Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts a new class in its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Last year — despite the challenges it brought — was no exception. Here’s a look at one of our newest Hall of Fame members, Stephen Bessenbacher, senior vice president and director of healthcare acquisitions and development of Kansas City, Missouri-based Block Real Estate Services, LLC.
Since joining Block Real Estate Services in 2011, Stephen Bessenbacher and his partners have led the acquisition and development of more than $500 million in net-leased medical office space. Their healthcare portfolio exceeds more than 1.5 million square feet of space and includes properties in more than 20 states.
The first 11 years of Bessenbacher’s professional career were in healthcare administration, predominantly at Health Midwest, a large non-profit system in Kansas City. After leading multiple large strategic planning projects for Health Midwest, as well as establishing the Kansas City market for Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Bessenbacher altered his career path to take that healthcare operations experience and apply it to the real estate industry.
In 2008, Bessenbacher joined a Des Moines-based real estate development firm to establish its Kansas City presence to focus on healthcare projects. After multiple projects were completed, Ken Block gave him the opportunity to join Block Real Estate Services to grow its healthcare platform.
The most rewarding feature of his career has been figuring out how to best put each deal together. Bessenbacher finds that this process is so much more than just finding an acquisition target, completing due diligence and closing the deal.
“Finding and negotiating an acquisition target, securing the right debt structure and working with our investors on the given opportunity is a rewarding puzzle I enjoy putting together on each project,” said Bessenbacher.
“On a personal front, the most enjoyable aspect of this business to me are the true friendships I have developed. From my partners at Block Real Estate Services, to my counsel at Seigfreid Bingham, to multiple brokers and lenders across the country, putting projects together with people you truly enjoy working with makes this business a lot of fun for me.”
Bessenbacher attributes his success to having very smart, similarly motivated partners that share a same common goal.
“I know the strengths that I bring to our team, and I know the areas where I am not as strong,” Bessenbacher said. “Being comfortable enough to not try and control everything and have trust in your partners is key to being successful in any endeavor.”
In his spare time, Bessenbacher likes to be active with his wife and three teenage daughters.
“A perfect weekend for me is running from multiple soccer fields to volleyball tournaments to see my girls compete, then everyone crashing on the couch to watch a Kansas City Chiefs game,” Bessenbacher said. “If I can mix in a round of golf along the way, weather permitting, then all the better. But at the end of the day, being with my family is what matters most to me.”