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Retail Broker – Bauman Known for Straight Talk, Efficient Dealmaking

No, this is not a rerun. Not only did William Bauman of Colliers Seeley repeat as the county’s top retail broker after winning that distinction last year, Ron Wood of Epsteen & Associates and Robert Walsh of Cypress Retail Group came in second and third also repeating their positions of the previous year.

Bauman wrote $70.9 million in business during 1999 to take the top spot. One of Bauman’s clients, Ben Reiling, president of downtown L.A.-based Zelman Development Co., thinks he knows what qualities give his broker the advantage.

“He’s efficient, honorable and forthright,” Reiling said. “When he says he’s going to do something, he does it. We talk with him on a daily basis and he’s very straight. There’s no gamesmanship with him.”

Bauman, who represents Zelman on the Burbank Empire Center, was involved in each lease negotiation on the 750,000-square-foot retail property, which includes Loews, Target, Staples, Marshalls, Michaels, Best Buy, Costco, Sport Chalet, Roadhouse Grill, TGI Friday’s and Krispy Kreme. The project, which opens in summer 2001, will also include two hotels: Embassy Suites and Extended Stay America.

Senior Vice President Bauman, managing director of the retail properties group for Colliers Seeley (formerly Seeley Co.), says his finest asset is his patience.

“It’s the ability to control good product and be able to wait for the deal cycle to evolve,” Bauman said. “Some guys don’t want to be in this business because it takes so long to get paid. But when a deal does come to fruition, it’s very worthwhile.”

Besides Zelman’s 102-acre, mixed-use Burbank Empire project at Empire Avenue and the Golden State (5) Freeway formerly a major facility for Lockheed Bauman’s core development clients include Vestar Development, for whom he leased the last phase of the 920,000-square-foot Long Beach Towne Center. Other clients include Regency Realty and Pacific Theaters.

“William is the best rep I’ve worked with,” Reiling said. “It’s very important to know that your broker is speaking with candor. It’s also important to the outside brokers and everyone has to have the trust that what someone says is going to happen will happen. Often, people tend to play with smoke and mirrors and shade the truth a bit. I’ve never seen him do it.”

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