Growing up in a multigenerational farming family, Brian Adamson, a 2016 NAIOP Developing Leaders Award winner, developed a deep appreciation for the importance of land and real estate for successful businesses. This led him to a career in commercial real estate, where he said he takes pride in contributing to tenants’ successes through the improvement and operation of real estate.
In 2013, Adamson started ICAP Development LLC, where he manages the company’s strategy and implementation. The company purchases value-add retail and industrial assets throughout the Midwest. Among the tenants of this build-to-suit developer: Walgreens, La-Z-Boy, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Aldi Foods. He previously worked as a real estate manager for Told Development Company, where he served as lead developer and project manager for two regional power centers totaling over 800,000 square feet of office and retail.
Adamson joined NAIOP in 2009 and quickly became involved in the Wisconsin chapter, serving as co-chair of the NAIOP Wisconsin Developing Leaders Committee and DL liaison to the chapter’s board of directors. He serves as a member of the NAIOP Wisconsin board of directors and in 2017 will take on the role of chair of the chapter’s Programs Committee. NAIOP asked this enterprising leader about his goals, outlook and advice to other rising industry stars.
NAIOP: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Adamson: The tangible nature of real estate development makes every project unique and rewarding. During each phase of a project, I witness jobs being created and value being added to the economy.
NAIOP: What is your ultimate career goal?
Adamson: I was extremely blessed to be able to start and manage my own company, ICAP Development, in 2013. I continue to have goals as I grow and manage ICAP, including adding staff who cultivate ICAP’s entrepreneurial spirit and further contributing to our clients’ growth and success.
NAIOP: How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?
Adamson: For the first three years of my career, I was focused on corporate real estate outside of Wisconsin. Immediately after joining a Wisconsin-based development company, I joined NAIOP with the goal of familiarizing myself with the local real estate market and the people involved in it – one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made. I have made countless valuable business and personal connections through NAIOP.
NAIOP: What advice would you offer to other young professionals in commercial real estate?
Adamson: No real estate project is without risk. Evaluate the risks and benefits of a project, then step back and pursue the deal if the risks can be identified and mitigated.
NAIOP: Who has been an inspiring or influential figure in your life?
Adamson: My parents raised six children in an old farm house (with only 1 bathroom!). I learned a lot about faith, family, sacrifice and hard work. I owe everything I have to the way I was raised and I have my parents to thank for that.
This is part of a series of profiles of NAIOP’s 2016 Developing Leaders Award recipients, who have distinguished themselves through exceptional commitment and contributions to the industry. This prestigious award was presented at NAIOP’s Commercial Real Estate Conference 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Watch this two-minute video to learn more about NAIOP’s Developing Leaders program.