The Boukai Family

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Amer and Ziad Boukai are the magic behind much of the Wendy’s growth and success in Southern California. Ziad is the king of operations and Amer handles the business. The Boukai family have extensive restaurant and real estate holdings and those of us lucky enought to work with them feel like extended family.

When Amer isn’t swimming or skiing, he’s busy buying, selling or financing something. His super power is making sure it’s a win win for everyone. Spending time on the board of his alma mater, the University of Irvine is only one of his many give backs to the community.

Here’s to many more Frosty’s with the Boukais!

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Amer having fun with fellow Wendy’s franchisee Ketan Sharma

Bon Voyage John Buckley Gordon

The Luck of the Irish

We've been lucky to have John on our team. He's an extremely talented, diligent and innovative deal maker. John is a close friend who has helped build Irish from the beginning.  We'll miss his companionship and out of the box thinking and wish him great success in his next chapter - Sláinte Johnny!

A Great Choice

John has worked the Choice Hotel account since 2015 and is responsible for their acquisition of the historic 13 story Federal Bar building at 110 N. Pine Long Beach for a Cambria Suites. In addition, John completed six Woodspring Suites, one Comfort Inn and recently completed the first EverHome Suites in Corona.


It’s hard to quantify the contributions a person makes to your company and to your life, but with John it’s easy to say that those contributions are monumental.  

John has always been there to jump in on any project whether it benefited him or not.  John has great insite into reading situations and people.  He’s insightful and doesn’t hesitate to question a situation that doesn’t feel right. He’s the first to ask for feedback so he can better himself.  

John keeps family first and his three boys are the recipients of a lot of love.  Being his second family at Irish, we got a lot of good lovin too!

We’re going to miss you JG, stay safe and have fun.  - Kip

Jon Jon Jon

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From Left: Jon Parker from Kabat Real Estate Solutions in Tennessee, Jon McCall rom Moore Co Realty in Montgomery Alabama and Jon Hellein with Archon in Orlando.

We had another excellent annual meeting with SiteSource, this year in San Diego hosted by The Duhs Commercial Crew.  

Every year we attend these events we are always enlivened by the camaraderie with fellow brokers who live and breathe our same daily realities across the country.  To be able to fine tune our business skills and share ideas with business owners running similar retail brokerage companies, that aren’t competitors, is a real gift.

This year the focus was marketing with social media. We had a great presentations from David Cobb from Archon in Orlando about setting yourself apart from the rest which he definietly does. We also heard from Beth Azor who is a great public speaker and early adopter of all of the socials to market her shopping center portfolio.  The bottom line was “Use It” and “Add Value” don’t just post your deals.

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Above are Marti Weinstein and Dina Zell with Zell Commercial in Phoenix Arizona

Gold Coast Premier Properties

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We’ve all heard the term “it takes a Village” in the Case of Gold Coast Premier Properties "it takes a Global Alliance" to build their quality hotels.  Pictured above is the Gold Coast team with representation from Miami, Switzerland, Kansas, France, Washington State, and of course California.  The Gold Coast team is made up of the most diverse minds and talents and everyone is a pleasure to learn from and have fun with.  Their motto is work hard and play hard and they deffinitely live up to their motto.  Raul Garcia, center with his daughter Veronica are the visionaries behind the United States development for Woodspring Suites Hotels.

They won the Choice Hotel developer of the year last year for the Woodspring Suites flag and this year walked away with Premier Developer for 2019 for the entire Choice Hotel Company that includes 12 hotel brands:

Press Release May 2, 2019

  • Premier Developer Winner – With development projects that span coast-to-coast in the nation's top metropolitan markets, Gold Coast Premier Properties sees no end in sight to the company's growth. Gold Coast has opened WoodSpring Suites hotels in Miami and Naples, Fla., with over a dozen projects in the pipeline in FloridaCaliforniaNorth Carolina, and South Carolina.

Site Source in New Orleans

It was another great annual meeting with our friends from across the country.  We’re so lucky to have a network of like minded entrepreneurs to share ideas and leads with.  New Orleans is a sensory explosion both good and bad but definitely fun if you don’t eat the wrong oyster.

Pictured below, enjoying some live Jazz, from left is Perry Russ from Zamias in Johnstown PA, Michelle Rozakis and Nick Diamond from Real Estate Investment Group in Portland OR, Steven Roth from Guggenheim Commercial in Cleveland and KB from Irish.

Site source friends
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Jesse Heathcock

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Mr. Jesse Heathcock is our relatively new friend coming from the ranks of Newmark Knight Frank’s Retail Occupier Services. Jesse is running the Beer Park and Big Chicken accounts for NKF and we’ve taken some fun journey’s with him in our short time together.

With his sales analytic skills learned at Brinker and before that at Southern Methodist and Texas A&M we feel slightly incompetent when making real estate recommendations.  Fortunately Jesse is a gentleman and humors us patiently listening to our endorsements.

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And then there’s…

Robin Bhalla who keeps evolving while magically staying the same.  

Looking solid in his orange construction vest complimenting his tailored executive suit with skinny floral tie, 8 am shadow and Chuck Yeager sunglasses on a rainy day.

Robin is now running the leasing for Festival managment for the Howard Hughs Redevelopment and other fun projects.

We signed the lease and still don’t even know what space it’s for, he’s a salesman extraodinaire.

Lucky to have these great guys to spend our work hours with. It makes time-off kind of boring:)

The Irish Boys

There are good ships and there are wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships, may they always be.

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Irish Mammoth retreat Fall 2018 - Convict Lake

Commercial real estate can be an emotional roller coaster with dramatic highs and lows.  It takes a long-term view and an optomistic mindset to navigate the changing seas.  Fortunately our team is made up of seasoned sailors who have that necessary patience and perspective.  It’s a blessing to have great friends to share the journey with.

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Patti Nelson - Subway


Patti is a true foodie.  She grew up in the business with her immediate and extended families dozens of restaurants. She helped her mother operate a Penguins Yogurt store and then ran operations for the company. She managed real estate for a large portfolio of restaurant properties then became the west coast Real Estate Manager for Peet’s Coffee & Tea.  Then she moved over to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as Director of Store Development and is presently Senior Director, managing all aspects of every company owned site. Now Patti is running the largest retail real estate department in the US at Subway.


Patti has always been a pleasure to work with. She is extra detailed, flexible - in our ever changing business, hard working - in early - out late - long commute, always nice and always fun.  

She was especially fun when her other foodie side came out when she forwards a discount card from our favorite lunch spot Fronk’s with a request for an immediate site tour.  When a cold shipment of Bubba’s boneless ribs showed up at the doorstep with no sender info, she was the first call, and yes...she sent them.


Update:  Patti is now on the East Coast at Subway and doesn’t get to do foodie drives with us anymore but we still get to celebrate with her when she comes back to town.

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Tom Turley


Tom is a mover and a shaker, he has dedicated his career to strategic planning and implementation for large portfolios in both the private and public sectors for JLL.  

So…when Tom agreed to invest on a development deal, we all felt a lot more comfortable that we could handle those inevitable ISSUES having his tactical and bottom line approach on our team.

Tom is a laptop warrior.  If he isn’t blasting out emails, he’s on a conference call with one of his clients.  One evening when we were invited over for cocktails and a sunset, Tom answered the door in the middle of a conference call, pointed to the deck and cooler and made a hand motion of drinking a beer.

Two hours later we headed out the door for home while Tom, you guessed it, was still on his client call.


A rare sighting of Tom without the cell phone to his ear.

2018 update TOM GOT MARRIED!

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Rich Gebele & Ronald McDonald

We did it! 

Former McDonald’s deal maker extrodanair, Rich Gebele and I had a great Saint Patricks day visiting our newly opened Grand Terrace McDonald’s.  

As they say, it takes a village.  The birth of this State-of-the-art McDonald’s became reality with the help of the following friends: 

Rich Gebele, Helen Singer and Kori Seki from McDonald’s

Mike McCasland, Mike Reed and the dearly missed Mike Slaton from Stater Bros.

Tom Swica and Tony Archer from Voit

Jim Bickel and Kelly Johnson from Bickel Group

My beloved partners Kyle Nelson, construction guru, and money man/strategist Turbo-Tom Turley

R&K Mc

Rich was kind enough to don the Irish CB St. Paddy’s day shirt for our visit:)

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Dean and Scott McPhail

Brothers McPhail are the Batman & Robin of Retail store roll outs.  First it was Blockbuster Video in Hawaii & Guam, then Starbucks in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, then Jamba Juice in Hawaii and Florida, then PF Changs in Honolulu, then Core Power Yoga in Hawaii and California then High Society Freeride and that’s just the work stuff. 

Dean is the cool collected imagineer and financier, Scott is the operations wizard.  

These days Dean is imagining if he wants to carve Colorado powder or head out his front yard for a downwinder around Black Point. Scott is likely coordinating the BBQ for the bro’s after a day of ripping the mountain, followed by a quick stop at 39 degrees. Or he's preping the BBQ after a morning dog walk, big breakfast, surf, visit with Dean to check on important things, afternoon SUP from Portlock to the Outrigger then a grocery run.

If anyone deserves days like that, it’s these two big hearted guys.

Well done Blondie.

Dean & Scott

Richard Gebele • Brian Wine • Brian Tracy

These guys...

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represent a lot of laughs, a lot of beers, a lot of work, a lot of poetry, a lot of learning, a lot of teaching, a lot of driving, a lot of candles, a lot of phone calls, a lot of lunches, a lot of snoring, a lot of meetings, a lot of emails, a lot of expenses and a lot of deals!

Chris Wilson

This picture…

Chris Wilson

…Says it all

Robin Bhalla & Walter Cathey

Curtis & Robin

Robin & Wally are two perfect examples of why Retail Real Estate is one of the most fun career paths.  The only thing better than hanging with two top notch real estate professionals, is hanging with two top notch real estate professionals who don’t take themselves too seriously.  

Robin who’s Linkdin page has this picture profile:  

is obviously a guy who enjoys life.  He’s a well trained CB and NAI alum, who now handles leasing for Combined Properties' real estate portfolio.

Wally who started at CB back in the early 90’s has worked in the in-house development departments for McDonald’s, Zaremba building CVS Drug Stores, Fresh and Easy during the blow and go days, and is now a Senior Real Estate Manager at Walgreens.  

When you walk into an ICSC party and see one of these guys, prepare for some laughs, if you see them both, you’ll need your Uber Car app.

Update: Robin navigated the Irvine Company Leasing and is now busy at Festival handling their big portfolio.   Wally has taken early retirement and is chilling back in his hometown with his family.

Charlie Cangelosi

Charlie Cangelosi where to start?  

Well, he loves his family and he’s really good at his business which could be: 

finding sites for various retailers, both nationals and mom & pops, 

coaching a basketball game with his girls, 

listing a shopping center in La Puente, San Bernardino or Oxnard 

making waffels and playing vinyl records Sunday mornings, 

driving the minivan like a race car on site tours, 

making philly cheese steak sandwiches for his poker nights,  

negotiating long term ground leases, 

scaring the neighborhood children with his halloween decorations and costumes, 

driving all over Southern California sniffing and hunting the next real estate deal, 

quickly answering the phone when the “fly me to the moon” ringtone sounds 

Being honest to a fault with his Landlords and Tenants

Loving his family.

Mark Perkins - Tenant Services NKF

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Although I had worked with Mark from from the peripherie on the Hollywood Video account, I first really met Mark during a Smart & Final Broker Network Powow. 

I knew I liked him when he looked over at me about halfway through the meeting and mouthed “this is bull shit”.  

Mark is a consumate professional, deal maker, cut to the chase guy, and is excellent in • managing a team of deal makers  • analyzing a market • being effective but brief on the phone • being ruthelessly honest when needed • and absolutely hilarious to reminisce with.  

Mark has worked with McDonald’s, Jack In the Box, Blockbuster, helped run the show at Hollywood Video, Founded The Standard Group with Branson, Joe & Lew, Built single tenant developments, Rolled out the revamped Ultimate Electronics before it imploded, and is now Senior Manging Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Tom & Jerry.  

    "Why are you taking my picture?”                                             -Mark is fun one night a week.

Billy Zebe - Ze/Lin Organic Juice & Pastry

Billy Zebe has been a friend of ours for many years.  We met Billy when he was responsible for all of Hollywood Video's real estate, construction, store openings, architecture, facilities, lease administration, legal and research.

Billy & Carl

He eventually was one of three board of directors who sold the company for $1.3 billion In 2005.  After his run at Hollywood Video and Blockbuster Video before that, Billy took a break and attended Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School of Management and received his MBA in 2011.

With his newfound wealth of knowledge and his newfound friend Rich Franklin, a fellow health nut and former UFC Middleweight Champion, Billy formed Ze/Lin specializing in cold pressed organic juices and smoothies.

While still consulting for Fortune 500 companies, Billy is blazing the trail of the natural food and drink business. Billy has aspirations of bringing healthy food and drinks to the nation, just like he brought the latest movies to our living rooms 20 years ago.  We  love being part of this healthy, game changing business, and partners with these inspiring entrepreneurs.

Update: Billy is now the head of real estate for Woodspring Suites - we get to play again!

Update: Never to let the grass grow more than a quarter of an inch, Billy is now designing jewelry in Naples Florida and Thriving on a Keto diet.   RIP Larry:(

Kristen Holst - Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Kristen is a true friend who has been there for us in the business world and in our personal lives as well.  She's a hard working deal maker and her vivacious  nature always makes it fun. 

Kristen entered Grocery / Drug business in 1994 as a Senior Real Estate Manager for Lucky / Savon at American Stores. When Albertson's acquired American Stores in 1998 Kristen was chosen to handle strategic planning for the entire Southern California drug store program.  In 2006 when CVS purchased Savon, again Kristen adapted, and became Director of Real Estate at CVS Realty Company. 

We can always count on Kristen for her deal making insight, her wonderful smile, and her detailed voice mail greetings that share the story of her day.

Update: Kristen is now the Director of Real Estate for Dick’s Sporting Goods!

Kathy Seferian - Wendy's International

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After years with Carl's Jr. Wherehouse Records, Wendy's, Kohl's and then back to Wendy's, Kathy has honed the art of making the deal.  She's such a hard working rep that she spends most of her weeks on the road traveling the western states.  Her equally busy husband Mark and she often coordinate their work travels so they can see each other in Utah, Seattle or…

Kathy looks for real estate sites that have 35,000 square feet of land in anchored shopping centers or prime signalized corners.  She hunts for opportunites for both corporate Wendy's and for Franchisees.  Even with her heavy work load she still has time to train for the walk for breast cancer, travels to see her son in college and consult her daughter who recently joined Main & Main brokerage.  

When you're with Kathy you are either on the phone for quick 60 second updates, listenting to Kathy negotiate a win-win with a client, or laughing your ass off over some crazy event.  Whichever it is, it's always fun.

Walk for BC

Mike Lucero - Springstead Associates - Formerly Del Taco

Mike Lucero

Mike is our favorite taco guy.  Not only because he works for one of the largest mexican drive-thru chains, but because he is a true taco afficianato.  Every site tour with Mike includes a detailed review of the best taco trucks, hole in the wall taco stands and back alley goat-meat taquerias in town.

Mike likes real estate that's at least two miles away from an existing Del Taco, has at least 20,000 sf of land at a prime accessible location and an owner willing to part with about $500k in tenant build-to-suit allowance.  In exchange he'll provide a long term lease with a 10% annual return on the allowance, free one-on-one therapy and an update on the latest great music.

When not making deals, Mike likes to hang with his son Jack and the Mayor of Sun Valley Idaho

Update: Mike has now joined the unglued world of Commercial Real Estate Brokerage and is working with Carol Springstead on CVS, 7-Eleven and other Tenant Rep accounts. I guess we should close up shop.

Edmo : Lucero

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