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Broker seeks national attention for niche lease

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  • | 6:08 a.m. January 22, 2014
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Tampa area commercial real estate broker David Sobelman, who literally wrote the book on triple net lease investments, is about to take the niche investment approach to another audience.

This time Sobelman, co-author of “The Little Book of Triple Net Lease Investing,” will exhibit his industry knowledge in a conference setting: Sobelman was named chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers' first-ever Triple Net Lease Conference, scheduled for March 3 and 4 in Dallas.

It's a fitting role for Sobelman, who first brought up the idea of a conference solely devoted to retail triple net leases with ICSC officials seven years ago. An executive vice president with Calkain Cos., Sobelman helped organize a panel discussion on the topic at the ICSC annual conference in Las Vegas in May. That panel drew 500 people, which Sobelman says whetted ICSC officials' desire for more.

In a triple net lease the tenant agrees to pay the insurance on the property, real estate taxes and maintenance. That's how the building owner receives rent three times net. Triple net leases are often done with freestanding commercial buildings, mostly because the investments are considered passive and less risky.

“It's become a more popular option,” Sobelman tells Coffee Talk. “The majority of buyers are seeking a steady, predictable income from the day they buy it.”

A Sarasota native who worked in the White House during Bill Clinton's presidency, Sobelman started his commercial real estate career in the research department at Grubb & Ellis in Washington, D.C. He launched the Tampa office for Reston, Va.-based Calkain in 2006, and has built up his triple net lease career ever since. He co-authored the book, in 2010, with Calkain President and CEO Jonathan Hipp.

The conference, says Sobelman, will be a combination of lessons learned and market intelligence for all corners of the industry, from brokers to landlords. Chad Hennings, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the 1990s Dallas Cowboys who is now a motivational speaker, is the keynote presenter on opening night. Several prominent industry executives, meanwhile, are scheduled to speak on panels the next day. Says Sobelman: “There is definitely a market out there for this.”


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