Movers and shakers in the industry from the September 2018 issue of SoCal Real Estate:
How the real estate program at the University of San Diego’s School of Business helped to complete this transaction.
The Shops at Fletcher Hills Center, a 36,750-square-foot retail center in El Cajon, California, anchored by 99 Cents Only, recently sold for $7.8 million. The transaction could be described as textbook except for one interesting fact: four alumni graduating in different years from the real estate program at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business had a hand in successfully closing the transaction.
Alfred Atallah, principal attorney with San Diego–based Atallah Law Group and broker at Atallah Group, a real estate brokerage company, who obtained both a BBA in 2000 and his JD in 2003 from USD; ; Shaun Moothart, a vice president at Newport Beach, California–based CBRE Capital Markets’ Debt & Structured Finance, with a BBA from USD obtained in 2006; Chris Carter, a 2012 USD grad with a Master of Science in Real Estate, who is director of acquisitions and leasing with San Diego–based SENTRE; and Danielle Priore, a 2017 USD graduate with a BBA, who works with Moothart in the Newport Beach office as a financial analyst on CBRE’s Debt and Structured Finance Team, each played a significant role in the transaction.
Atallah represented the buyer both as a real estate broker in the acquisition itself and separately in a legal-advisory capacity as the buyer’s attorney. “For this particular transaction, both buyer and seller were able to benefit from the utilization of multiple skill sets that can be traced back to USD’s business and law schools,” Atallah tells SoCal Real Estate. “The USD connection was able to provide a foundation for a successful transaction for all parties involved.”
Moothart and Priore worked closely with the buyer and seller throughout the transaction. They were engaged by the buyer to arrange financing for the transaction. “The trust and relationship that was developed early on with all parties involved was a big reason for why we were able to get this financing transaction done as smoothly and efficiently as it was,” Moothart tell us. “I have a feeling this is the first of many deals to come.”
Carter advised the seller in the transaction. He tells us, “Closing commercial real estate transactions takes a lot of work from all parties involved, and to share the common bond (in this case, a USD connection) helped facilitate a smooth process by providing each party the confidence that all were working in good faith toward a win-win outcome.”
Real estate students at USD (either undergraduate or graduate) graduate from the University of San Diego School of Business. All four alumni credit USD’s School of Business real estate program with providing the skill set involved with the transaction and assisting them in arriving at where they are now in their respective careers.
“USD sets itself apart with the real estate school, from offering opportunities such as the NAIOP University Challenge or the mentorship program, which allowed me to shadow many top-tier real estate organizations and professionals,” Priore says. “It is how I found out I wanted to be part of CBRE’s Debt and Structured Finance Group.”
The program also played an instrumental role in bringing Priore to Moothart’s team at CBRE. Moothart explains, “While serving on the USD Alumni Board, I met Danielle at an event exclusively for top 100 graduating students to meet with board members who may be able to help with providing career opportunities or at the very least offer up some advice as they begin their career post-graduation. These types of joint alumni and student networking functions, which USD encourages, provide a mutually beneficial opportunity for students to meet with employers and for those employers to identify and recruit top talent.”
Atallah also credits the curriculum at USD’s School of Business real estate program. “I vividly recall the quality and experience of my professors, who were able to instill not only the skills and tools necessary to work in the field, but also the practical and subjective aspects that enable one to succeed whether as a principal or advisor.”
Priore says the visibility between everyone who works at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC), the supporting arm for all real estate students at USD’s School of Business, is a boon for young real estate students and graduates. While the BMC was not in existence when Atallah graduated from USD in 2000, he says as an alum he’s definitely been aware of what the organization is doing.
Atallah also praises the school’s certificate program. “I think the certificate program offers an opportunity for individuals to strengthen their knowledge in various areas of the real estate industry.”