Bill Moston was fortunate after graduate school: He had the opportunity to interview with the Homart Development Company. This gave Moston the chance to get his start in the commercial real estate industry with a company that was growing. Moston, after researching the company, took a position as a financial analyst with Homart, and after working with members of the development team to help them underwrite their projects, he knew that development was the path he wanted to take.
“Real estate development is a fascinating business. There are so many challenges and interesting facets to every project,” said Moston, who is now senior vice president of the National Retail Department at JLL. “Every day brings new surprises and unexpected challenges. The retail real estate sector is particularly interesting because you get to work with so many different tenants and retail concepts, and you are constantly being challenged to create innovative customer experiences at shopping centers. Additionally, the great people I have been fortunate to work with over the years have been great. This industry has some very talented and creative people.”
What sets JLL apart from the rest?
“First, the people at JLL are outstanding,” Moston said. “It is a great team and a great work environment. Secondly, I would say the global depth of the firm is unique. Whatever real estate needs a project may have, I can count on finding someone in the firm who has expertise in that area.”
Moston cited a $500 million mixed-use project in Williston, North Dakota — Williston Crossing – that JLL Is now developing.
“it’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” Moston added.
The numbers bear this out: Once complete, the project will encompass 1 million square feet of retail, a hotel, office space and residential space.
Moston has been involved in several big projects. But one of his most memorable deals was the expansion of the Woodlands Mall in Houston.
Moston said that this was a challenging project, one that added an open-air lifestyle component to the Texas shopping center. It also added office space above the retail portion of the project and connected the shopping center to the growing Woodlands Towne Center through pedestrian access—a public water taxi system as well as a trolley system.
“What made this project most memorable for me was the team I worked with,” Moston said. “All of us internally as well as our contractors and consultants had worked together on a number of projects and it was great to attack a complex project with such a professional and high-performing team.”
Working in real estate is almost a family tradition for Moston, as his father was a successful real estate executive.
“He was my role model growing up, and I was always fascinated to hear about the projects he was working on. I frequently run into people who worked with him, and it is great to hear how well thought of he was.”
Even when Moston was a child he aspired to work in real estate one day.
“I was always interested in architecture and construction. I still find it fascinating to watch the choreography that goes on in constructing a major project. It is an amazing process,” he said.
His greatest accomplishment outside of CRE? Moston said it is raising his three children with his wife Peggy.
“I love to spend time with my family, playing golf and boating in the summer and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.”
What’s the cutest thing one of his children has done lately? “My oldest daughter is studying abroad in Spain this semester,” Moston said. “She was quite nervous to go and she shed many tears when she left. I thought it was great to see that within a week she had completely acclimated and created a great blog about her adventures. It has been great to see her embrace the experience and how creative she has been in documenting her time there.”