A Conversation With NAIOP’s Developer of the Year

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CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA—Winning NAIOP’s Developer of the Year award for 2015 is “really an honor, but it’s simply a snapshot in time,” Majestic Realty Co.’s CEO Ed Roski tells GlobeSt.com. NAIOP has selected Majestic, a privately held developer that has been in business for 70 years, as the winner of the association’s highest honor. The firm has completed nine new buildings in the past year, adding more than 6 million square feet and increasing its build-to-suit and speculative ownership portfolio to 78 million square feet. The award, which has been presented to a development company that best exemplifies leadership and innovation, will be presented on October 15 at NAIOP’s Commercial Real Estate Conference in Toronto. We spoke exclusively with Roski about the award and what it takes to achieve the successes his firm has seen.

GlobeSt.com: What does it take to become developer of the year?

Roski: What it takes is team effort, hard work and a little luck. It’s our vision basically to continue to build a future we can all be proud of being part of in the company. The Developer of the Year award is really an honor, but it’s simply a snapshot in time. Our real focus is the lasting value of our relationships, our projects and the success of our tenants, and we’ve been doing this for 70 years.

GlobeSt.com: What do you think developers today are not understanding about what tenants and investors need?

Roski: It’s the speed, I think—the way things happen today. Technology has really changed our business—how we do business and how our tenants do business. It’s moving at such a fast pace today, and you’re talking to an individual who is 76 years old. The business has changed, and developers need to be cognizant of that. They also need to understand the regulatory environment more. There are more things to concern yourself with today than in the past, whether it’s traffic or the environment—different things they need to understand today. A few years ago, you saw a piece of property and you would build a building; today, there are so many things to be looked at and understood.

GlobeSt.com: What advice would you give a young professional who is interested in real estate development?

Roski: You’ve got to understand the technology of the real estate business and how it’s changing, but at the same time our business is about connecting with people and relationships. If you’re entering the business, you don’t want to be afraid to take some calculated risks, and it’s important to find a great mentor. If you’re a young professional, finding a good mentor really helps out. It helped out in my case.

GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about you and your firm?

Roski: It’s a team effort, and we’re pretty passionate about what we do. We like to get things done, and we try to make a difference in all the projects we work on. We developed an ownership portfolio for our own account. We are a fully integrated company in the fact that we have development, architects, financing and construction—we handle all the steps of the process.