Breakfast of Champions
On February 1, CREBA held our first Breakfast of Champions of 2018 with an engaging conversation with Chris Mundy, Senior Vice President of Investments for Oxford Properties. Through an interview by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Rafael Notario, Chris advised that your career “won’t be a straight line” and to take advantage of opportunities, be flexible, and broaden your skill set by exposing yourself to all sides of the business.
Chris described how he “fell into commercial real estate” after escaping Wall Street following the 1987 stock market crash: at Trammel Crow, he was able to learn the business from the ground up before a chance encounter while taking his son on a walk led him to Equity Office Properties working alongside other commercial real estate legends Tom Bakke and Sam Zell. He facilitated tremendous growth while on the operations side at EOP, growing the portfolio from 7 million sf to 125 million sf, before deciding to broaden his skill set and learn the investment side of the business. After consulting with both WRIT and Federal Realty Investment Trust , Chris was attracted to Canada’s Oxford Properties because they had capital to invest with a focus on the DC market, and they were willing to take prudent risks.
Oxford’s first venture in DC was joining with the Gould Family on 900 NY Avenue, although they focused first on 600 Massachusetts Ave. With the 1001 G Street and two new trophy acquisitions in 2017, Chris explained that Oxford is not locked into one type of asset, looking at both multi-family and industrial spaces as potential acquisitions. In DC, their focus will remain on the office side, including the development on 900 NY Ave, the last remaining undeveloped parcel at City Center DC. Oxford plans to move forward with construction on a SPEC basis with shovels in the ground by the end of 2018, and an estimated delivery in 2021.
Given the acquisitions they have already made, and their plans for the future, Chris feels there is a limitless potential for growth at Oxford. He has made a career out of “getting in the way of growth,” and he explained that the best way to do that is to become “problem solvers – people who can figure stuff out and get things done.”
Thank you to Chris for speaking, and Oxford Properties for hosting and for the delicious breakfast!