Two on top of the market Deal-makers: Philip Iglehart and Dennis Malone have been dominating investment-driven commercial real estate sales in the Baltimore area. There are reasons.

July 08, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Philip C. Iglehart and Dennis P. Malone would rather be lucky than good. Fortunately for them, they've been both.

For the past two years, the two Colliers Pinkard principals have dominated investment-driven commercial real estate sales in the Baltimore area, capitalizing on interlocking trends and enhancing their reputations in the process.

The duo's latest sales success occurred late last month, when Winchester Commercial garnered $5.6 million from the sale of 47 acres in the Meadowridge Business Park in Elkridge to Security Capital Industrial Trust.

"Their professionalism, integrity and market knowledge put them the top tier of any of the brokers we deal with in the country," said Gerald A. Ronon, a principal of LaSalle Advisers Ltd., a Chicago-based pension fund consulting firm with $11.4 billion in assets under management. "Their ability to structure more or less a controlled auction is what separates them from the pack, and they're both well-known and widely respected in the investment community."

In all, Malone and Iglehart have participated -- and in some cases completely orchestrated -- deals valued in excess of $100 million since 1993, when Iglehart, a former Pinkard president, rejoined the firm from Cushman & Wakefield Inc., a New York brokerage house controlled by the Rockefeller family, to focus on investment sales.

Their success comes as many owners who braved the commercial real estate depression of the early 1990s are attempting to cash in on their patience amid an industrywide recovery.

At the same time, institutions such as cash-flush pension funds and publicly held real estate investment trusts are using their access to capital as leverage and buying more and more properties.

Iglehart and Malone have simply brought them together.

"Our original thought was to expose companies and individuals to institutions that owned real estate," Iglehart said. "But as we made the rounds, it became pretty clear what a role we could fill was, and we set out to create events."

The events have been numerous.

There was the $17 million sale of the two-building Dulaney Center in Towson for NationsBank Corp.'s South Charles Realty subsidiary. The $15.25 million sale of two Marley Neck Industrial Park buildings and 78 acres in Anne Arundel County for Barclays Bank PLC. The $30.1 million deal on behalf of LaSalle advisers Ltd. that sold six distribution buildings in Howard County to a Los Angeles pension adviser. And on and on.

"They bring a disciplined and organized process for selling real estate and great persistence to get to the goal line," said Michael McCarthy, chairman of Riparius Corp., for whom Iglehart and Malone is selling five office buildings in Timonium and Owings Mills at an asking price of $48 million. "They also have a good feel for how transactions develop, and they work extremely hard."

Nationwide contacts have also helped, thanks to a combined four decades in the real estate business. Malone's talents, honed at Pinkard since 1977, lie locally. Iglehart, conversely, has worked with some of the best-known firms in the business, like Alex. Brown Kleinwort Benson Realty, the RREEF Funds and Cushman & Wakefield.

"We have a very powerful investor database," Iglehart says. "No one else in this market even comes close to being able to pick up the phone and talk to an investor and have a relationship the way we do."

For instance, as part of the marketing job of selling the 12-story Candler Building at 111 Market Place on behalf of a General Electric Co. affiliate, Iglehart and Malone sent out more than 800 investment packages to potential buyers.

"Iglehart has probably one of the best networks of anyone in the real estate industry in the country," McCarthy said. "Basically, he has a national practice based in Baltimore."

"If we're involved," Malone said, "investors know that there's a committed seller with a realistic price. We're not just going through an exercise."

Even competitors acknowledge the talent of the Iglehart/Malone team. "They're able to get their asking price for sellers, which is usually half the battle," said David P. Scheffenacker Jr., president of Preston Partners Inc., a Baltimore real estate firm.

In some cases, they get more. Take the sale of the Court Towers office building in Towson for Aetna Life Insurance, for example. With more than 15 offers for the seven-story building, Malone and Iglehart were able to raise the sale price by nearly $1 million before attorney and Baltimore Orioles Chairman Peter G. Angelos bought it for $14.4 million.

"They worked in a good ol' capitalistic way and bid the price up with potential buyers," said Tom Bourke, a Winchester Commercial vice president. "And, despite that, they were at all times honest and fair with both sides."

Scheffenacker said: "I use them as a watershed for what we want to achieve. When we're out competing for a listing to sell a property, I say to myself, 'I want to beat those guys.' "

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