Spotlight On: Evan Gladstone – NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, LLC

Spotlight on . . .Evan Gladstone

This month we’re putting our Spotlight on Evan Gladstone of NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, LLC. With a specialty in sealed bid sales in the commercial property sector, we recently spoke with Evan on the advantages of sealed bids over other types of auctions, portfolio vs. single asset offers, as well as the current economy’s effect on commercial real estate auctions.

PA: How long have you been with NRC, and what does your position entail as Executive Managing Director?

EG: I’m the company founder. We opened our doors in 1989. I oversee our sealed data auction business, and my partner Dennis Ruben oversees our mergers and acquisitions business. Denny is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our corporate office is here in Chicago.

PA: Your firm deals with various commercial and industrial properties. Is there a specific type that seems to do exceptionally well at auction?

EG: We have a sub-specialty in the convenience store and gas station industry, although our business is not limited to that. We’re a large player nationally in that venue. We also have a secondary business selling franchise restaurants. One of the things that has been a common theme in our company business is selling multiple properties in the same sale. Some of our larger sales have included the sale of 600 convenience stores for a company called Swifty Serve, and 520 convenience stores for a company called Clark Retail – those were both liquidating, Chapter 11 bankruptcies. We also sold 450 stores for BP nationally. The buyers were franchisees and were buying ampm franchises. Of course in all our sealed bid activity, we sell in a ‘buy one, some, or all’ format. To give you a better scale, the Swifty Serve and Clark sales each sold to over 200 individual buyers. In the BP business, probably closer to 450 stores sold to 425 buyers.

PA: While we’re talking about convenience stores and gas station options, who would you say is your biggest audience for this type of commercial real estate? Would it be large corporations, international investors, etc.?

EG: In the convenience store arena, the buyers are primarily small companies and individuals. They are new American buyers, from South Asia and the Middle East, etc. When we’re selling, we sometimes sell to gasoline distributors so companies that will buy ten and 20 sites for their company – our buyers are all users. There are no investors in this realm.

PA: Do you handle sealed bid auctions exclusively?

EG: Over our company history we’ve done many live auction events, but typically for these kinds of properties, being that they’re often widely scattered, we do sealed bid. For example, the Swifty Serve stores were located in 17 states and without any concentration anywhere. We find that the sealed bid approach is the most efficient to move all the properties on the same day. For live auctions for widely scattered properties, we would have had to do 30 live events – we saved on cost and time from having to do that. It’s also in the sealed bid realm that when we offer portfolios, we’re able to utilize some of the methods that live auctioneers use. Auctioneers call those pick-and-choose bidding or bid by choice. In our world, we call this bidding by preference. One bidder could bid on 100 stores and say they only wanted to buy one. That’s very hard to do in a live auction.

PA: Do you think sealed bids are more effective than other options?

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