KENNETH R. MITCHELL
My Career in the Rear View Mirror
If you’re wondering about my career, and how I got here, here is a brief look at some of the major projects, events and people who have shaped my career. When you’re looking for a real estate professional, make sure you are dealing with someone who has seen a little “action” along the way, so they’re not “practicing” or learning their skills through trial and error. Every piece of advice I give is based on almost 40 years of experience in a wide variety of task environments with a high degree of complexity.
Yes, I did go to college. I have a Master’s Degree from the College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, and a lot of my course work has been well utilized as I moved through a career in homebuilding, real estate marketing and development, and residential and commercial land brokerage. And, I am a lifetime student. My brokerage licenses in several states require me to always be upgrading my knowledge base and I am always the first person to call on professional associates for information and advice. Is your real estate representative or consultant a lifetime student?
After my apprenticeship in the homebuilding business, I moved on to join The Ray Nasher Company as a Land Development Manager for the 1,600 acre SpringPark community located in the Texas communities of Garland, Richardson and Plano. SpringPark is an open space community nestled in a natural setting in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The Ray Nasher Company is known for its development of the NorthPark Center, an iconic Dallas retail experience.
SpringPark residents enjoy over 130 acres of greenbelts and wooded areas including nature trails, a large soccer field, a baseball diamond, three playgrounds, a small pond, a 17 acre lake, and a band field that is frequently used for a variety of events.
SpringPark in the 1970’s was a model for open-space communities and I was fortunate to develop over 1,000 residential building lots for The Raymond Nasher Company, American Financial Corporation and Trek Development Company, marketing to a select group of custom homebuilders in SpringPark, SpringPark North, SpringPark Stables Estates, SpringPark Woods, and SpringPark West.
During the inevitable “down” cycles in our industry, I seem to always find myself working the “dark-side” of the business – the management and sale of distressed real estate. This was the case from August of 2007 through August of 2015, when I handled several hundred million dollars of real estate for Colony Capital, a client of SunCal. Many of the transactions were typical loan workouts using short sales, discounted pay-offs, loan restructures and similar actions. As I worked through the portfolio, some of the negotiations inevitably failed, leading to Note Sales, Deed-In-Lieu transactions, judgment Sales and, at the end of the cycle, foreclosure and REO sales. Transactions ranged from as small as $10,000 scattered lots in LeHigh Acres, to a $10 million+ land transaction in South Florida. Inbetween, there was a lot of pain, suffering, hard work and big rewards. I worked in a highly regulated environment due to the client’s acquisition of the loan portfolio as a quasi-joint venture with the federal government.
In my spare time, I did manage to find a $17 million golf course community in Savannah, Georgia, that SunCal purchased for an attractive inventory of golf course lots, commercial property and future residential development parcels that centered on a Greg Norman golf course and clubhouse.