Avocat Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Avocat Group Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer
Walt is the Chief Financial Officer and a co-founder of Avocat Group. In addition to oversight of financial reporting, he is responsible for managing client metrics and benchmarking, due diligence, and determination of restructuring costs for client M&A activity.
Walt has devoted his career to the study of how real estate is utilized by corporate and business users. During his career, he has managed an organization providing end-to-end corporate real estate services to business space users across North America and globally, including providing analysis for a myriad of the Fortune 500 as well as public and private firms of all sizes in fixed asset consulting, development, leasehold and fee acquisition, and disposition. Clients include McKesson, Radio Disney, United Parcel Service, Transamerica, Emerson Electric, Aetna, CoreStates Financial, Sprint, Philips North America, Spalding Sports Worldwide, NYNEX, PSS World Medical, Evenflo Baby Products, Kforce, Inter-tel, and more.
A graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.S. degree in Business Administration/Finance, Walt has overseen the outsourcing a complete range of real estate and facilities activities for these corporations, including providing facility strategy consulting, leased professionals, and partnering strategies to support and finance entire facilities departments to large publicly traded companies.
Walt’s areas of expertise include financial analysis, site selection, lease evaluation and negotiation, project management, market analysis, financing alternatives, build-to-suits, and fixed asset consulting. He has personally negotiated more than one thousand transactions and assisted with several thousand others in all 50 states and 8 countries. Notable projects include multiple corporate headquarter facilities ranging in size from 35,000 to 750,000 SQFT including offices in the Chrysler Building in NYC and a $22.5M build-to-suit with Walt representing the user in land assembly, pre-development, purchase, construction, and sale-leaseback. His team oversees multiple 100+ location corporate portfolios and has managed facility relocations of up to 800+ staff.
He is considered a leader in developing innovative operating cost reduction strategies, has been a guest lecturer at both public universities and private companies, and has authored more than one hundred published articles on the subject.
Specialties: Corporate real estate portfolio strategy, financial reporting, tenant representation, lease restructuring, optimization of facilities, cost reduction strategies, real estate market analysis, cost segregation, mergers & acquisitions, benchmarking & metrics, compliance, supply chain.
Avocat Group Co-Founder & Managing Partner
James has over 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate field representing a wide array of businesses from medical, legal, and financial institutions to advertising firms and more. James started working in commercial real estate as an intern while a sophomore at the University of Arizona. Prior to his Junior year he transferred to Arizona State University, and worked his way through college as a commercial real estate broker for the largest tenant representation firm in the state at that time.
Within a year of graduation in 1993 James had started his own firm and was already representing multiple businesses with their commercial real estate needs across the country. James counted amongst his national clients Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Blood Systems and it’s subsidiary United Blood Services, the nation’s second largest blood bank. Since that time James has gone on to represent hundreds of commercial real estate tenants from the largest Fortune 500 companies to local based entrepreneurs.
In 2002-2003 James worked as director of leasing for the second largest office space project in the state of Arizona. The City Square project is comprised of 1 million square feet of office space in three high rise office buildings, it includes a 156 room hotel, a 35,000 square foot health club. The site had 5 restaurants, conference facilities and more elevators than the Pentagon. As a result James got the experience and expertise to view negotiations not only from the Tenants’ point of view, but also from the landlord’s perspective. He completed 65 office leases during his tenure and was instrumental in preparing the building for sale. While James enjoys working with commercial real estate tenants more than being the landlord representative, he credits this time and his experience with making him a better tenants’ broker as he has had a chance to better understand how the landlord thinks and acts.
James has served as an expert witness on multiple landlord/tenant related suits and is an accomplished and sought out speaker on the subject of real estate, negotiation and leasing of office space, including CLE speeches for the AZ State and DC Bars. James teaches multiple classes on commercial real estate related subjects each year to lawyers, who are either Real Estate specialists, general practitioners, managing partners or firm administrators, considering their own firm’s real estate situation, or wanting to expand their knowledge of Commercial Real Estate and Office leasing.