We thought it was time we introduced you to the “Hartman” in Hartman Simons.

Peter Hartman is the attorney to know when it comes to negotiating leases. He has negotiated more than 1,000 commercial leases on behalf of landlords and tenants in the past 10 years. In the past five years, he has also been directly involved in handling all legal aspects involved in the development of more than 20 million square feet of retail real estate projects through the United States. What a busy guy! Just goes to show no one is too busy for some Four on Friday fun. (Peter Hartman is pictured below, on right hanging, out at the Hartman Simons ICSC party with one of his favorite clients, Gary Parkes.)

Peter Hartman HS: Hartman Simons is coming up on its 10-year anniversary. As a founding partner, what are you most proud of?

PH: Our attorneys. The commercial real estate industry has been through some challenging economic times in the past 10 years and we have been able to keep our core team together. We continually get job inquiries from attorneys around the country because of our reputation and company culture. We are a small firm with big firm experience and a national reach.

HS: After ICSC there was a lot of optimism around the retail market. Is the optimism still there or are we back to reality?

PH: Unfortunately, I think we have come back to reality. I was extremely optimistic coming out of the conference, but I think a number of factors including recent news about unemployment numbers have brought us back to earth. It is tough to gather enough momentum to get out of this rut. Some of the decline in optimism is probably also due to the natural lull that comes with the summer months.

HS: Have you been a part of any interesting deals lately?

PH: Yes. We have been working closely with North American Properties on its proposed purchase of Prospect Park. We always enjoy working with Mark Toro and Ron Pfohl. This project is an especially interesting for Hartman Simons because we worked with Stan Thomas on Prospect Park years ago before the deal fell through. We call this project the Prospect Park Sequel.

HS: When naming the firm, did it take a lot of persuading to make sure your name came first?

PH: All I can say is that I am glad “H” comes before “S” in the alphabet.