As part of our series, CRE Future Leaders, we caught up with Nick Siegel, vice president at Bridge Development Partners. Siegel joined Bridge in 2015 and is responsible for assisting in development and acquisition activities throughout Chicagoland and South Florida. He is currently involved in all aspects of the development process, specifically including leasing, acquisition and disposition.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Milwaukee. I went to University of Wisconsin-Madison for college and moved to Chicago right after I graduated.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I’ve always loved working with numbers and knew I wanted to do something that had an element of math in it. My dad, uncles and grandfather all work in commercial real estate in Milwaukee, so I actually thought this was the one career I definitely would not pursue. Once I got into college, I realized I loved the way real estate combines technical analytical skills with social skills and that it was a great fit for me.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I interned for the CBRE National Partners industrial investment sales team my junior year of college and loved the industry right away. I received a full-time job offer at the end of the summer and came back to work for the same team once I graduated.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
One of the things I am most appreciative of is the variety of mentors that I’ve been lucky enough to work with. At CBRE, Mike Caprile and Steve Roth were incredible mentors and continue to be people that I am still very close with today. I truly consider the people I work with at Bridge to be like a second family to me and I am so grateful because everything I have learned at Bridge has come from Steve Poulos, Tony Pricco, Steve Groetsema and Kevin Carroll. This great group of mentors, among others, has played such a key role in my professional and personal development.
What does a day in the life of Nick Siegel look like?
One of the best parts of this industry is that no two days are the same. I work in both the Chicago and South Florida markets and travel to South Florida 2-3 times per month. When I am working in Chicago, I generally try to start my morning off with an early workout and then head into the office where my day is generally a mix between meetings, phone calls, property/market tours and time for emails and analysis. I work on all aspects of the development process so every day I am working with a variety of different parties including brokers, land sellers, lenders and attorneys.
What do you like most about your job?
As I mentioned above, I love working with numbers and really enjoy the analytical parts of the job. The variety is also really important to me and I enjoy working with lots of different types of people on all parts of the development process.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
I’ve been becoming more market-facing in my role at Bridge and I work directly with our market partners in both Chicago and South Florida. In the near term, I am really looking forward to continuing to learn as I help them find and execute opportunities.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I like to spend my free time with my fiance and my friends and family. I live in River North and love hanging out in the city when the weather is nice.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do hope to go next?
When I was in college, I went on a 7-day backpacking trip through Glacier National Park in Montana. The park is nicknamed the Crown of the Continent and it was one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. I would love to plan a backcountry backpacking trip in the Patagonia range in Chile.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Joe Horrigan with CBRE, Packy Doyle with NAI Hiffman or Andy Heymann with Cushman & Wakefield. All three are working on a ton of interesting projects right now.