OBX Commercial Real Estate Newsletter: March 2022

by Larry Lombardi, on Mar 9, 2022 8:02:40 AM


cheyney cole sl nusbaum

OBX CRE Spotlight

Cheyney Cole

VP Sales & Development, CCIM

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Quick Facts

  • Born in Charlottesville, VA and raised in Virginia Beach
  • Married for 36 years to wife Nancy and we have two daughters
  • My daughter, Callie Erhard Houfek has a daughter Surry, age 6 and a son Beau, age 1, my wonderful grandchildren! Callie and her husband Ryan Houfek reside in Jacksonville, FL
  • My youngest daughter, Emily Cole, resides in Aspen, CO and is loving it
  • My wife and I love the beach and the fantastic lifestyle in Virginia Beach
  • I have chaired the Resort Area Advisory Commission, Goodwill of Hampton Roads and recently completed a two year term as Chairman of the Arts and Humanities Commission in Virginia Beach
  • I am grateful to work for the best company with the best people anywhere in this state at S.L. Nusbaum and especially appreciate our leadership and Miles Leon, our President

How long have you been working in commercial real estate?

25 years!
How did you first get into real estate?
I left Hall Auto, where I was employed after graduating from Radford University and was then hired by Siebert Realty in Sandbridge as a resort property manager.
reflections 1

What was your first CRE transaction?

Wow, that's hard to remember. I believe it was a 20,000 SF lease to a shipping company from London. They took space at Reflections 1 on Lynnhaven Road. It was a 7-year term, I believe.
What was your most memorable CRE transaction?
My most memorable deal was a land deal to The Breeden Company in Newport News in 2020. It was not my biggest deal, but it was the most difficult as the seller was the most difficult I have ever encountered.
What's your favorite part of working in CRE?
Commission work is not for everyone, but what I like most is that, at literally any time, a deal opportunity can appear out of nowhere.
If you had to sell only ONE kind of commercial property, what would you choose? And why?
I like raw land a lot. The engineering, the entitlement process, the development aspect. Difficult, but worth it, especially because many brokers don't like the time frames involved.
What's the first question people always ask you when you tell them what you do for a living?
"Who do you work for?"
What’s the biggest misconception about CRE?
I guess that it requires some special license, different than residential. The fact is that one license covers all aspects of residential real estate (RE) and commercial real estate (CRE). You can get a license (largely achieved by studying residential RE ) on Monday and list a $10MM investment property the next day, assuming the seller will go along with it!
cheyney cole sl nusbaum CRE
What global CRE trend or market segment do you think will have the most impact locally?
That's a difficult question as there a number of crosswinds impacting the various segments of CRE. While I am not as active as some other brokers in this area, I think the success of our international ports will continue to be a driving force for the area. Additionally, our location in Tidewater and the Outer Banks as a drive-to vacation spot for tens of millions of people will continue to help support the economy.
How would you describe the commercial real estate market in northeastern NC and the Outer Banks?
As of today, I would say it's a bit spotty. Denser residential is required for regional and national credit tenants and that density cannot be achieved with the current zoning restrictions in place. As important is the lack of adequate and up to standard waste-water treatment plants. Currituck could see some serious expansion if they would commit to providing the utility infrastructure that growth requires!
Can you share one great piece of advice for someone looking to buy/lease commercial property or land?
Find an experienced broker who knows your product type very well, whether it's land for development or 5,000 SF of office and engage them exclusively. The landlord/seller generally pays the fee so it's not an add-on cost. Once the broker knows and understands all of the variables involved,  they should be able to give the prospect all of the options in the market. That can be a difficult, frustrating and time consuming task for the uninitiated.
You get five acres and an unlimited construction budget. What do you build and where?
Is that a trick question? Ha! I could answer that several ways, but for now let's say I'd like five acres on the oceanfront to build luxury apartments for rent. High quality restaurants and shopping nearby are a must, as is an airport with national and international destinations available via direct flights.
cheyney cole sl nusbaum CRE
What was the last book you read?
Becoming Supernatural-How Common People are Doing the Uncommon by Dr. Joe Dispenza
What's one movie you love to rewatch?
Dead Ringers, starring Jeremy Irons as twin physicians.
What's one thing most people might not know about you?
I am the worst runner, ever!
Do you collect anything?
Just stuff from my grandkids. And I have a ton of expensive neckties that never get worn!
cheyney cole sl nusbaum CRE
What is your favorite thing about the Outer Banks?
I started driving to Cape Hatteras when I was a teenager to surf. It was much less visited then and one really felt that you were "out there" in Hatteras. We camped like tramps at the campgrounds and caught incredible surf from Frisco to Avon. I still love the drive these days during the off season. It's a beautiful and incredible natural creation for all of us.
What's your favorite way to spend your free time?
Surf, and spend time on the beach with family and friends.
What inspires you?
Well, I have a long time interest in the metaphysical. There is a lot going on, much more than we can imagine, and more than we can perceive with our five senses!

Contact Info

Cheyney Cole
(757) 452-6139


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Topics:Commercial Real EstateEconomic DevelopmentCurrituck CountyOuter Banks