,” Callaghan said. “All of my clients, whether large or small, are driven by the desire to build, acquire and improve the communities in which they do business. Being involved in providing housing for families is a huge part of why I enjoy my job.”

But it’s getting harder: “The greatest challenge in financing commercial real estate in the current environment is keeping up with current market conditions,” Callaghan said. “The market used to move much more glacially, but recent years have seen markets become much more dynamic in terms of shifting market conditions. Also, where professionals used to focus primarily on one particular market, the industry has shifted such that you need to be well-versed in a variety of markets, across many states.”

A leader in the industry: Callaghan skippers a team of HUD mavens that has placed more than $1.5 billion in HUD-insured debt during the last five years alone, mostly in the Midwest and Florida markets.

Active in his community: Callaghan, whose wife has Type 1 diabetes, is an active volunteer and fund-raiser for the Southfield-area Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. In one recent year, his Berkadia office matched donations of employees to add a five-figure check to the JDRF’s “One Walk” fundraiser.