MetroWireKC - Broker Q&A: David Block

September 16, 2009

Broker Q & A
David M. Block, Block & Company, Inc.
KCMetro Wire

Corporate Biography

David M. Block is one of the Midwest's leading, full-service real estate brokers, specializing in commercial brokerage services, development, construction management, asset/property management, tenant representation and corporate real estate services. David joined Block & Company, Inc., Realtors in 1975 as a sales associate concentrating on leasing, sales and development of retail shopping centers, restaurants and investment properties.

David has been involved in the site selection and leasing of hundreds of new developments. Whether he's dealing with vacant land, a power shopping is a restaurant, hotel, recreational facility, office or industrial property, David's goal is to serve his clients interests with integrity, accountability and the expertise necessary to help build and maintain a long-term relationship. His clients entrust him with the stewardship of their real estate resources because he staffs a team of specialists with directly related experience in all aspects of commercial real estate. David's client list includes national, regional, local and independent companies. Many of his clients are considered the best companies in the country. David has enjoyed the privilege of designated exclusive Tenant-Broker Rep for such companies as: Houston's, Houlihan's, Linens'N'Things, Dick's Sporting Goods, Circuit City, Dickinson Theatres, Hallmark, Radio Shack, Treasury Drug and The Avenue.

Build-to-suits are one of David's specialties. He represented Tandy Corporation (McDuff's -- Radio Shack) in the build-to-suit of their 210,000 square foot retail distribution center in Arlington, Texas as well as their 90,000 square foot retail warehouse in Greater Kansas City. A selection of other build-to-suits David has represented includes: Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Houston's Restaurants, Quik Trip, Midland Bank, Chili's, Best Buy, Kohls, Dicks Sporting Goods, Office Max, TJ Maxx, Pier 1 and the Aetna Life Insurance Pharmacy.

David graduated from Emporia State University in 1974 where he majored in Speech with a minor in Philosophy and Sociology. He is a member of the Metropolitan Kansas City Board of Realtors, the Missouri Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the KOL AMI Board of Trustees, the Board of Coalition at the University of Kansas, the Board for Emilie Rosebud Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Congregation Bnai Jehudah. David is actively involved with the Emilie Rosebud Diabetes Research Foundation to nd a cure for diabetes.

David resides in Mission Hills, Kansas with his wife Vicki, and his youngest daughter Emilie. His oldest daughter Jamie is presently pursuing a fashion design career in Los Angeles, CA and his son Alex is a full-time student at Regis University in Denver, CO.

Questions & Answers

What's new at Block & Company, Inc.?

With over 65 years of service to the Greater Kansas City community and our continued growth to include over 80 sales people and support staff, what's new at Block & Company, Inc. Realtors is a statement spoken everyday. We are presently acquiring new investments for our clients and are seeing a significant amount of new activity in our Tenant Representation Department including a lot of restaurant expansion. The new deals we are closing these days because of today's financing obstacles are relying significantly on our past experience and history to close each transaction; but its happening.

In January of this year, you led the investment group that purchased the "Great Mall of the Great Plains." What are your plans to reposition this asset?

We are actively working with the Olathe City representatives and numerous National Retailers regarding a renovation and expanded tenant mix to meet present and future market needs in the Olathe & Southern Johnson County area. We are expecting these changes to begin in 2011. In the meantime we are continuing to lease to regional and local tenants at a very favorable occupancy cost and had three new tenants open lately.

How difficult was it to assemble the debt and equity on that particular acquisition, considering the current market?

It was very difficult, but as I previously stated in a complicated transaction like this million square foot investment, our experience, relationships and history in the market place brought this transaction to its closing stage. We are very excited about the long-term opportunity at this location. The 'per square foot' price made this a good long-term investment.

How difficult will it be to finance new development, particularly retail, in the near future?

Because of present banking regulations and requirements many commercial real estate properties are having problems with new and existing debt. There are still some local banks and national institutions making loans and hopefully over the next 6 months debt will loosen up and sales will increase with the flow of new debt.

What is the state of Kansas City retail market?

Most of the present day leasing is from regional, local tenants and franchises. We presently have two Super Wal-Marts under construction, a newly opened Best Buy and many other buildings under construction with a significant amount of leasing activity on these under construction properties. Most of this activity is based on the superior locations, which we are presently developing. The secondary and older locations are having a lot less leasing success. There is still retail space being leased in Kansas City as a whole, which is much better than the national average in terms of vacancy and new leases.

In what local submarkets do you anticipate opportunities and growth in the coming future?

The development at the Speedway in KCK, the Kansas City/Liberty Market, and Lee's Summit, along with a few additional cities is where we see exciting opportunity for 2010-2012.
 Map Properties
My Block
Sign Up