Gold Circle Award Winner Profile: Julia Rabban

Julia Rabban picJulia Rabban, Property Manager with Transwestern, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Emerging Leader of the Year Award.

What was your first paying job? I had my first job when I was 14 years old during the summer before my first year of high school. I was a swim lesson instructor at a summer camp in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. I eventually became a counselor, lifeguard and swim coach at the camp and worked there every summer until I graduated from college. During those summers, I gained priceless experiences beyond the obvious (child care and how to survive the sun), but how to be a team player, a reliable partner and a trustworthy employee. I gained leadership talents, learned the importance of teamwork and became confident in my communication skills. Looking back at the many responsibilities and experiences I had, I couldn’t recommend a better summer job for a young adult.

How were you introduced to the industry and what attracted you to it? The city of Phoenix boomed during my childhood. I remember seeing new neighborhoods and shopping districts appear practically overnight. My father has worked in the industry for many years and has shared his career with our family every step of the way. I can remember visiting construction sites and watching tenants move in to new buildings at a young age. I’ve always been interested in real estate and have seen firsthand how multifaceted and dynamic it is. A role in real estate isn’t just a job title or desk assignment, the industry is too complex and can’t limit your potential. Commercial real estate is constantly evolving, so there will always be a future in it; there will always be a next step in your career or something new to learn.

What was the most unique challenge posed by a tenant that required an innovative response/solution? A tenant at 200 West Madison operates nearly 24 hours a day almost every day. In consideration of their valued tenancy and operating expenses, our team became committed to improving the process and reducing their overtime HVAC costs. After evaluating the many factors included, we calculated the actual cost per hour to provide accurate vs. estimated billings. We then considered the physical process of ordering and monitoring overtime HVAC. By looking for a more streamlined and convenient solution, we discovered the Genea ACS Cloud portal. Genea Partners, a BOMA/Chicago member, provides cloud-based software that works alongside the building automation system. Its innovative platform enables Tenants to order HVAC on a real-time basis, either online or through a smartphone application. The data monitoring allows us to fluctuate billing rates so to accurately charge for services provided within any time frame. This technology not only offers flexibility, immediate results and time and cost savings, it has also elevated the property’s infrastructure to operate as a modern-day office building by putting tenants behind the wheel.

You’re a member of BOMA/Chicago’s Emerging Leaders Committee. How can young professionals and those new to this industry benefit from this committee and its network? When I first started, I was new to both Chicago and the real estate industry. I looked to the Emerging Leaders for not only a social connection, but for a reliable group of peers that can offer advice and guidance as I formed my own network. Realistically, the Emerging Leaders Committee members are still fledglings in their careers as well. To me, this seemed admirable as the camaraderie and motivation among the group is so easily seen. Today, as a member of the Committee, this characteristic helps me further believe that real estate is the most welcoming and achievable industry to pursue a career in.

What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of work? If I’m not at a concert, I’m saving pennies to travel! I’m constantly visiting friends all over the country. I love seeing new places. Hoping to do Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam next spring.

What advice would you share with someone considering a career in the commercial real estate industry? If you like hard work and great success, commercial real estate is for you. CRE is completely versatile, opportunities lie in many areas for many kinds of people. Don’t be afraid to dive in! Jump in the deep end. Ask questions and be involved! This industry is welcoming, thrilling and most importantly, timeless. It’s constantly changing and will keep you on your toes. Being a member of CRE in Chicago is extremely rewarding, you won’t want to leave the party.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Premier Security Hosts Second Annual 5K for Missing Children October 14

By James Taff, CEO of Premier Security

P5KFMC17_PrimaryLogo_LRGLast year, Premier Security hosted the first ever 5K for Missing Children benefiting The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).  Last year’s event raised nearly $25,000 in donations, registrations and sponsorships. Over 400 of our clients, employees, friends and family members came out to run/walk the 5K distance and help raise awareness for this very important cause.

Given the incredible feedback and support we received last year, we decided to host the 5K for Missing Children for another year! Our goal this year is to double our attendance and funds raised. The best way we can meet this goal is to have each of you join us!

This year’s event is set to take place on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. Rain or shine, we will be stepping off from DuSable Harbor in downtown Chicago and we’re bringing back all of the great kid’s activities that were such a big hit last year: face painting, balloon entertainer, bounce house and a Kid’s Dash.

I truly hope you will consider joining us in support of NCMEC this year. You can support our mission in many ways:

  1. Get Registered – Register yourself, your friends & family and walk (or run) with us on October 14!
  2. Become an Official Sponsor – Sign-on to be one of our official event sponsors!
  3. Spread the Word – Reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, vendors and partners to see if they would like to join you!
  4. Fundraise – Setup a Fundraising Team with your co-workers or team members!
  5. Donate – Provide a donation in-kind (feel free to include your logo)!

Anything you can commit is very much appreciated. Our Sponsorship Opportunity Packet is available for consideration. We also have some great communication tools for your tenants and colleagues such as posters, post card collateral, electronic ads for elevators and websites, as well as customized invitation letters. Is there any opportunity to post our 5K information at your location?  If you’d be interested in any of these items, please let me know and I will have them delivered.

To learn more about this great event and to register, please go to Once you go to our site, you’ll be greeted by a video from John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, who is a big supporter of our event!

Premier Security is a BOMA/Chicago Premier Sponsor.


Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, Chicago CRE industry and philanthropy, Chicago Events, Chicago News, Chicago Philanthropy, Security | Leave a comment

Updated Chicago Disability Rights Regulations Affect New and Existing Buildings

shutterstock_679601377 ramp stairs disability ADA small croppedBy Leah Riley, Senior Code Consultant, Burnham Nationwide and member BOMA/Chicago Codes Committee

Chicago adopted new disability rights regulations governing accessibility that went into effect on July 1, 2017. Promulgated pursuant to the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance to provide greater clarity and alignment with federal requirements, these new regulations govern the accessibility of facilities, goods, and services of public accommodations. Given my work conducting accessibility compliance plan reviews and site inspections, this post will focus on the components of the new regulations governing accessible design.

Chicago Human Rights Ordinance

The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (Ordinance) prohibits discrimination by public accommodations. It defines public accommodation as a place that “sells, leases, provides, or offers any product, facility or service to the general public.”

Included in the Ordinance’s prohibitions is discrimination against those with disabilities, and the Ordinance defines disability as “a determinable physical or mental characteristic which may result from disease, injury, congenital condition of birth or functional disorder.”

Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, the Ordinance also includes as a disability the history of a disability characteristic and the perception of a disability by the person accused of discrimination. The ADA provides details and rules of construction not found in the Ordinance’s definition of disability.

A violator of the Ordinance can be fined from $100 to $500 per offense and each date that the violation continues is considered a separate offense.

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance. Therefore, the CCHR develops the specific regulations necessary to carry out the Ordinance’s mandates.

Prior Disability Rights Regulation of Public Accommodations

Before enacting the new disability rights regulations, Chicago relied on rules that applied to discrimination against members of any protected classes, including people with disabilities. Part 500 of the regulations implementing the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance, Discrimination of Place of Public Accommodation, required public accommodations to “fully accommodate” someone with a disability unless it caused “undue hardship.” If they did create such hardship, then the public accommodation must “reasonably accommodate” the person with a disability unless that also caused undue hardship. The regulations also contained a standard for determining undue hardship.

These earlier Chicago disability rights regulations did not provide the detailed standards necessary for determining how public accommodations were to achieve compliance. Furthermore, the regulations did not always align with the ADA’s requirements.

Title III of the ADA specifically prohibits discrimination by private entities operating as places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. The federal statute has implementing regulations, the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, containing specific scoping and technical requirements. Public accommodations and commercial facilities in Chicago must comply with the ADA and its regulations as well as the Chicago and Illinois requirements. Thus, inconsistencies between the federal and Chicago requirements can pose problems.

New Disability Rights Regulations

In January of 2017, the CCHR Board of Commissioners approved new disability rights regulations pursuant to the Ordinance, new Part 600, Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities. The new regulations, effective July 1, 2017, provide more detailed requirements and better align with ADA Title III. However, they also contain requirements in addition to those governing accessible design.

For accessible design purposes and similar to the ADA Title III, the new regulations now apply to both public accommodations and commercial facilities. They introduce a definition of commercial facilities which excludes amongst other things facilities under the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

The new rules also clarify that it is the responsibility of both landlords and tenants to make public accommodations accessible unless a contract specifically allocates responsibility.

Existing Facilities

As does the ADA, the new regulations require that existing facilities, those in existence on the regulations’ effective date of July 1, 2017, remove architectural barriers when it is “readily achievable” and provide examples of different types of barrier removal.

The new requirements adopt the ADA’s definition of readily achievable as “easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much expense” and lists factors to be considered in determining whether barrier removal is readily achievable.The regulations also require that barrier removal is accomplished according to the regulation’s stated list of priorities

When barrier removal is demonstrated to not be readily achievable, alternative methods must be provided unless they are not readily achievable. The regulations also contain examples of such alternatives.

A specific provision requires an existing assembly area include wheelchair seating in compliance with the regulation’s new construction requirements and the Chicago Building Code (CBC) when readily achievable. Additionally, wheelchair spaces and companion seating must also be available in spectator sections with specialty services.

New Construction

A facility built for first occupancy after June 30, 2017, meaning the last building permit application was received by the City after that date, must be “readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.” Compliance with this requirement will be achieved by designing and constructing buildings according to the CBC’s design and construction accessibility requirements, Chicago Code Chapter 18-11.

Exceptions to these requirements are: (1) the completely residential portion of a commercial facility in a private residence; (2) cases of demonstrated structural impracticability; and (3) the provision of elevators in certain specified circumstances.


Alterations to public accommodations or commercial facilities after June 30, 2017, must also provide accessibility “to the maximum extent feasible,” meaning the alteration will provide what is feasible in the rare circumstances when it is impossible to meet the standards. An alteration is a change that “affects or could affect the usability” of the facility such as remodels, renovations, and historic restorations.

Similar to new construction, an alteration designed and constructed in compliance with Chicago Code Chapter 18-11 is considered to be accessible for the purposes of the new regulations.

The regulations also contain provisions governing the alteration of paths of travel, “a continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage” and includes such items serving these areas such as “restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains.” When an alteration affects a path of travel that serves the primary function (the “major activity”) of the facility, the alteration must be accessible unless the cost to make it accessible is disproportionate to the entire alteration cost.

The accessible path of travel cost is considered disproportionate if it exceeds 20% of the primary function area alteration cost, and in such instances, the path of travel is required to only be accessible to the degree it doesn’t result in disproportionate costs. Also, the accessibility requirements for alterations of paths of travel may not be circumvented by making a series of smaller alterations. The provision of elevators in some circumstances may be exempt from the accessible path of travel requirements.

If a tenant makes alterations that affect a path of travel serving a primary function area but are limited to the tenant’s area, it does not create an obligation for the landlord to make changes to any of their unaltered areas.

Alterations of facilities designated as historic under federal, state, or local laws are required to comply with Chicago Code Chapter 18-11 to the maximum extent feasible. However, if making the facility accessible could threaten its historic significance, alternative forms of accessibility may be used.

The regulations also incorporate the CBC specific accessibility requirements for the new construction or alteration of places of transient lodging, social service centers, places of education, assembly areas, and medical facilities.

Complying With the Chicago Disability Rights Regulations and the ADA

Although the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance’s new disability rights requirements do a better job of aligning with the federal requirements, there is still plenty of potential for conflict. The new Chicago regulations require compliance with Chicago Code Chapter 18-11 which has differences from the ADA Title III’s regulations, the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design and the Illinois Accessibility Code (IAC), 1997 edition. We look forward to future revisions to the Chicago Building Code and IAC that will make it easier to simultaneously comply with both the federal and local accessibility requirements.

To learn more about ADA, accessibility, and other code compliance, please read Burnham Nationwide’s blog, The Final Review, where this post originally appeared.

It should be noted that the version of the new regulations available to us at the time of publication and linked to in the post contains the correct effective date in the header but incorrect dates in the text of the regulations.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gold Circle Award Profile: Alex Hales


Alex Hales, Security Director with Hines at the Citadel Center, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Security Professional of the Year Award.

How did you get involved in the security industry?

After my service in the U.S. Marines, I remained in Yuma, Arizona, writing technical reports for military testing contractors. An opportunity came to work armed access control at the Army base, and I’ve been involved in the security industry ever since.

What is one of the biggest security risks for which commercial office buildings should be prepared?

Active shooter. Our newer high rises are very well equipped with sprinkler heads and flame resistant materials, and fire/smoke events have become more rare. The active shooter situation has become an increasingly likely situation in recent years.

What are some of the unique security challenges facing security directors/property management teams today in commercial office buildings and which tools are most effective in addressing them?

Keeping young, talented, and quality personnel in the industry. At one time, security was considered a viable vocation by those who had other options they could pursue. In recent years, the amount of people who choose this industry for the long haul has become increasingly rare, and keeping them in place has become more difficult as competitive wages continue to rise in other service industries. In order to address this, companies must focus on mentoring young talent to keep them engaged, as well as creating an environment where promotion from within is encouraged. This will contribute in motivating officers to continue to strive for more than just the status quo. Promotion from within, continuous training, and exposure to the many security opportunities that are available are challenges that can be used to keep and motivate talented officers.

You have established direct relationships with the Chicago Police Department commander, CPD SWAT teams and other first responder departments. What advice can you share with our members about forging and maintaining similar relationships?

Meet with them! They are all very approachable, and willing to establish relationships with the private sector. These relationships are critical for both parties as they serve to establish a uniform approach in the event of crisis.

You have developed a partnership with SWAT to educate your tenants about workplace violence and the importance of developing related plans and protocol. How did you roll out this program and how did you engage your tenants?

We started active shooter drills about 5 years ago, and found out a couple of years later that SWAT was willing to perform presentations at buildings. Once a presentation was done by Captain Marianovich a few years back, it helped our tenants to see the impact an active shooter situation could have in their space. We also set up meetings and walked the tenant spaces to help those who were new to the program to identify potential shelter in place locations for the active shooter scenario. Once the active shooter drill was completed, we would send evaluations of each individual tenant’s effort and provide recommendations to fix any potential issues that arose, or congratulate them on a job well done. All of this is a continuous effort to provide our tenants with direction in responding in an active shooter environment, and assist the fire safety teams in confidently responding in their protocol.

How do you see emerging technology changing security in commercial office buildings?

I think a lot of that will depend on the tenants in the office building. There are scenarios where personnel can be substituted with technology, due to ever improving camera technology in the past five years. However, there will be buildings that need someone to be on site to take care of the tenants, contractors, and guests of a building.

As an active member of BOMA/Chicago’s Security Committee, what are some of the benefits you’ve gained from this committee and from fellow members?

Networking and partnering with BOMA/Chicago. Having access to the Chicago Public Private Task Force has been a great experience, and the knowledge and resources provided through the security committee has been invaluable. This relationship always provides insight into what the emergency responders are looking for and what they will need in the event of an emergency.

Can you share more details about how you use video as a training tool with your team to educate and develop your security team?

Video is a very important tool in training officers. One of the resources we are a big fan of is taking a situation an officer was involved in, good or bad, and reviewing it with that officer on video. This gives officers a different perspective on how a situation was handled and can provide a different perspective on how it could have been done better, if the situation called for it. Providing this type of direction while it is still fresh on an officer’s mind can be a great tool for improving performance.

You have greatly expanded your security team at your building while at the same developing a cohesive, committed staff. What’s your secret to successful team building?

I believe the servant leadership model of management is important to the success of a security staff. Leaders of a staff have to take the position of, “what tools do you need in order to get your job done properly”. This requires a certain level of transparency, and a great deal of delegation; you can’t do it all yourself, and at some point you have to trust your staff to get the job done on their own. Allow them room to fail, as long as it’s not catastrophic. You have to empower those you hire to get the job done, and hold them accountable when adjustments need to be made to their performance. This creates a more transparent, partnering atmosphere on a staff, which ultimately leads to officer growth. A leader’s job is to get everyone to shoulder their portion of the mission to get the job done, and at the end of the task, they remain motivated and ready for the next challenge. Productive relationships and mentoring are borne in this type of atmosphere.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Good question! I’ve been fortunate to travel many places, and honestly, anywhere warm, picturesque and with nice people is a great place to go!

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I’m a father of three:  a 31 year old, a 22 year old, and an 11 year old. I honestly love spending time with my kids. I enjoy hearing them talk about their trek through life and their experiences. My greatest joy is being there for them!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gold Circle Award Profile: Jeff Bryski

Jeff Bryski new pic


Jeff Bryski, Chief Engineer with Sterling Bay at 111 North Canal, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Building Engineer of the Year Award.

You started your career as a Boiler Technician with the United States Navy. How did your six years of service in the U.S. Navy help you succeed throughout your career?

Besides leadership skills, two of the main things I learned in the U.S. Navy were to follow direction and pay attention to detail. Be aware of what’s going on around you and not have tunnel vision.  Another thing is to face problems head on.  One thing you learn very quickly aboard a ship is that there is no place to run or no one to call, so taking care of problems before they become a disaster is a must.  I pass this training along to my staff to help detect minor problems before they get out of hand and to ensure smooth operation of the building.

You led your engineering team through a massive two-year redevelopment project involving $80 million in capital improvements and over 500,000 square feet of demolition and new construction. What’s your secret to effectively managing contractors and project details while simultaneously keeping your tenants happy?

Communication! There were many meetings with the contractors and the tenants.  We not only had to keep the tenants comfortable, we also had to keep them safe – especially during the lobby renovation. Listening to and addressing the tenant concerns were priorities.

Contractors will be contractors.  Keeping the noise down was probably the biggest task.  We tried to schedule the noisiest work before or after hours but you always have one that tries to sneak it in.  All in all things went relatively smooth and we are all (tenants included) very happy with the end result.

Your building recently obtained LEED Platinum certification. What are some best practices you can share with other property management teams about how to achieve this highly esteemed certification?

Run the building as efficiently as possible:

  • Check and maintain start and stop times for the air handling units, chillers and lighting per lease language.
  • Maintain equipment by scheduling  preventative maintenance to ensure the equipment is running at optimal efficiency.
  • Retrofit lighting especially emergency lighting to T8 and LED.
  • Install variable frequency drives where possible; we installed them on all of our air handling units and cooling towers.
  • Always look for low-cost, no-cost ways to improve efficiency.

Tell us about how you’ve worked with tenants to effectively address and/or reduce some of the most common complaints.

Hot and cold calls are the most common complaints. When we get a new tenant I like to go meet them to explain how the HVAC system works.  We go over how to control the temperature in the space via thermostats for the variable air volume controllers and baseboard heat. If the adjustments the tenants make don’t satisfy them then a work order is placed and it is promptly addressed within 15 minutes. We make a point to check back to make sure they are satisfied with the adjustments we made.

Your building was honored with the BOMA local and regional TOBY award last year and again won both TOBYs this year. What advice would you give to other engineers about how to prepare for and winning a TOBY?

Take pride in your building. The condition and operation of the building is a direct reflection of yourself and your team. Go above and beyond of what’s expected of you and remember a first impression is a lasting impression.

What’s your pet peeve?

Things not being put back where they belong.

What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?

Renting an RV and traveling around this great country of ours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gold Circle Award Profile: Freddy Flores

Freddy Flores picFreddy Flores, Business Development Manager at Thyssenkrupp Elevator, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Affiliate Member of the Year Award.

What service does your company provide and what benefits do they offer to the commercial real estate industry?

Thyssenkrupp provides elevator maintenance, repair, modernization and installation services. We keep elevators running efficiently, reliably and safely, as we know it is of the utmost importance to you and your tenants. We offer the ability to design around the aesthetics of your unique building, provide tenant security and even help you conserve energy.

You’ve been in the elevator industry over 24 years. What are some trends you’ve seen come and go in this industry and what changes have had the greatest impact?

Technology has taken over our industry – Nowadays you tell the elevator where you are going and it takes you there without you having to press any buttons inside the elevators. The buildings are getting taller so elevators need to go higher and faster. Also, as densification trends continue and the number of people working in buildings increases, elevators will have to respond faster.

How are BOMA/Chicago events important to you and your company and what are your favorite events?

Events are extremely important to me because they allow me the opportunity to stay connected with existing and, of course, prospective clients. I have a few favorite events. From a fun perspective I enjoy the golf event. I believe the best networking event is the Annual Meeting because of the high level of executive property management personnel that attend the event. All the Emerging Leader events allow me to meet the up and coming leaders in the industry. Also, the Diversity Celebration provides the opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment to diversity.

What special interests and/or hobbies do you have?

I like to work out in order to de-stress from the daily work life. I also enjoy playing golf.

What would surprise our members most about you?

I am been in this industry for such a long time, considering the fact that I am fairly young. I am also very spiritual and always looking to help and connect people.

You have noted the importance of mentors in your life, and have served as a mentor to others. How important have these mentorship relationships been to you over the years and how have they helped you progress in your career?

I absolutely believe in mentoring opportunities. I have served in both roles as a mentor and mentee. Anyone who wants to grow professionally and develop and refine their skills would benefit greatly. To ensure an effective relationship, you need to determine what you want from your mentee or mentor and be transparent with your mentor or mentee about those expectations.

You left a Fortune  500 company to take on the challenge of starting a new business venture. As a small business owner, what were some of the challenges you faced and what were some of your most valuable experiences/takeaways?

Business ownership comes with pressures and challenges. As an entrepreneur you wear many hats, but as the business grows, it’s very important to identify which one of those hats need to be turned over to others so you can scale the business.

The biggest challenge was to attract and grow the customer base. Everyone knew me and trusted me but as you may not know, the elevator business is about the technicians and the field staff that backs you up to address and resolve issues.

Staying focused, long workdays and managing your time and finances are key.

In addition to your involvement in BOMA/Chicago, you also serve as the Chair on the Advisory Board for the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois and you are a Board member of San Miguel School Chicago. What advice would you give to others who want to get involved and help others in our community but are unsure where to start?

Always be passionate and share your time and talents to better a life in the community.  Always look for a need and be creative in finding a solution. If you are in sales and want to learn about marketing or finance, you can join a board and take on those tasks or be part of that committee. This allows you to learn more about these areas in a practical environment

The rewards of giving your gifts, time and sometimes, your finances, are countless and very gratifying.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gold Circle Award Winner Profile: Krystal Kurinsky

Krystal Kurinsky pic

Krystal Kurinsky,  MB Real Estate Services, Inc.

Krystal Kurinsky, Senior Vice President/General Manager with MB Real Estate Services, Inc. at 181 West Madison, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Property Management Professional of the Year.

How did you get started in the commercial real estate industry?

By accident (luck).  I moved to Chicago after college and answered an ad placed by a headhunter.  They sent me on an interview with LaSalle Partners (now JLL) for a Tenant Service Coordinator position at O’Hare Plaza.  My headhunter had to beg them to see me since they were done with their interviews and were ready to make a decision.  My interview was with Ronald Reagan and George Bush.  Seriously, the leasing brokers at the building (Paul Petricca and Don Polishuk) put on President masks and came into the interview that way.  Being from Sterling (next to Dixon which is Ronald Reagan’s home town) I acted like Ronald was an old friend of mine.  I got the job in one interview.

You recently opened a 14K square foot Wellness Center for your tenants. Were there any lessons learned you can share about the buildout itself? What were some marketing strategies you used to engage your tenants?

For the buildout – get everyone involved from the start.  Hold weekly meeting with the trades, the fitness center operator, audio/visual, IT etc.  Talk through what each group is going to need and then who is providing it from the beginning.  It is like building a house, it will take longer and cost more than you planned.

As for marketing, these steps were effective in achieving Tenant engagement:

  • Host an open house followed up by more open houses
  • Schedule one-on-one meetings with each Tenant and the Fitness Center operator.
  • Allow Tenants to try it for free
  • Set up an informational booth in the lobby during lunch hour passing out promotional flyers and free trial offers
  • Have tenant seminars (unrelated to fitness) in the Fitness Center
  • Offer non-member classes occasionally to give non-members a taste
  • Meet continuously with your Fitness Operator to make sure you are servicing the Tenants’ needs.

Your building is enrolled in ComEd’s Smart Ideas Retro-Commissioning Program. What are some of the benefits your building has experienced with this program?

Our mechanical/engineering/plumbing engineer, Environmental Systems Design, identified, measured, and verified 417,125 kilowatts of annual electricity savings through implementation of four low-cost retro-commissioning measures that included:

  • Supply static pressure reset
  • Lower night setback temperature
  • Enthalpy economizer control
  • Condenser Water supply reset

The combined implementation cost of all four measures was $22,659, which included our BAS contractor and in-house labor costs. Since ESD’s retro-commissioning study fee was paid for by ComEd, the simple payback of this project was just under one year and we benefit from the energy reduction to a tune of $37,866 annually.

What piece of advice would you share with our emerging leaders who want to manage their own building?

Learn everything you can:

  • Sit in on every meeting
  • Learn every procedure
  • Listen in on lease negotiations
  • Volunteer for committees
  • Try something new (get out of your comfort zone)
  • Do a portfolio service contract bid
  • Walk your building every day
  • Understand accounting
  • Listen and then ask a lot of questions

What is some of the best advice you have received?

Prepare, Listen, Ask Questions.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment