16 years ago, a friend suggested that Tammy Bauer speak to a great company. That company was Equity Investment Group, and like many others, Bauer said she fell into commercial real estate.
16 years later, Bauer has remained in the industry because she genuinely enjoys her job.
“I like the challenges and that every day is different,” Bauer said, now senior vice president of asset management at Redwood Capital Group, LLC. “I love the fact that I continue to learn. I have also been fortunate to work for great companies and with terrific people!”
Speaking of terrific people, Bauer says her dad has always been her biggest mentor. “I grew up working in our family business (Ben Franklin) and he taught me the business from the bottom to the top, and has always encouraged and pushed me in my career.”
“In addition to my dad,” she continued. “I have to give credit to George Huber at Equity Investment Group for hiring me three times, and being such a big supporter, as well as Laurie Smith at Blue Vista Capital Management.”
Redwood Capital Group, according to Bauer, is a very entrepreneurial firm in which your opinion counts, and is counted on.
“Everyone in the firm is a valued and integral part of the team,” she said. “Currently Redwood Capital Group has four deals under contract; we just closed on a 188-unit property in Raleigh, NC. With the closing of these deals, we will exceed 10,000 units owned.”
One of her most memorable deals is a small retail center in the west suburbs of Chicago, of which she was responsible for the asset management, property management, and leasing the property.
“In 2011, I negotiated purchasing the debt for approximately $0.25 on the dollar at which time the property was 5% occupied,” Bauer said. “In February of 2013, I sold the asset, 100% occupied, and generated a 33% IRR on my firm’s new equity, and a 7.33% IRR on all of its equity which was written down to zero in 2011.”
What’s happening in Chicago right now that makes her hopeful?
“In general, I think it is an interesting time in commercial real estate,” she said. “The amount of capital available for deals combined with continued low interest rates has made for some exciting times! As it relates to Chicago I find it encouraging seeing, and hearing, about new multi-family projects underway. As well as the multiple redevelopment projects slated, combined with the fact that many of these projects are being financed through local banks and relationships.”
The biggest lesson she’s learned working in commercial real estate is that nothing is the same. “While situations may be similar, take nothing for granted!”
Recently, Bauer and her husband welcomed their second son into the family, so her time has been dedicated to him and her family.
“Our 3 ½ year old and newborn, keep us on our toes and very active. As a family we enjoy being outdoors and our favorite down time is spent on a beach. When I am able, I also love to read; Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Lee Child are among my favorite authors.”
One thing she’d like to do, that she hasn’t already?
“I’d love to see the Chicago Cubs win a world series! I am looking forward to sharing that experience with my two boys. Joe Maddon has some work to do and lots of expectations from a “few” fans to fulfill.”
An interesting fact about Bauer? “Most people are surprised to know that I grew up in a small town in Indiana. Berne, IN has a population of approx. 4,000 people. My high school graduating class was 100.”
What’s her favorite movie/ musician?
“I am all over the spectrum with both movies and music,” she said. “A former colleague of mine (and my husband probably) would say I have very strange taste. Truth be told, I enjoy everything from classical music to rock depending on my mood— but no country, please. My favorite holiday movie is, It’s a Wonderful Life – a not so strange pick.”