In a recent interview with Illinois Real Estate Journal, Danny Nikitas, principal, managing director of Avison Young, shared current updates about the commercial real estate market, and his enthusiasm for enjoying life.
Nikitas began his career in commercial real estate 25 years ago in 1989. Prior to getting into the industry he did a couple of other things. One of them, playing ball in Greece, people only dream of.
“I also worked in the family bus business and sold candy for EJ Brach & Sons,” he said. “I got into real estate when I was 30 years old. That makes a quarter of a century in the business!”
After 25 years in the business, passion, as well as skill, played a part in sustaining a successful career for so long.
“What I have always done in the business is interface with people and I love that part of the industry,” Nikitas said. “Commercial real estate has also grown as an industry from a relatively gun slinging environment when I started, to a very sophisticated approach, and it has been exciting to have grown with it.”
What Nikitas likes most about commercial real estate is the energy.
“Chicago is a fantastic city, with fantastic people, and fantastic businesses and ideas. There is always something new to learn and try.”
What sets Avison Young apart from other commercial real estate services companies, Nikitas says, is that there culture promotes interaction between disciplines and professionals.
“I have worked for several national, now global, companies and never have I spent this much time communicating with other offices,” he said. “It is also a partnership in that we are all invested in each other’s success, and focus on making all of our clients successful. If our clients are happy, so are we. There is a lot of smiling around Avison Young!”
According to Nikitas, Avison Young has had all-around team success recently, as there capital markets groups – office and industrial – have helped both buy and sell assets for clients.
“We have completed some significant lease transactions in both the office and industrial market on behalf of tenants. Our product leasing group has won new business and also heartily leased our existing portfolio. We have sent business to our other offices and received inbound business as well. Everyone is getting in on the action and success!”
Avison Young’s recent success goes hand in hand with the first half of the year for commercial real estate, which Nikitas said, has been very energetic.
“There has been movement and activity on almost every level – trades, leasing, moves, development, even personnel. The business feels very vital right now. As for the rest of the year, I’m feeling it will continue to be a robust 2014!”
Outside of work, nothing is more important to Nikitas than his family. He and his wife have known each other since he was in high school and she was in eighth grade. They have been friends for almost 40 years, which he says just keeps getting better.
“Spending time walking, riding bicycles or just hanging out with her is worth it,” he said. “We have three boys who play various sports – two now in college and one in high school – so we spend most of our time cheering them on. I also love to play guitar. Life is definitely not boring!”
Earlier this month, Nikitas spent the Fourth of July holiday with his family, calling it a pretty mellow day. Although how mellow could it really have been, when a father and his 15-year old son goes on a mini golf tour, playing a couple of world class golf courses around the Midwest? That’s certainly a quality-time trip that a loveable father, and growing young man, will never forget.