Brendan Jost’s first year in real estate was a busy one. In addition to working as an analyst in the Phoenix office of Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates, Jost was taking a full course load at Arizona State University, bartending full time, and studying to get his real estate license.
“I was pulling 15-hour days and running on no sleep,” he said. “It was college life to the extreme.”
Since then, Jost has pared things to just one job as acquisitions and dispositions manager at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based real estate firm SimonCRE, where he leads a two-man team that has built out the firm’s retail business.
When he came on board in 2019, the director he was working under was selling roughly four to five retail projects a year, he said. “Right now, I’m up to 23 active escrows, another five [properties] under [letters of intent], and probably another 12 or 13 that I’m tracking for marketing.”
In the next few weeks his team is slated to close on its largest project yet, a 2 million-square-foot power center in the Prasada Urban Village planned community in Surprise, Ariz., that Jost said will feature a number of national retailers. It’s the kind of deal that makes him a national player.
Jost’s team also just went to market with The Steelyard, a $17.4 million, 26,201-square-foot multi-tenant retail property in Chandler, Ariz., anchored by a trio of restaurants.
The pandemic hasn’t slowed business, Jost said. “We actually had our best year to date over the course of COVID. We sold close to $85 million worth of projects and closed on a record number of acquisitions [in 2020].”
“For essential retail assets, especially on the new construction side, with credit, the outlook became even more favorable from investors seeking stability, comfort and safety,” he said.