This week, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of the many great Four on Friday interviews we published on this blog during the final months of 2014.

Below are excerpts from and links to — you guessed it — four recent interviews. They are good examples of the insight into the commercial real estate markets, and the personalities that help shape those markets, that we try to provide every Friday.

• Max Grelier of RCP Companies

Key excerpt:

RCP is part of the development team that is developing a $100 million mixed-use project in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, for the city. Give us the details on the project, and what kind of an impact do you expect it to have on the city?

Grelier: We envision a “high-tech hub” office product that brings together the latest and most modern technology there is to offer nationwide. We are working with leaders in the technology and life-science community to create a new epicenter for the technology community in Huntsville to service the needs of our growing economy and create a niche market for job growth in Huntsville’s CBD.


• Ron Phofl of North American Properties

Key excerpt:

Why did NAP feel it was important to secure first-to-market retailers and chef-driven restaurants at Avalon?
Pfohl: We didn’t want Avalon to be like the other retail offerings in the market, nor did we want a mall with the roof ripped off. We wanted more heart and soul. When I was walking down these streets a few days ago, I walked into Cosmetic Market, a first-to-market retailer from Nashville. The owner has a beautiful store, and she’s very passionate. She was telling contractors to rip down light fixtures two days before opening because they weren’t right. That’s the kind of passion you’re looking for to bring something new and exciting to a retail development. Same with chefs — it’s very personal.


• Lisa Byrd of Hartman Simons

Key excerpt:

What do you find most satisfying about practicing law?  

Byrd: Showing clients that there are a multitude of ways to accomplish their goals and that we help them find their particular best avenue.


• Mike Madden of Rialto Capital

Key excerpt:

Your background is in analysis and project management. How did you end up in commercial real estate?
Madden: A long time ago, I was having a beer with a friend of mine who was in commercial real estate, and I was doing tax-implementation management at the time. My friend started to tell me these stories about different deals he was involved in and different negotiations he had been in. It sounded like it fit my personality much better, and also like much more fun, than what I was doing at the time. I told my friend that night that if he ever saw an opening somewhere to let me know, and a month later I was no longer doing tax-implementation management.