In Depth host Francis Rose spoke with Herman Bulls, the CEO of the Public Institutions division at the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, who said the government should stick to the basics of real estate sales:
“Find out what is the market value, who are the logical users, and then put a marketing plan together to make sure you can get the appropriate organizations that will make bids on these properties and have the ability to close.”
Bulls does not think that all of the properties on the block will be a hard sale. “Some of it will be very attractive to the extent that it’s in urban areas and can be repurposed,” he said.
Bulls foresees that pension funds would be one type of buyer, inasmuch as urban office properties can be good sources of rental income. “These are going to be opportunistic, entrepreneurial investors who, basically, see how the property could be reused and repurposed, and the risk will be high but so will the opportunities,” he explained.
Selling off 14,000 properties is “not something that will happen overnight,” Bulls said. But he added that the process could be hastened somewhat by bringing in the private sector.
“Not to say that the government is inefficient, however, the private sector, which does this every day, will definitely be able to come in and bring some great results,” he said.
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