Avison Young’s 200-plus industrial professionals provide strategic commercial real estate and business solutions that drive complex supply chain and business operational decisions on a global
scale. The following principals at the firm have demonstrated outstanding leadership and client-centric results in the specialty areas of food services, industrial capital markets and enterprise
solutions: Erik Foster, Chris Skibinski, Todd Heine, and Chip Watson.
Foster has 20 years of industrial capital markets experience and was recruited by Avison
Young’s Chicago office in 2012 to create a new capital markets platform and roll it out nationally.
Among Foster’s key differentiators is his ability to expand the company’s global industrial investment business while also mentoring and guiding the group’s internal team. Avison Young operates from a philosophy of partnership and performance. This creates a collaborative culture that
encourages partnership not only with clients, but also with internal resources.
Foster approached the business as a team effort and has successfully managed internal and
external priorities, all while meeting company goals for growth and market dominance. In the
course of his role in building a national investment sales platform, Foster has interacted with a
wide spectrum of business and community leaders on issues related to financing, site selection,
development, and employment.
Heine’s business is focused on advising national, regional and Chicago area food manufacturing and distribution companies on critical decisions related to their facility needs throughout
North America. His practice is unique in its focus on evaluating overall business operational
needs as they relate to real estate. He takes an influential role in assisting clients with facility
acquisition, dispositions, valuation, and economic incentive opportunities.
Through his years in the food services sector, he has become an expertise on the specialized
needs of these types of businesses and the unique challenges they face. Issues related to cold storage requirements, cross contamination prevention, and facilities expansion require a unique
approach and a business advisory who understands the industry. In the last 14 years, Heine has
completed more than 300 transactions with a value in excess of $1 billion.
Watson is a top industrial influencer because of his role in helping global industrial clients
execute critical corporate real estate programs, resulting in millions of dollars in investment in
facilities and equipment, and the creation of thousands of jobs since opening the Atlanta office in
2010. He oversees a team providing site selection, facilities optimization, lease administration,
government incentives, and construction-related needs on a global scale.
As a founding principal of Avison Young’s Atlanta office, he has been instrumental in the
growth from four employees to 90 who are spread throughout the industrial, office, multifamily
and consulting areas. He has helped grow the Atlanta market business from inception to $470
million in transaction value in 2017. Watson adds balance to his successful commercial real estate
career by working diligently to serve the local community. His efforts with organizations that support child care, education, job creation, senior meal programs and youth sports all combine to
supplement his nomination as an influencer.
Skibinski has nearly 30 years of commercial real estate experience and has held leadership
roles in industrial leasing, development and sales for the last 15 years. After serving in executive
level positions (leading and co-leading industrial practice groups and serving on executive committees) with Staubach and JLL, he was recruited to open Avison Young’s Charlotte office. In that
role, he took an influential approach to building market share. In addition to recruiting top brokerage professionals, Chris looked to the long-term growth of the market and its industrial base.
He identified Cabarrus County, a bedroom community, as an ideal area for industrial expansion and development, given its proximity to major transportation routes and the availability of
developable land. He then brought that vision to the Silverman Group as it began developing
plans for the 2.1-million-square-foot Concord Airport Business Park. In his role as an industrial
influencer, he was instrumental in establishing the area—not only as a successful business park,
but as a new submarket. Since his first 400,000-square-foot project in that area in 2014, the submarket has grown to include 5 million square feet of industrial space and has led all Charlotte
submarkets in the development of new spec product.
AVISON YOUNG’S NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL TEAM