By: Andria Burke, MAI
Tucson CREW’s leadership scored the trifecta when they were nominated as Women of Influence by Inside Tucson Business. Jane McCollum, Linda McNulty and Barbi Reuter currently serve as Immediate Past President, President, and President-Elect of Tucson Commercial Real Estate Women. Their influence in the commercial real estate industry serves as the backdrop for their success.
Jane McCollum currently serves as General Manager for the Marshall Foundation and Main Gate Square. She oversees leasing, property management and development of the retail, office and hotel project located next to the University of Arizona. Jane was hired in 2003 to take the Foundation’s vision for redevelopment and make it a reality. Today, Main Gate Square is a community with 75% locally owned merchants and 25% unique national tenants such as American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and Pei Wei. Jane’s goal is to create a strong merchant neighborhood with a “Tucson flavor.” Sally Bach, owner of G2 Contracting, noted that Jane “helps tenants re-locate to allow for better use of other space.” She has created a “walk-able, mixed use vibrant urban area” with a “unique tenant mix.” Future plans include a community garden for the restaurateurs and a multi-story building with street level retail, a 6-8 screen movie theater and 150-room hotel.
Jane began her career in property management working for Epic, Anthem Equity and MRO managing such projects as Canyon View and Orange Tree Village Apartments, then Plaza Palomino, La Placita Village, Gateway Center and Casas Adobes. Jane was the driving force behind the bright color palette of La Placita. She is active on the ParkWise Commission, balancing the needs of merchants and residents, and the West University Neighborhood Association (WUNA) Board as the Area 10 representative. As a member of the University of Arizona’s National Leadership Council, she promotes the university’s interests. She works with ASUA, the student government, to use Main Gate Square as a programming venue for events like Bear Down Fridays and Earth Day.
Her most recent success came as the largest private stakeholder in the Main Gate Urban Overlay, a new zoning overlay which allows higher density student housing and continued redevelopment of the area west of the University in conjunction with the modern streetcar. The Marshall Foundation was supportive of the overlay because they wanted to see a continuation of the ideals they have developed: wide sidewalks, tree-lined streets, gathering places and good design. Janice Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, described the overlay as a “critical tool in building a sustainable community.” Jane now serves on its Design Review Board. This particular “opt-in” type of overlay district is relatively new for Tucson and will certainly influence future overlay districts.
Linda McNulty’s most recent challenge may have been serving on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee, but it is her work as a partner with Lewis and Roca’s real estate and finance practice group that propelled her to the top of the industry. Lewis Schorr, partner with Lewis & Roca, describes Linda as one of their “go-to partners for multi faceted ground-up developments” and “one of the state’s foremost practitioners in commercial leasing transactions of all types.” She has been listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America, by Woodward/White, Aiken SC in the category of real estate law since 2005. Her representations have included: redevelopment of a 500,000 square foot regional enclosed mall, development of specialized facilities for lease by government agencies & contractors, conservation easements & non-profit land banks and the sale of a $1 billion portfolio of real estate assets. Her early foray into real estate involved “administering all of the consolidated civil litigation arising from the failure of Lincoln Savings and Loan and American Continental Corporation. Its bankruptcy involved dissolution of … what was then one of the largest real estate portfolios in U.S. history,” as noted by Mr. Schorr. She later assisted TEP in dissolving another ‘enormous” real estate portfolio.
Her knowledge base includes the related areas of environmental and natural resource issues, sports facilities and health care facilities. Linda’s early career was in the area of water rights. She authored portions of the first Groundwater Management Plan for the Tucson Active Management Area while at the Arizona Department of Water Resources. She researched and drafted procedures that led to golf courses using effluent instead of groundwater. From 2006-2011, she served on the Wilderness Land Trust board, negotiating purchases of pockets of privately owned lands within wilderness areas in the Western United States.
As the current Chair of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority, Linda’s broad talent is working to expand the economic influence of sports in Pima County. Because “I like baseball” and was disappointed in losing Spring Training, Linda helped form the Authority. They recently kicked off a county-wide sports need assessment, to be executed by Populous and The Planning Center. The assessment will survey what sports facilities we have, what is planned & funded and what we need. It will create a database of facilities suitable for youth, amateur, collegiate and professional levels with the goal of promoting tourism. Linda’s influence stems from a passion for baseball and a thriving Tucson.
Barbi Reuter, RPA, has served since 1992 as a Principal at PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services, a member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance. She founded the firm’s Property Management Division, which grew to three million square feet of office, medical, industrial and retail space under her direction making it the largest management company in Tucson. Barbi directed that division until 2007 and is now Chief Operating Officer, managing the firm’s operations, research, finance, marketing & social media activities. Barbi’s service with the Building Owners and Manager Association (BOMA) at both the local and national levels has helped build her career. She won the BOMA International President’s Award in 1999. Barbi’s networking skills earned her several recent honors from Tucson CREW: the Member-to-Member Business Award in 2007, Professional Service Award in 2009 and President’s Award in 2011.
But what has garnered her the most attention is Barbi’s role as an early adopter of new technology, specifically social media. Amber Smith, Excecutive Director of MPA and herself a 2012 Woman of Influence, points to Barbi’s skills in tracking statistics and her blog as having a current impact on the industry. Eileen Lewis, Director of Property Management at PICOR, noted that Barbi is “regularly sought out by people from around the country” due to her social media network. A year and a half ago, Barbi led Caliber Group’s re-design of PICOR’s website. PICOR.com is now a user-friendly tool packed with pages of Market Research, a Blog – “Trends in Commercial Real Estate” and links to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. “Technology tools enhance relationships and service delivery; they don’t replace them.” iPads and apps such as CoStarGo are a “means to improve service through improved research, analysis, marketing and productivity.” (The source for this quote? From a link on Barbi’s LinkedIn page to PICOR’s website, of course!)
After 20 years in property management, fostered by PICOR President Mike Hammond “believing in me,” Barbi now vets new “apps,” new software and new hardware to see what is valuable to the PICOR brokers and real estate community. She then shares that knowledge with all of us. And with this passion for new technology, she hopes to open doors for others.
Passion for Tucson, opening doors for others and connecting people: the common traits held by these Women of Influence.