Having started out his career as a tenant representation broker, Michael Zahornacky has seen many sides of commercial real estate deals throughout his career. After a few years working as an internal leasing project manager, he joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2017 as a Transaction Manager in the Global Occupier Services group. He specifically is working with Fidelity on their over 220 location national retail branch portfolio and assisting with opening their new Next Generation Investment Centers.
Michael took the time to tell us what its like to come full circle in the commercial real estate world and his love for travel. Thanks, Michael!
1) What do you like most about your job?
Since I’m on a national account, I’m very lucky to be able to travel around the country and really enjoy seeing new places almost every week. When I’m traveling, I see different opportunities for the user (Fidelity) by making connections with local brokers in order to find solutions that are going to work best for everyone. Since Fidelity is looking to open between 7-10 new investment centers per year, it’s an honor to be on the ground seeing these locations in person in different parts of the country. One of the investment centers is opening in Chestnut Hill, MA, and it’s exciting to see the work I’ve done once the physical building is complete (I also love to show my projects off to my family, since they still have no idea what I do for a living!)
2) When you’re not working, where are you and what are you doing?
I have three kids – so it’s safe to say most of my time is spent with them. I’d say that 90% of the time I’m at a hockey rink, basketball court, baseball field, or soccer field watching them play their respective sports. Whenever I get the chance, I like to spend the rest of my free time golfing. It’s my favorite hobby and The International course in Bolton, MA is my favorite course locally, though certainly hard to get a tee time there!
3) What does CRE in Boston look like five years from now?
As I mentioned, I work nationally, so it’s tough to make a judgement in Boston. But – based on some of the trends I’ve seen here – I think the biggest problem in Boston is the old roadways, expensive parking and the traffic. Boston seems to be becoming more of a residential city, in fact, a lot of these antiquated parking structures and old warehouse buildings are changing into new offices, retail and housing. With even more housing and commercial space in new locations than ever before, I think people will be looking for different ways to get around town rather than in their own cars. I think the introduction of autonomous vehicles will have a great impact on travel in Boston and it’s something I look forward to seeing.
4) What’s the professional accomplishment you’re most proud of?
The accomplishment I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve gone through several different roles during my career in commercial real estate – I’ve gone from being a regional tenant rep broker, to doing inhouse leasing project management, and now working as a National external transaction manager for a client. I’ve been able to pivot through these three careers relatively easily because I’ve learned so much in each position about the different prospective of each party involved. With each position, my knowledge has increased and that’s the reason I can be successful in my current role. Since I’m now the middle man between brokers and clients, my background allows me to understand each parties’ goals to manage the communication between the two seamlessly.
5) If you’re going out to dinner in Boston, where are you going?
My favorite restaurant in Boston is Abe & Louie's. It’s a classic Boston steakhouse with great service and great food – I always enjoy my time there so I try to get there once a year if I can.