OBX Commercial Real Estate Newsletter: June 2021

by Larry Lombardi, on Jun 7, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Bill Throne

OBX CRE Spotlight

Bill Throne

Ports and Intermodal Co-Lead, SIOR, CSCMP, CCIM




Quick Facts

  • I grew up in Los Angeles, California in the 70's. It was a great time to be a kid in Southern California. I can't tell you how many times I have been to Disneyland. I lived near the beach, and my current hometown of Virginia Beach has always reminded me of my younger days in California.

  • I have been married to my wife, Arie Lea, for over 40 years and we have literally been around the world together. Which is ironic, since my wife has family roots in Edenton!

  • I was in the Navy as a fighter pilot for ten years after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. I have three grown kids, and two grandsons. Between my home and North Carolina, its a great place to bring up another generation of water lovers.

How long have you been working in commercial real estate?

I started my career in commercial real estate fresh out of the Navy in 1985. I took a ten year 'sabbatical' to work full-time in the ministry. I relocated to Hampton Roads in 2003, so all together its been over 25 years.
How did you first get into real estate?
My roommate in my last squadron had left the Navy and was working as a developer. It was a natural to work with him on the marketing side of the business.

What was your first CRE transaction?

In 1985, Alfa Romeo was looking to get back into the U.S. market selling cars. My job was to find a service facility for the local franchise.
What was your most memorable CRE transaction?
In my second year in the business, I was cold-calling and happened to reach the regional real estate director for UPS. He was looking for ten acres of land in the market I covered. I was so excited. He tried to cool my enthusiasm by letting me know that every senior broker in the market had tried to find the type of property he needed, and they had all failed.
I guess sometimes in life it's about persistence, because I located the property, convinced the owner to sell, and was able to do my first significant transaction with a large company. Closing that deal was a feeling I will never forget.
What's your favorite part of working in CRE?
Commercial real estate is incredibly multi-faceted. I love working in areas that involve financial, legal and engineering disciplines. As co-lead of the company's Ports and Intermodal Specialty Practice group, its even more amazing working large waterfront properties around the country.
What's the biggest misconception about CRE?
I think people group CRE as 'sales' with all the negative connotations that may apply. I have never considered myself a salesman, and over the last 25 years I have worked to be a consultant for my clients and use my experience to facilitate a transaction. Brokers are needed to bring all the parties together and make a deal happen. The more complex the potential transaction, the more folks are involved, and in my experience there is a greater need for a broker.
offshore wind virginia outer banks
How would you describe the commercial real estate market in northeastern NC and the Outer Banks?
Northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks are really important to the greater mid-Atlantic region. Watch what happens with offshore wind for example. The region will play a huge part in providing both commercial real estate solutions for the industry and a talented workforce.

Can you share one great piece of advice for someone looking to buy/lease commercial property or land?

I would suggest using a commercial real estate broker who specializes in the type of real estate you are interested in. Industrial agents have a different 'tool box' than office brokers. Likewise, land agents can provide you with specialized knowledge that will help you find that perfect property.
In my view, a real estate professional is a facilitator, bringing many disciplines to bear to solve a specific real estate need. It seems wise to have a broker who knows the kind of real estate you are looking to purchase or lease.
What is your favorite thing about the Outer Banks?
The casual, slow-tempo feel of being at the beach. Shorts and flip-flops, no agenda, add the beach and surfing and it feels like a piece of heaven.
What's your favorite way to spend your free time?
Hanging out with my kids and my grandkids. The grandkids are older now, so fishing, boating, surfing and just hanging out are great fun!


(757) 581-9963

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Topics:Commercial Real EstateEconomic DevelopmentCurrituck CountyOuter Banks