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Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame: Next Realty's Marc Blum

Midwest Commercial Real Estate HOF: Marc Blum,ph01

Each week, Midwest Real Estate News profiles the members of our newest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame class. This week, we look at the career of Marc Blum, president and chief operating officer of Next Realty LLC in Skokie, Illinois.

Years in the business: More than 25

Making an impact: During his career, Marc Blum, president and chief operating office of Skokie, Illinois-based Next Realty, has been involved in the acquisition, repositioning, redevelopment and disposition of more than $1 billion of real estate assets.

Big deals: Blum worked on two major deals in 2018 that serve as good examples of his impact in the Chicago-area commercial real estate market.

In the first quarter of the year, Spaces – a co-working company based in Amsterdam – closed a lase for the entire 78,625-square-foot building at 620 N. LaSalle Drive. The lease was evidence that Next Realty’s strategy to redevelop and reposition this key building, a strategy led by Blum, was the right one.

Also in 2018, Advocate Health Care moved into a Next Realty property at 3154 N. Clark St. in Chicago, a space formerly occupied by The Sports Authority. Before this move, the property had been transformed into a 50,000-square-foot outpatient care center. Blum again led the efforts to reach this positive outcome for Chicago’s Lakeview community.

Meeting the challenge: The commercial real estate business is not a good fit for anyone afriad of hard work or challenges. Fortunately, Blum never shies away from challenges.

“I truly enjoy a challenge,” Blum said. “Each challenge has its own intriguing traits that require a different skillset to overcome. Nothing gives me more personal satisfaction than watching an asset go from acquisition to repositioning to stabilization.”

Finding the right properties: It’s no easy task to find the right acquistions for Next Realty. Blum said that for each property Next Realty acquires, the company evaluates dozens.

“I find it exciting to think about how a property can be adapted to reinvigorate and breathe new life into the space,” Blum said. “We are always looking to broaden our experience and diversify our tenant mix. Once we visualize how to best redevelop a property, I enjoy executing our vision and seeing how it all comes together.”

Keeping the emotions at bay: There are plenty of reasons for Blum’s success. He works hard. He knows the industry. He’s not afraid to compete.

Blum also has the right attitude to thrive in commercial real estate: He never gets overly emotional.

“I never get emotional about a transaction,” Blum said. “That allows me to be objective when buying an asset or negotiating a lease. I am also a big believer in empowering your team. Allowing our team to execute and make decisions allows the process to remain fluid and timely.”

Out-of-office hours: When not closing deals, Blum prefers spending time with his family. He finds time to work out nearly every day, and he plays golf and paddle tennis whenever he can. Blum is active with the Jewish Federation Facility Corporation and participates in the Syracuse University Alumni Association.