Gearing up for a Groundbreaking


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Holladay Properties is getting ready for a groundbreaking event at its 5100 Forest Avenue property in Downers Grove, Illinois. The event will take place in October and will be the culmination of more than three years of planning and strategizing. We thought now would be a great time to share the story of this project with everyone!

1895 – Illinois Lumber Co.

1895 image courtesy of Downers Grove Historical Society

5100 Forest Ave. in the early days

1970s – 2005

Bank Building from 1790s to 2005

From the 1970s until 2005, the site housed a bank building, though it changed brands many times. In 2005, TCF Bank closed its doors and eventually foreclosed on the property.


In 2013, Holladay Properties purchased the building, which had been vacant for 8 years and started planning how to redevelop and re-purpose the existing building.


One of the early plans for the building included converting the facility to retail use with a drive-thru restaurant.


Another early retail-themed plan for the building.


In the beginning, Holladay looked at working with a development partner to create a mixed-use facility for the site, with ground floor retail and upper lever multi-family uses.

Holladay also researched hospitality uses for the site.



2016 Rendering of Burlington Station

Holladay begins to actively work towards demolishing the existing facility and converting the site to house a single-building multi-family complex. The name Burlington Station is chosen for the 89-unit facility.


Firefighters use the vacant building for training exercises

The Downers Grove Fire Department asked us if they could use our vacant facility, scheduled for demolishing, for firefighter training.


Of course, we said yes and the Downers Grove Fire Department sent about 60 firefighters and offices to our facility over a 3-day period.


Many of the firefighters had not had the opportunity to work on this type of building before.


The firefighters also discussed different tactics and how building construction features could affect their operations.

We’re ready to begin the next stage in the life-cycle of this facility and look forward to working with the Village of Downers Grove to bring new life the 5100 Forest Avenue and attract young people who might become long-term residents of the suburb.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new project!

Recognizing Our People in the Community – Drew Mitchell


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Drew Mitchell Drew Mitchell, Vice President of Development, is currently serving as President in his fifth year on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Northwest Indiana (JA). Jessica Vargas, Project Architect, also served on the Board.

Junior Achievement partners with businesses and educators to bring real world experiences to the classroom, helping students open their minds and their potential. Volunteers deliver relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

JA NWI currently serves over 90 schools in Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana, and JA programs are in nearly 1,800 classrooms. Last year, over 700 community-based volunteers taught in classrooms, reaching nearly 45,000 students. JA programs are free to schools thanks to the help of its corporate partners as well as volunteer support.

Recently, a Holladay Properties team participated in the 2016 NWI Bowl-a-Thon to benefit Junior Achievement. The six volunteers included Drew and Jessica, as well as Duffey Phelps (Project Developer), Khalela El-Naggar (Portage office intern), Kit Suhoveky (Portfolio Manager-South Bend), and Mike Micka (Vice President of Development). The team enjoyed an evening of pizza and bowling in support of this great group, and raised $420, vastly surpassing its goal of $200.


To support Junior Achievement or for more information, contact Drew Mitchell.

Nashville celebrates team with company picnic


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The Holladay Properties Events Committee (Marcy Coffman, Candalee Kumar, Sarah Rexrode, Cheryll Schroth, and Micah Williams) recently planned and executed a memorable Company Picnic featuring group interaction, good food, and super-fun activities. We are happy to report that no serious injuries, no sunburns, and no dehydration resulted from the event!

On Saturday, July 16, Holladay Properties’ Nashville personnel and their families met at the YMCA Camp Widjiwagan for a delicious barbecue lunch and fun events.

“I think this was the best company picnic ever; not crowded, since we were the only group there, which allowed everyone to participate and do multiple activities later,” declared Julie Malone (Quality Assurance Analyst).  “The food was great, good participation in the team events, and fun activities for everyone later. The banana boat was a blast and I would have loved to have more time to do it several times,” she added.

Everyone that attended was split into teams for the events (sack race, 3-legged race, relay race, and tug-of-war). Each team was awarded points based on where they finished each event. The points were added together for each team and awards were given to the teams finishing in first, second, and third places. After the team events, everyone was free to enjoy camp activities including zip line, banana boat rides, pool/splash pad, kangaroo jump, and canoes/kayaks.

“It was great to get to interact with everyone from different levels and departments! The food was amazing and the choices of things to do after the scheduled events were a blast!” said Brandon Drake (Assistant Property Manager-Skyline).

Holladay personnel that took home FIRST place included: Allen Arender, Tiffany Coursey, and Carrie Cunningham. In second place were: Samantha Abbott, Carrie Jo Carman, Brandon Drake, Candalee Kumar, and Cheryll Schroth. And third place winners were: Marcy Coffman, Lisa Sexton, and Sarah Rexrode. Bragging rights apply.

Jeff Ottman (Executive Vice President-Operations) wrote in an email, “I want to thank the entire Events Committee on a great picnic.  I really needed that fun after being away from the office for an extended period of time.  Great job to everyone who contributed to it.”

Please enjoy these photos from the event.

Events Committee members Cheryll Schroth, Marcy Coffman, Sarah Rexrode, Candalee Kumar, and Micah Williams

Events Committee members Cheryll Schroth, Marcy Coffman, Sarah Rexrode, Candalee Kumar, and Micah Williams

Sack Race shenanigans

Sack race shenanigans

3-Legged Race competition

Getting ready for the 3-Legged Race competition

Tug-Of-War contest

Time for Tug-Of-War!

Zip Line Tower

Big fun at the Zip Line Tower

Banana Boat

Banana Boat rides were a big hit

Executive Vice Presidents Allen Arender and Jeff Ottman

Holladay Partners & Executive Vice Presidents Allen Arender and Jeff Ottman



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By Derek Naber
Project Developer

I just got back from a wonderful trip to London, England where my wife and I were able to explore all of the cool sites and neighborhoods.

Tate Modern

Photo by Derek Naber

During this trip, there was one particular building that struck me, the Tate Modern, a free modern art gallery across the Thames River from St. Paul’s Cathedral. In researching this fascinating mid-century modern structure, I discovered that the building was the former Bankside Power Station (built in 1952 – the year  Holladay way founded incidentally), which produced oil-fired power to London for thirty years. After the facility was closed, many developers considered demolishing the iconic structure, but by 1994, Tate Gallery had committed funding and efforts to revitalize the Bankside Power Station. The result of this adaptive reuse project has created a sensational public art gallery that attracts residents and tourists alike.

In touring Tate Modern a couple of weeks ago, I noted that the designers allocated the art gallery rooms to the sides of the building while leaving the central interior mostly unoccupied, which displays stunning views of the massive structure.

Central State Powerhouse

Central State Powerhouse

In applying this fun precedent to Central Greens, there is a 18,000 square foot, multi-story Old Powerhouse building sitting in the middle of the redevelopment area. The building has had some initial clean-up and environmental work (including asbestos removal), but for the most part, it is uninhabitable. With that said, the architecture of the exterior is striking and perhaps this building could also be utilized as a museum of some sort.

The former Central State Powerhouse still needs a lot of work, but with the help from other community partners, this building could have a new life.

Obviously, there are some interesting precedents out there on alternative reuses of powerhouses, but I am curious if anyone reading this article has seen some cool powerhouse reuses out there?

Feel free to provide links in the comment section!

18th annual Realcomm conference and IBcon 2016


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By Sean Cunningham
IT Director – Nashville


Bryan Monahan, Property Manager (Minneapolis, MN) and I traveled to San Jose, CA, to attend the Realcomm conference, and I think I can safely speak for Bryan when I say we both came back with our heads full of information and ideas.  This was the first time that Holladay was represented at Realcomm since 2004, an event which led ultimately to the creation of RE-Lynx and a drastic shift in Holladay’s tech focus, and we expect similar results from this year’s conference.

Realcomm Conference Group, LLC is a worldwide research and event company at the intersection of technology, innovation and real estate operations. Through their annual conferences, webinars, workshops, CIO Forums and other strategic services, Realcomm provides networking and collaboration opportunities, while educating industry professionals about the latest business solutions and technologies to improve commercial real estate development, leasing, management and operations.

Cyber security was one of the focal points of the event and Bryan and I learned a great deal about where we stand relative to the rest of our industry.   We discovered different tricks of the trade and new ways to keep our information safe – the most important being training. The security question extended even to the building automation system discussions that we attended.  We were able to watch a few live demos of two automation systems that we hope to implement soon in a few of our properties to improve both our security and our overall energy management platform.

From a strictly IT perspective, we learned how to analyze our current suite of facilities management software and I have already started working with MRI to gain direct access to their databases that will cut down on the duplication of information that we have to do to keep things in sync. We’re also investigating Office 365, the cloud “software-as-a-service” version of Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Office applications, which will improve mobile productivity and offload some of the demanding IT support tasks.

Overall, Bryan and I were really blown away with the amount of information that we were able to pick up in just three days. We plan to make Realcomm a regular event for us in the future as technology in our sector changes nearly as fast as it does in Silicon Valley itself.

While at the Realcomm conference, Sean Cunningham and Bryan Monahan were interviewed by Richard Scheinin and quoted in his article titled “San Jose: Showcasing smart buildings: where technology meets real estate” for The Mercury News Business section, which can be read here:

64 years in the making: Celebrating ‘The Holladay Way’


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On June 28, 2016, Holladay Properties (Holladay) and Holladay Construction Group (HCG) gathered with employees from their many offices throughout the U.S. to enjoy a  company-wide team-building event for the first time in Holladay’s 64+ year history. We had nearly 125 people, representing the four regional offices of HCG, all five development offices of Holladay, and several of Holladay’s MOB Management Satellite offices gathered under one roof to celebrate recent achievements, including the completion of the 378,000 square foot Grand Park Events Center, where the event was held.

For those employees who couldn’t be there, for those who were there but may have missed some of his words, and for those of you who just enjoy hearing about the people of Holladay and HCG, we are sharing part of the speech given by John Phair, President & CEO of Holladay and Chairman of HCG, at the celebration event.

Today was intended to be a Celebration of the completion of this remarkable facility [the Grand Park Events Center] – and an opportunity to try it out with our athletic and game skills! To start off with, let’s take a look at a new video that we will be able to use in all of our offices. Although you will recognize the theme is the completion of this facility, you will see at least a couple other buildings from each office [completed by Holladay and HCG] as well.  So with that intro, let’s take a look…

Holladay stands for something! Yes we can build remarkable facilities. But as important, maybe even more so, we know how to take care of the clients who work in these facilities (you have seen) and over 100 others like the ones you have seen in this video. Management, maintenance, landscaping, correct accounting-those are all things that distinguish us and our management skills. And that means everyone in this room! We are the whole package!

We tell people the truth. We are prideful, without being particularly boastful. We have a client first mentality. We treat each other with respect. Our Golden Rule is to “treat others the way you want to be treated.”

We also ‘stumble’ and make mistakes occasionally, but hopefully our tag line – building solutions – is the difference maker. We own up to our problems and work to correct them. We get upset, but not mad at each other. We are fixers. We treat each other with respect.

There is a positive story with every individual in this room.  I love you all and I am thankful every day for your support of HP & HCG.


John Phair speaks about “The Holladay Way” and the recognizes the employees of Holladay and HCG.

The second purpose of the gathering was to recognize the talented team members at Holladay and HCG. We’d like to share a few of those accomplishments below.


Director of Design Services, Joy Yoo (Indianapolis) is  recognized for her part in the design and development of the Grand Park Events Center.


Project Architect, Jessica Vargas (Portage) has been named to the NWI Junior Achievement Board, has been nominated for the 2016 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Award, and has received her Tennessee architect’s license.



The Maple Lane management team (Gary Stump, Chuck Rinehart, Shasta Kreighbaum, Rob Hayes, Alesia Robinson, Steve Aaron and Kim Jones) have set a record 99.9% occupancy rate this year. Gary Stump also received his Accredited Residential Manager designation, along with Jackie Green and Melissa Morin.


The leadership team from our Nashville office has had an amazing year so far including earning its third BOMA TOBY award, having property manager Jacqueline Fermin named BOMA Property Manager of the Year and elected president of her chapter of BOMA, and receiving several awards from our largest single MOB client, HCP at its annual award ceremony in May.



Ryan Kelly, Jeff Arthur, Duffey Phelps and Tim Healy celebrate the opening of the WoodSpring Suites Romeoville, which opened with the highest opening score in company history – of 208 hotels.


The “unsung” heroes of Holladay & HCG – our accounting team get some recognition for their honesty, integrity and willingness to do the financial work on over 400 seperate locations and nearly 100 partnerships and entities.


Tim  Helton has run the Indianapolis office of HCG for many years and in April was named the President of HCG.



Tim Helton and Chris Wilkes led the team who developed and built the Grand Park Events Center.


The Indianapolis office of HCG and Holladay all had a hand in the completion of the Grand Park Events Center.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone at Holladay and HCG for everything you do and for making this a great company to work for and with each and every day!

If you would like to recognize and employee of Holladay or HCG, please comment on this blog. We’d love to hear about your experiences with our amazing group of people.