Charles Canale’s parents had a real estate firm downstate – and they did EVERYTHING – residential, commercial, industrial, farms, etc. Canale worked there while in high school, assisting his parent with paperwork and appraisals. When he got his brokerage license in 1993, Canale became the firm’s dedicated industrial/commercial division.
“That was a great experience, but the Chicago Metro Area offered more opportunities, so I relocated up here and joined Colliers in 1997,” Canale said, Senior Vice President | Chicago at Colliers International.
After 20 years in the industry, what Canale loves most about the business is that it is challenging. “There are always new problems to solve,” he said. “Added to that is the fact that I alone determine my success or failure; my compensation is based on the value that I add to society.”
Canale added, “The most rewarding part of my job is finding creative solutions to my clients’ problems. Often times, this means finding a solution to a problem before it becomes a problem. Or a solution to a problem that the client didn’t even realize they had.”
Colliers International, especially here in Chicago, is a firm that is built on entrepreneurial spirit and attitude—which, according to Canale, is what sets them apart from other firms.
“We pride ourselves on being fast-moving, responsive, and creative,” he said. “Being one of the world’s largest commercial real estate companies, Colliers has all of the attributes, infrastructure, capabilities, and strength that are expected of a company of its size. However, Colliers is unique in that the company encourages brokers to be as creative as possible, creating an environment of personal ingenuity and independent innovation by individual brokers.”
Recently, Canale has been involved in two (2) major transactions in the marketplace.
“With the help of Brian Kling and Dominic DeRose (both of Colliers’ Industrial Advisory Group), we sold a 400,000 Sq. Ft. building in Bartlett, Illinois to Exeter Property Group. This was a great investment opportunity, as is one of the largest buildings in the sub-market. And we are happy to announce that we have secured a tenant for the building on a long-term lease basis.”
In addition, with the assistance of industry veteran Vern Schultz and Dominic DeRose (both of Colliers’ Industrial Advisory Group), Charles represented Prologis on the lease of 850,000 Sq. Ft. in Prologis Park Minooka. This is one of 2014’s largest industrial lease transactions in the Chicago Metro area.
There’s no coincidence either that Canale’s biggest mentors are from Colliers as well—Vern Schultz, Executive Vice President | Chicago, and David Bercu, Principal | Chicago.
“Vern Schultz has been great to work with for the last 16 years or so,” Canale said. “He’s a true professional at dealing with clients and completing deals of any size or type. And he really cares about the people he works with on a personal level.”
“My other mentor was David Bercu,” he added. “David helped me starting out in the industry, and he taught me what is expected of a top-level real estate professional. David has shown me the need to embrace a macro view of the Chicago marketplace and also how to understand real estate from a client’s perspective.”
20 years later in the industry, the challenges Canale faces today are certainly different from the ones he encountered first entering the business.
“As of late, one challenge that I have faced is competing states like Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio luring large retail distribution center and e-commerce users away from Illinois, reducing the number of local ‘big-box’ distribution center transactions over the past two to three years,” he said. “Since a large part of my business involves the representation of distribution buildings and industrial developers that serve users in that big-box size range, I’ve been on the front lines of the fight to bring new distribution center requirements to Illinois. Our recent election of new governor will be helpful – Governor Rauner understands business and will make sure Illinois is competitive in terms of large Midwest distribution center requirements.”
Canale’s interests outside of work include cars and motorcycles, “Which I spend quite a bit of time driving, riding, repairing, and detailing. In the summer, I like to do road trips across the US on two-lane roads, seeing the ‘real’ America that you can’t see from the interstate. My favorite road is Route 66, and I make the run from Chicago to L.A. on 66 about every 2 or 3 years. There is so much great stuff along the Route.”
He added, “Other than that, I spend my free time at my home in pastoral Wayne, Illinois where I live with my poodle, Parti. Parti likes to play fetch, and he follows me around everywhere (probably hoping I’ll drop some food).”
One thing he’d like to do, that he hasn’t already, is attend the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco.
“Monaco is a fantastic place, and the Grand Prix race weekend brings out a fantastic crowd! Legendary racing drivers, celebrities, DJ’s, models, politicians, royalty, hardcore racing fans, etc. – everyone is there. I’ll be track side on the patio at the Hotel De Paris, drinking champagne, if anyone cares to join me…”
It’s tough for Canale to pick one favorite movie, but he can narrow it down to a trilogy!
“Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ Trilogy is some of the best film making ever,” he said. “These three movies (A Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) are simply timeless masterpieces. From the casting of great actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, to the fantastic scores by Ennio Morricone, these movies are almost perfect in every way.”
As for his musical taste, Canale likes 80’s hair metal, “No one does it better than Steel Panther!”