Holly Alexander, a broker with New South Pace Properties and 2012 CREW Charlotte President, finalized and closed a $3 million USD deal with Ascendum Machinery during a pandemic—a fantastic achievement amongst Alexander and five CREW Charlotte members, and two CREW Charlotte sponsors.
Discussions for this deal commenced in March of 2020, just as the pandemic began. Portugal-based company Ascendum Machinery, which has 15 locations in the United States, discovered that renewing in its North Carolina location was not feasible. This led Alexander, who was acting as the tenant representative, to launch an exhaustive search to find just the right space for her client. As if navigating the terrain during a pandemic was not already challenging enough, Alexander also faced the tricky coordination of her client being headquartered in a different time zone, not to mention the need to work through the transactional rules required in the United States versus the European commercial real estate guidelines that her client was accustomed to.
Alexander also had to quickly maneuver around her client’s leadership change, which occurred during the middle of lease negotiations. New client leadership wanted a completely different layout of their new space which, in turn, drove up tenant improvement costs. Alexander collaborated with fellow members Kim Marks and Melissa Brown of CREW Charlotte sponsor Progressive AE, who designed the new space. She then recommended another fellow CREW Charlotte member, Carrie Sharp with Indoff Commercial Interiors, who provided the furnishings for the space. Throughout negotiations, expert legal navigation was managed by member Becky Cheney, an attorney with Hamilton Stephens Steele + Martin, who represented the tenant.
The deal took a year to complete and was finalized in April 2021, with Ascendum Machinery moving into their new space. The company is now located in a property managed by CREW Charlotte sponsor Childress Klein Properties, which also represented the property owner in the transaction.
This year-long deal was CREW collaboration at its finest. From the tenant and property owner brokerage representatives to the expert design by the architects, sourcing of the furnishings, and the legal savvy of the attorneys, this deal ultimately landed a great client the perfect space to lease.
CREW members involved in this story:
New South Properties of the Carolinas, LLC
Indoff Commercial Interiors
Hamilton Stephens Steele + Martin
Cathy Leap is a Senior General Manager with the Urban Renaissance Group in Seattle, providing oversight of the operational teams for over 2M rsf of office assets - Columbia Center and F5 Tower - and interfacing with the assets’ investors. Cathy has over 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate management and brokerage industry. Prior to joining URG, she served as Kennedy Wilson’s Senior Managing Director for the Pacific Northwest, where she was responsible for stabilizing assets and growing the region’s portfolio. In addition to her experience in the Seattle metro, Cathy has managed Class A assets in Chicago’s CBD and in Dallas. Cathy is serving her fifth year on the CREW Seattle board, having served as its President in 2021. This is her third year on the CREW Network Editorial & Communications Committee and she also served on the CREW Network Nominating Committee in 2021. During her career, Cathy achieved TOBY (Office Building of the Year) Awards at both the local and regional levels and has served as a regional and international TOBY judge. She currently serves on the non-profit Board of Directors for the Kirkland Arts Center as its Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. In addition to her non-profit work, Cathy serves as a mentor for college students interested in the commercial real estate industry and has spoken on various panels to students at University of Washington’s Rundstad Department of Real Estate. Cathy is a licensed broker and holds her Real Property Administrator (RPA) professional designation from BOMI International. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors degree in Biology.
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