JOHN L. CROSSMAN
For over a decade, John L. Crossman has
been president and now CEO of
Crossman & Co., one of the Southeast’s
largest retail leasing, management and
investment sales firms. Together
Crossman and his brother Scott have
built the firm into a commercial real
estate company with a 28-million-square-
foot presence in eight states: Florida,
Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina,
North Carolina, Tennessee and, most
recently, Mississippi and Virginia. As CEO, Crossman oversees retail
strategy for national brands and marketing initiatives for clients.
An expert on industry and national real estate issues, Crossman
has been featured in several national, state and local media. He
has also recently written an award-winning book called “Career
Killer/Career Builders”, which is based on his popular lecture
series to CRE students around the country.
Indeed, as a strong believer in grooming tomorrow’s industry
leaders, Crossman serves on the executive board for the Florida
State University Center for Real Estate Education, the University
of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate and the Dr. P. Phillips
Institute for Research and Education in the Real Estate College of
Business Administration at the University of Central Florida.
At Crossman & Co., he leads an aggressive initiative to provide equal opportunities to students majoring in real estate as
well as those attending universities where degrees in real estate
haven’t been established.
BRANDON L. FAMOUS
A senior managing director and
Americas retailer leader for CBRE
Group Inc., Brandon L. Famous oversees the brokerage giant’s representation of retail occupiers, including
CBRE’s work in site selection, lease
negotiation, optimization, cross-border expansion and many other services. In all, Philadelphia-based
Famous supports the work of more
than 500 retail professionals in the
Americas with more than 1,300 retail clients across the globe.
In recent years, Famous has assembled in a network of experts to
help foreign retailers expand in the US. With Famous leading the
cross-border work, CBRE has assisted the US entry of retailers
including South Korea’s Gentle Monster, Australia’s 2XU, the
Netherland’s Joe & The Juice, Canada’s Showcase, Mexico’s
Cuadra, Italy’s Eataly and the UK’s The Collected Group.
Famous also serves as the co-leader of CBRE’s Omnichannel
Real Estate practice, which advises retailers on designing and
building their networks for fulfilling both online sales and in-store sales. In that role he acts as a central liaison between CBRE’s
experts on retail real estate and its experts on fulfillment and
warehouse real estate.
“The retail industry constantly experiences change, never more
so than in this e-commerce era,” says Mickey Ashmore, CBRE
chairman of retail services. “A true leader can recognize lasting,
fundamental change at its onset and adapt his or her organization to survive it and thrive within it. That is what Brandon
Famous has done with CBRE’s retailer-representation business.”
DANIEL L. GOODWIN
The rise of e-commerce may present
retail professionals with serious difficulties, but Daniel L. Goodwin has
been solving such problems for 50
years. And as chair and chief executive
officer of the Inland Real Estate Group
of Cos. Inc., he made sure the solutions followed his philosophy of always
putting investors first.
That vow may have been most challenged after the Tax Reform Act of
In 2001, he formed Inland Private Capital Corp. to provide a
variety of investment solutions to accredited investors as an alternative to stocks and bonds. And even though the 2008 recession
shrank real estate investments and put many sponsors out of business, IPC focused on acquiring necessity-based real estate that
could withstand recessions, including discount retailers and grocery-anchored centers. That strategy helped keep Inland robust
even as e-commerce eroded other bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Prior to the recession, IPC competed with 40 other companies
offering 1031 exchanges. By the end of the recession, only three
companies, including IPC, were left. And after explosive growth
in recent years, it now commands 35% of the alternative investment market. Under Dan Goodwin’s leadership, Oak Brook,
IL-based Inland reached a milestone in 2017 of purchasing more
than $45 billion in diversified commercial real estate and sponsoring 732 investment programs.
ANDREW S. HOCHBERGH
Andrew S. Hochberg started his own
real estate firm in 1998 after rising to
the position of chief executive officer
of Sportmart and negotiating its
merger with Gart Sports, a move which
created the second largest sporting
goods retailer in the US. He called his
new venture Next Realty, as he wanted
to thoroughly explore the question,
That contemplative and forward-
looking mindset serves the Skokie, IL-based firm well as it navigates
a retail industry dealing with the negative impact of e-commerce.
Next Realty historically has acquired retail centers and other properties ranging from $5 million to $50 million, and today shows
commercial real estate firms how to avoid being collateral damage
when anchor tenants fail. It increasingly markets retail spaces to
healthcare systems and other service providers as a hedge against
e-commerce. Northshore University Health System, for example,
recently occupied about 35,000 square feet of space at Next’s
Lincolnshire Commons once leased to Barnes & Noble.
And in 2016, the closing of The Sports Authority left the firm with
five vacancies totaling close to 280,000 square feet of space. By
2018, Next had secured leases at four of the properties, including
an entire eight-story building in Chicago’s River North. That