Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts a new class in its Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. This year, we are also running profiles of these inductees every week. Today, we look at the busy career of John Cruz, member with Kansas City, Missouri-based law firm Lewis Rice.
John Cruz, a member with the Kansas City office of law firm Lewis Rice, concentrates his practice primarily on retail and office leasing, bringing extensive experience in the legal and operational issues related to owning, financing, leasing, managing and operating these properties. With an appreciation for the interests of both sides of a negotiation, Cruz represents landlords and tenants.
Having spent several years as a manager and contract negotiator with an international communications company, Cruz also understands the business interests, processes and motivations involved in negotiating agreements. That’s why he prioritizes relationships when looking to close a transaction.
“There is a strong relationship that grows with every deal. Even if we are not working on a deal, I love to catch up and spend time with the contacts I have made over the years,” said Cruz. “A lease is an ongoing relationship, so working to find the path that benefits both sides and gets the deal done is really rewarding.”
In addition to leasing, Cruz represents lenders, owners, developers, brokers and tenants in a wide variety of commercial real estate matters. Some of the transactions he has been involved with include representing a landlord in negotiating a 270,000-square-foot downtown Kansas City office lease; representing a developer in refinancing multiple office buildings with a series of new loans in excess of $200 million; negotiating the lease and long-term extensions and expansions of more than 3 million square feet of office space and numerous lease negotiations for regional and national retailers and corporate office tenants.
Cruz’s professional affiliations include ICSC, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association – Real Estate Law Section, the Kansas City CCIM and the Kansas City Chapter of BOMA. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons.
“Our boys are very active, and we love coaching, supporting and cheering them on in everything they do,” Cruz said. “I have been fortunate to be able to spend the time with our boys in all of their activities.”