OBX Commercial Real Estate Newsletter: February 2022

by Larry Lombardi, on Feb 15, 2022 7:54:26 AM

Stephanie Sanker

OBX CRE Spotlight

Stephanie Sanker

Vice President, CCIM, SIOR

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Quick Facts

  • I live in Chesapeake with my husband John.
  • We have two daughters, Sydney and Brooke.
  • We have two Boston Terriers, Baxter and Penny.

How long have you been working in commercial real estate?

23 years.
How did you first get into real estate?
I started my career working for the regional economic development group which was called Forward Hampton Roads at the time but is now called the Hampton Roads Alliance. While at FHR I matched available commercial real estate with prospective office/industrial users new to our market so it was a natural transition to get into commercial real estate.

What was your first CRE transaction?

My first noteworthy transaction was the sale of the 70,000 SF former Diebold production facility in Staunton, VA.
What was your most memorable CRE transaction?
My most memorable CRE transaction was the sale of a 160,000+ SF industrial property in Norfolk. I represented the buyer who is a local real estate investor and who was looking to expand his industrial portfolio. The property has been successful for the buyer and we have worked together on several deals since.
What's your favorite part of working in CRE?
I really enjoy when a vacant industrial or office property turns into a thriving business providing jobs and capital investment in the community.
Currituck OBX CRE Newsletter
If you had to sell only ONE kind of commercial property, what would you choose? And why?
Industrial. While I work on both office and industrial, I lean more towards industrial. It is always interesting to me to see the different types of product being distributed or manufactured in the industrial properties.
What's the first question people always ask you when you tell them what you do for a living?
They ask me about new retail developments/tenants coming to the market. Unfortunately, most of the time I do not know the answer as I do not do any retail transactions.
What’s the biggest misconception about CRE?
One of the biggest misconceptions is people assuming we just put a sign in front of a property and will sell or lease that property. In order to be successful in CRE there is so much more that goes on behind the sign. You must be very familiar with market comparables, market trends and all of the tenants/buyers/investors in Hampton Roads. If you are not an expert in your field you won't be able to properly advise your client.
Currituck OBX CRE Newsletter Feb
What global CRE trend or market segment do you think will have the most impact locally?
Currently, and for the foreseeable future, the most impact locally is e-commerce. Our vacancy rate in the industrial market is the lowest I have ever seen in my career. Amazon has been a big factor in leasing up the larger warehouses in our market leaving very little available for other e-commerce businesses such as last mile distribution firms and 3PLs. We will see a continuing tightening of available space which will result in higher lease rates and sales prices.
How would you describe the commercial real estate market in northeastern NC and the Outer Banks?
The northeastern NC and OBX commercial real estate market is growing and will continue to grow. I see a lot of opportunities for this area as the Hampton Roads and other surrounding markets tighten, drawing interest to OBX.
Can you share one great piece of advice for someone looking to buy/lease commercial property or land?
When considering all of the factors in leasing or buying a property, make sure you also consider your exit strategy. Consider if the property will fulfill your needs as you grow and if you will also be able to quickly lease or sell the property if needed.
You get five acres and an unlimited construction budget. What do you build and where?
Warehouse space! We need more warehouse in our market.
What was the last book you read?
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl.
What's one movie you love to rewatch?
Singles. Great soundtrack.
What's one thing most people might not know about you?
I am a big David Bowie fan. I have been since middle school.
Do you collect anything?
Vinyl records.
Bowie record
What is your favorite thing about the Outer Banks?
Awful Arthurs and The Sanderling. My husband and I go down at least once a year for both.
What's your favorite way to spend your free time?
On my Peloton. I have the bike and the tread so most days I am on one of the other.
What inspires you?
My two daughters.

Contact Info

Stephanie Sanker
(757) 640-2290


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Topics:Commercial Real EstateEconomic DevelopmentCurrituck CountyOuter Banks