Hartman Simons was proud to recently
promote longtime associate Ryan Rivera to partner
. In today’s Four on Friday,
we get a chance to ask Rivera about his practice, his take on the current
commercial real estate market and his love of a good (and long) run.

Ryan Rivera Hartman SimonsGive us a brief overview of your practice:
what kinds of commercial real estate matters do you focus on?

While my
practice includes all areas of commercial real estate, my focus continues to be
on retail developments, including the acquisitions and leasing of shopping
centers. In addition to retail development, industrial has recently taken on a
greater focus. My practice has included a significant amount of warehouse
leasing over the past year, along with the acquisitions and sales of existing
industrial parks.

Hard to believe, but we're already
approaching the end of the first quarter. What's your quick take on how the
commercial real estate sector has performed during the first three months of

On a personal
level, I’ve been fortunate to work closely with a few national retailers that
are rapidly expanding and several developers that are going full speed ahead
with ground-up retail and mixed-use developments, which gave me the opportunity
to work on a quite a few deals during the first quarter.

In contrast to
the last few years, most of the deals that have hit my desk have been new construction
(as opposed to second-generation space), including new developments and expansions
at existing projects. While the deal volume for the sector may not be anywhere
close to pre-recession levels, the new developments and expansions that I’ve
seen in my capacity as an attorney for both landlords and tenants generally
appear to be successful and have been opening at nearly full occupancy. 

What brought you to Hartman Simons?

As a second
year law student at Emory University School of Law, I reached out to Hartman
Simons due to my interest in commercial real estate. A few phone calls and
interviews later, I had an offer to work here as a summer associate in 2003. Ten
years later, I’m still here and couldn’t imagine practicing anywhere else.

We understand that you completed your
first marathon last fall – are you still regularly pounding the pavement and
what are some other ways that you enjoy spending your time outside of the

I’m running the
Publix Half-Marathon this Sunday in Atlanta and recently registered for the
Chicago Marathon this fall. Having experienced the indescribable feeling of
accomplishment that comes from crossing the marathon finish line, I’m
officially hooked on running and plan to keep running marathons.

While I always
enjoy a round of golf with my brother and a few of my colleagues here at
Hartman Simons, my partner Jeremy Cohen would tell you that I should stick to