Member Highlight: Jack O’Brien

How long have you been a member of COLBA?

It has been quite a few years now – I believe I joined in 1998.

What do you appreciate most about COLBA membership?

The people and the friendships.

Tell us about your CRE background: 

I started in Landlord representation in 1994 and, with the exception of leasing for three years in the Chicago suburbs, I have been leasing in downtown Chicago my entire career. My work has spanned four companies including M&J Wilkow, Orix, Equity Office and now The Telos Group.

What is your advice for young brokers starting out in the industry? 

Get involved and meet as many people as you can in the industry. Our business is filled with so many dynamic professionals that bring different experiences and perspectives.

What do you expect to see in the CRE market for 2014?

I believe the second half of 2014 should follow suit of Q1 and Q2 and continue in a positive direction. I believe asking rents will finish the year at all time highs and direct vacancy will fall to just under 13.0%. However, deal making will remain extremely competitive as Tenants in the market still have many good options available to them and overall concession packages remain full.

What do you hope to accomplish this year as a COLBA member?

As a member, I hope to encourage attendance and help facilitate the production of fun and informative events.

What are some of your philanthropic associations? 

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Althzeimers Association and Lambs Farm.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Play tennis, drink wine and grill – put them all together and you have a perfect day!

If you weren’t in Real Estate what would you like to be doing…

I’d ‘like’ to be growing grapes in California.

Most folks don’t know that I am…

A proud father of three little girls, live in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood and loving every minute of it.

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