Real Estate Development Strategy in a Changing Market and Avoiding “the Dumb Tax,” with Chris Coleman of Wingspan Development Group

Vice President of Development for Wingspan Development Group Chris Coleman says that the privately owned real estate company is more of a “developer with a general contractor in-house,” than a traditional developer. That vertical integration gives Wingspan a differentiator in the market. Currently focused on multifamily and mixed-use developments in Northern Illinois, Southeastern Wisconsin and Central Florida, Wingspan is now seeking to expand into the Greater Phoenix, Greater Denver, and Greater Atlanta markets. On this episode of Real Estate for Breakfast, host Phil Coover and Chris Coleman discuss Wingspan’s real estate development strategy, how the company differs from other developers, and some of the group’s most successful projects. Additionally, they discuss how Wingspan is navigating the current real estate climate and how Chris and other company leaders chose which new markets to target. Chris explains that the Phoenix, Denver, and Atlanta markets are all areas that he himself or the group’s Director of Development, Jason Macklin, are personally familiar with, and that is what gives Wingspan comfort in moving forward in those regions. Chris refers to this concept as the group’s way of avoiding “the dumb tax,” or losing money by naively developing in areas that the local operators have passed over due to local knowledge of a development challenge. Chris also discusses the group’s formation, and how it grew out of its sister company, Nicholas & Associates. As a family-owned business, Chris points out that Wingspan can be selective about its deals, and that patience can sometimes give it an advantage over traditional development companies. Overall, Chris says, Wingspan’s number one priority is to protect the family and execute good projects. As Wingspan’s Vice President of Development, Chris is responsible for all of the company’s lines of business, including development oversight, fostering new debt and equity relationships, and implementing Wingspan’s overall strategic plan. Prior to joining Wingspan, Coleman served as Chicago Division President for William Ryan Homes, Inc. Chris first began his career in real estate in 1988 as a market analyst with The Zale Group. After spending time in Florida and Georgia, Coleman returned to Chicago in 1997 to launch his own firm specializing in in-fill redevelopment. He joined Wingspan Development Group in 2017. Learn more about Wingspan Development Group here:

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The Real Estate for Breakfast podcast is a Chicago centric commercial real estate podcast which presents real estate professionals and attorneys to create thoughtful commentary on current real estate issues, explanations of sophisticated real estate problems, current developments, and entertaining discussion. This podcast is the mixture of the real estate business and law. The podcast hosts developers, property management professionals, brokers, attorneys, owners, investors, visionaries, tenants, tenant representatives, and business owners, and brings conversation about business and real estate issues of all kinds. Hosted by Phil Coover of Clark Hill PLC. DISCLAIMER – No information contained in this Podcast or on this Website shall constitute financial, investment, legal and/or other professional advice and that no professional relationship of any kind is created between you and podcast host, the guests or Clark Hill PLC. You are urged to speak with your financial, investment, or legal advisors before making any investment or legal decisions.