NAI Black’s Deal of the Year

Each year at NAI Black we honor an individual or a team of brokers with an award titled the “Deal of the Year.”   The recipients of this award are selected based on a vote of their peers.   The award is given to the broker or broker team who completed a transaction that exemplifies hard work, perseverance, creative brokerage and outstanding customer service.

For 2016 the Deal of the Year was awarded to Jon Jeffreys, SIOR and Dallas Lightner for their work on the sale of The Cold Storage Building located at 116 West Pacific Avenue in Downtown Spokane. This property is a historic three story brick and timber frame retail and office building that was restored under the strict guidelines of the local and national historic registry.

The brokers represented both parties in the transaction.  The seller was an out of state contractor and the buyer was a Spokane based investment group.   Negotiating and closing the sale required extensive effort by the brokers to navigate improvements to the building needed by the buyer that would meet historic preservation guidelines, easement negotiations with Burlington Northern Rail Road, negotiations related to a billboard lease with Lamar Advertising and the acquisition of an adjoining lot for additional parking.  The sale would not have closed if the brokers had not been diligent in completing all of these agreements related to the purchase of the property.

With the sale complete, the top two floors of the building are now occupied by an IP law firm and the main floor of the building is being used for event planning.

This will be Jon Jeffreys’ 9th year with NAI Black and his 4th year as an SIOR.  Jon is a leading office and medical office broker in the Spokane area and was awarded Broker of the Year at NAI Black in 2015.  In the last 5 years Jon has leased or sold over 1.2 million square feet of office space.

Dallas Lightner started with NAI Black in June of 2014 and quickly adapted to the commercial real estate business.  As a result, he was chosen for the NAI Black Rising Star award in 2014.  Dallas specializes in investment and multi-family sales and is a CCIM candidate.

Congratulations to Jon and Dallas for their perseverance and commitment to their clients and for the “Deal of the Year.”

2nd Quarter Commercial Real Estate Market Trends

At NAI Black we find it crucial to keep up with Commercial Real Estate trends by quarter.  Below are some important notes and statistics from the 2nd quarter.  These trends have been outlined by the National Association of REALTORS.  The National Association of REALTORS conducted a survey comparing sales to leases.  These are their findings:

The shortage of available inventory has remained the principle concern for NAR (National Association of Realtors) members.  This inventory shortage directly pushes the price growth upward.  The most pressing challenges facing REALTORS this quarter can be seen in the graph below.

If you have any questions on Quarter Two Commercial Real Estate Market Trends visit our website and send us a note.

Spokane Wildfire’s and What You Can Do

In just a matter of a few days, Spokane has been surrounded by fires; and where there’s fire, there’s smoke.  It is important to stay away from smoke-saturated areas and to keep particle levels low inside your home.  The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency reports on the current air quality on their website by keeping an up-to-date index for consumers to watch.  As of this morning, our Current Air Quality Index was listed at a 135 or “Unhealthy for Some Groups.”  To continue tracking the air quality, you can visit:

To keep yourself safe inside your apartment this wildfire season, here are some tips:

  • If it appears to be smoky outside do your best to stay indoors.
  • Run your air conditioner and keep the fresh air intake closed.  Also, be sure that the filter is clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner and keeping the windows closed will pose a danger to yourself, seek alternative shelter.
  • Keep particle levels inside low.  When external smoke levels are high, avoid anything that burns such as wood stoves, fireplaces and even candles.
  • Air purifiers and cleaners are beneficial inside apartments, but make sure you are purchasing the proper size for your space.

To read more about protecting yourself before and during wildfire season visit:

From all of us at NAI Black, thank you to the firefighters who are working long hours to keep us safe.  Stay safe this wildfire season.

Deal of the Quarter: General Dynamics Itronix Building

This quarter we are highlighting the recent sale of the former General Dynamics Itronix Building, a 121,405 square foot office building space located at 12825 E. Mirabeau Parkway in Spokane Valley, Washington.  The building sold last month for $10.5 million.  NAI Black Brokers, Dave Black and Chris Bell represented the buyer, Mirabeau Properties, LLC.  The building is 90% occupied by Servatron, Merchant E Solutions, and Salesforce, ISM.  This transition is one of the largest investment sales in the Spokane region in 2016.

The building was built in 2006 by Itronix, a company that originated in Spokane and created durable computers and handheld devices geared toward mobile crews, first responders and law enforcement.  Mirabeau Properties, LLC has retained NAI Black for leasing and building management.  For further leasing inquiries, contact Chris Bell at 509-622-3538.

From all of us at NAI Black, we would like to give a warm congrats to Dave Black and Chris Bell who made this deal happen.  For more information on investment properties, Dave can be reached at or 509-623-1000; Chris can be reached at or 509-622-3538.

Intern Spotlight: Mike Di Lucca

Meet Mike Di Lucca, a summer intern here at NAI Black.  Mike just graduated from the University of Dallas with a major in Business Administration, cum laude.  Mike is a native of Twin Falls, Idaho where his father is an SIOR at his own company, Westerra.  Mike comes from a family of eight and loves playing guitar, praying and hiking in the mountains.  His goal is to hike as many mountains in the Pacific Northwest as possible.  He developed an interest in commercial real estate from working at an investment REIT outside of Dallas.  This REIT focused on financing single family residential developments.

How has your experience been at the University of Dallas?

Over the course of 4 years while attending the University of Dallas, I have developed and grown more than I could have expected.  I spent my first two years studying “the core.”  “The core” consists of 19 classes covering topics such as philosophy, English, economics, politics, math, science and various foreign languages.  I studied great works that shaped the Western civilizations.  During these first two years I was not entirely clearly what the goal of studying “the core” was.  I gained some clarity why I studied in Rome for a semester during my Sophomore Year.  This was a great semester.  I attribute the greatness to my ability to gain appreciate for different cultures.  The last two years at the University of Dallas, I spent my time studying Business Administration and focusing on accounting and finance.  Along with my studies those last two years, I started becoming interested in leadership.  Some of my fellow classmates wanted to start a fraternity on campus.  The University of Dallas was very clear about their stance, and would not allow it.  Shortly after the school denied the fraternity, I joined with the others and helped start what we coined the “men’s club.”  The school approved this “club” and with the approval, my friends and I began building this club by laying a good foundation that would last well beyond our time.  Today, it is the largest and most active club on campus; it is considered an indispensable part of the university.  At the end of these four years, I have gained an understanding that I know little, and the real learning begins once we exit the classroom.  What I did gain from the University of Dallas is the ability to learn and combine all aspects of my knowledge to create a useful tool for whichever field I choose to explore.

Tell us about your experience interning at NAI Black.

The people at NAI Black have been fantastic to get to know and spend time with.  So far, it has been a quick, intense introduction into the world of commercial real estate.  Each broker holds a vast amount of knowledge; they have been patient and generous enough to share that knowledge with me, as I piece together the commercial real estate industry.  I have been in communication with brokers from various states and they all mentioned that their commercial real estate career started off through cold-calling and simply handing out flyers.  I was able to have this experience at NAI Black thanks to the brokers I had the pleasure of working with.   I have already begun to see how invaluable their knowledge is, and will be.  My internship with NAI Black has intensified my interest in being a commercial real estate broker and I hope that by the end of this summer, I will be closer to that goal.  It is an honor to contribution to a small part of the NAI Black team and I look forward to getting to know everyone better.  I would like to thank Jeff Johnson and David Black for giving me the opportunity to be here and learn all they have to offer.

Carhartt Opens in Downtown Spokane

The opening of the Carhartt store at the Bennett Block last week reflected the vision, determination, and collaboration of the owner, Dru Hieber, and the NAI Black Leasing team comprised of Mark McLees and Stephen Pohl to attract a signature soft-goods national retailer to this important downtown corner.

The Bennett Block and Carhartt have linked past lives.  While they both were founded at the turn of the century, the two stand as icons of enduring quality – Carhartt, with its outerwear iconic branding and the Bennett Block ownership, preserving the rich architectural excellence and providing prestigious retail and office storefronts.

Carhartt officially opened its first location in Spokane, Washington on July 15th.  The store conducted promotions throughout the day contributing to a successful launch.  Representing NAI Black, Mark McLees and Stephen Pohl, brokered the lease of the 3,800-square-foot space.  They attended the grand opening to support Carhartt with NAI Black Summer Analyst, Mike Di Lucca.  Di Lucca noted that “Carhartt fits well in this location.  The rugged, outdoor lifestyle of Carhartt’s customers and the growing appeal to the millennial generation creates an evolving retail opportunity.”

Mark McLees, a co-broker for the Bennett Block, says “I’ve been fortunate enough to broker many of downtown’s historic building re-use and development projects over the last 13 years, and the Bennett Block has turned-out to be one of the most iconic and exciting projects for me to date.  The owner and developer of the Bennett Block, Dru Hieber, a determined visionary and entrepreneur, has overcome many obstacles to bring life back to this century old building.”  The atmosphere of “exposed ‘brick and beam’ throughout the building became a significant factor for Carhartt opening their store at this location,” said Stephen Pohl, co-broker.  The team consisting of Kilgore Construction, Inc., Nystrom+Olson Architecture, and NAI Black Commercial Real Estate, as well as Mark Richard (President of Downtown Spokane Partnership), “all worked in conjunction to provide the absolute best quality and skill sets needed to attract this tenant, as well as the many other tenants now residing in the Bennett Block” said McLees.

The Bennett Block was originally constructed in 1890. Hieber Properties, a Spokane-based development company, started renovating the building in early 2014 and made it what the community sees today.  The Bennett Block will be the first stand-alone retail location in Spokane for Carhartt, with Seattle being the next closest. “Spokane continues to grow as a significant market to attract the caliber of retailers such as Carhartt to its downtown merchant mix,” said Pohl.

Carhartt will serve as the anchor tenant for Bennett Block, which has a wide array of tenants including Rocky Rococo Pizza, Mizuna Restaurant, Fusion Media, Indaba Coffee, Nuess Photography, SMITH Co. Marketing, and Poplawski Law, among others. A virtual tour is available if you’d like to see more of this historic building.

There is still retail space available on the street level as well as office space on both the second and third floors. For more information about leasing at Bennett Block, please contact Mark McLees at 509-622-3554, or Stephen Pohl at 509-622-3568,

NAI Black, licensed as Black Commercial, Inc., has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. If you are interested in learning more about our brokerage and development services, please contact our office at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Matilda Apartments Construction Update

Construction is well underway at The Matilda! Property Manager Kim Sample and Intern Andrew Black were treated to an exclusive tour of the mixed-use Matilda Building located at 1028 N. Hamilton last week to view the construction progress. The building is expected to be completed in early October 2016.

PM Kim Sample & Intern Andrew Black

Intern Andrew Black having some fun

As seen in the photos, the exterior of the building is near completion and sheetrock is going up in all of the interiors. The rooftop patio tiles have been laid and the large slider doors with access to the Juliet balconies are now installed.

This mixed-use building will be comprised of 57 apartment homes including one, two, and three bedroom units along with retail space on the first floor and a two-story secured garage parking structure with electric car charging stations.

Utilizing geothermal heating and cooling, residents of The Matilda can expect to save an average of 45% on their heating and cooling costs. Card access entries will allow residents to enter their garage space, the building, and their individual apartment with just a swipe of a card or they have the choice of using an access entry app available on their smartphone.

The Matilda will have a rooftop patio featuring an indoor/outdoor lounge area, full kitchen, two outdoor fireplaces, barbecues, and a gorgeous space to enjoy the views.

Indoor lounge area

Outdoor patio!

NAI Black is the residential property manager for The Matilda Building and has been involved with the project throughout the planning stages. As the property manager, we handle all leasing, tenant relations, and maintenance at The Matilda.

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About Black Realty Management

NAI Black, licensed as Black Realty Management, provides property management services for both commercial and multifamily properties, including apartments, condos, and HOAs. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Intern Spotlight: Tyler Spidell

Meet Tyler Spidell, an intern here at NAI Black. Tyler is a student at Texas State University. He is currently studying agriculture business and plans to minor in economics. Tyler is a native of Idaho but grew up as a “military brat” so he has been all over the country and has even lived in Germany for 4 years. Tyler enjoys the outdoors and is an avid fly-fisherman. He gained interest in commercial brokerage through his cousin Drew Ulrick, a sales and leasing broker here at NAI Black. After graduation, Tyler plans to begin a career in commercial real estate.

How has your experience been at the Texas State University?

My experience at Texas State University has been a time of learning and maturing into an adult. I can remember my first day on campus walking up the infamous steps of Texas State and seeing Old Main, our flagship building, I couldn’t believe I was finally on my own in college. In my first semester at Texas State, I rushed a social fraternity Phi Kappa Psi and gained many life-long friends. Phi Psi taught me respect and the great joy of serving others. An example of that is last October, Hays county was faced with major flooding, many homes were destroyed and even lives were lost. Our fraternity chapter took it upon ourselves to go aid the flood victim families by helping clean up debris and donating food. In classes, I was always amazed by the wealth of knowledge my professors had. My favorite classes so far have been micro and macroeconomics because I got to study the way markets operate in an economy. I feel that it is important to have a basic understand of economics in many occupations, but especially brokerage. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to study at such a great institution. I am and forever will be a Texas State bobcat, eat em’ up!

Tell us about your experience interning at NAI Black.

From Tuesday morning meetings, to CEO lunches, to going on field runs with other interns, I received a great understanding of the day-to-day operations of a commercial broker. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to come all the way up to Washington and learn at Spokane’s largest commercial brokerage firm. Everyone in the office was very knowledgeable and taught me a lot about this industry. I mainly worked under Drew Ulrick, a sales and leasing broker here at NAI Black. Drew mainly operates in retail and industrial space so I got to learn what those markets are like in Spokane. I now plan to pursue commercial brokerage as a post-graduation career and NAI Black is responsible for giving me the motivation and experience to get into this industry.

About Black Commercial

Black Commercial, Inc. provides has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

NAI Black at the 2016 ICSC RECon in Las Vegas

Broker Drew Ulrick with NAI Global CEO Jay Olshonsky

This week is the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) RECon in Las Vegas – the global convention for the shopping center industry. We have 10 members of our commercial brokerage team representing NAI Black at the convention, and they are finding lots of opportunities to learn the latest industry trends and network with retail real estate professionals from all around the world.

RECon, which runs from May 22 to 25, expects to bring more than 36,000 attendees to the 1-million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center for what is considered the industry’s networking and deal-making event of the year. The convention kicked off on Sunday with a keynote address from Earvin “Magic” Johnson followed by a talk from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

The convention features informative professional development sessions, tackling topics like “Reinvention: Property Redevelopment and Repositioning,” “Leasing Strategies for Difficult Spaces,” and “Retailer Math 101 for Specialty Leasing.” RECon also includes forward-looking sessions like “Tomorrow’s Shopping Centers, Today” and “Retail Technology Trends to Watch.”

But it’s not all work and no play. With a handful of receptions and private parties throughout the week, there are lots of opportunities for the Black Commercial crew to unwind and have some fun.

(Left to right) Mark Pinch, Drew Ulrick, Stephen Pohl, Brian Anderson, John Powers, Dave Black, Chris Bell, Terry Tombari, and Bryan Walker

(Left to right) Dave Black, Stephen Pohl, Drew Ulrick, Brian Anderson, Chris Bell, Mark Pinch, Terry Tombari, John Powers, Steve Ridenour, and Bryan Walker

About ICSC

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. For more information about ICSC visit and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to

About NAI Black

Black Commercial has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. If you are interested in learning more about our brokerage and development services, please contact our office at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

The Influence of Generation Z on CRE

About the Author: The following blog article was authored by our affiliate NAI Global – the single largest, most powerful global network of owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firms. For information about NAI Global, please visit To access a collection of NAI Global original content, news, and blogs, visit

The workplace may be getting a clear idea of what makes millennials tick, but employers and the office sector can’t stop there. The next generation of workers, named Generation Z, has topped the horizon and is beginning to make itself known in the workforce.  By 2020, 40% of consumers will be members of this demographic, and they already make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population.

This group is made up of people born after 1995.  They have never known life without the Internet, and are considerably more “connected” than even the millennials.  This generation (for the most part) has always walked around with their own phone in their pocket. They place a tremendous emphasis on personalization.

Generation Z overwhelmingly prefers to shop online, and most of them would like to own their own business. They are independent, but also more influenced by their parents than were the millennials. Start-ups and entrepreneurs are their career heroes. They prefer the idea of a flat organizational structure to the idea of a hierarchy at work.

This generation is adept at research and “self-education.” When they need to do something they can usually find a youtube video that gets them started. This has some applications for how training might best be provided as they enter the workforce.

They have an average attention span of 8 seconds.

This generation embraces living in the “right now.” Hence the popularity of Snapchat and other apps that leave no digital trail. Communication is expected to be extremely concise: whole conversations can be conveyed with the right emoji.

Obviously, the increasing numbers in Generation Z mean that they’re having a tremendous impact on retail. Their preference for online shopping and for receiving all information digitally influences marketing as well as the popularity of multi-channel retail.

Generation Z is concerned about doing good. They want to make a difference in the world, and more than 60% of them expect to be able to do that as part of their career. This makes it likely that company culture will continue to be a major factor in recruiting and retaining this generation as they enter the workforce. This is already named by millennials as one of the top reasons for choosing an employer.

A concern for the environment is characteristic of Generation Z, and they’re concerned about the outlook on that front. They’re also pessimistic about the economy, and express stress about their future. Will this lead them to stick with jobs longer than the current generation? The jury is out.

A preference for social interaction and collaboration makes Generation Z a good fit for many of the trends going on in office space and workplace design today.  They will be looking for flawless tech infrastructure and plenty of opportunity to interact and team up with colleagues. Open office design, schedule flexibility, and workplace amenities will continue to be important.

Considering that the oldest members of Generation Z will be graduating from college in a year or two, the time seems right to make a study of this demographic. Its influence is already being felt in retail, thanks to their purchasing power, and the workplace is next.

About NAI Black

NAI Black is a proven leader in commercial brokerage and property management services serving the Inland Northwest region. For more information about the services we offer, please give us a call at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.