Holt Lunsford Commercial has expanded its commercial real estate services with a new retail division based in its office in Fort Worth.
Founded in Dallas in 1993, the commercial real estate firm opened the Fort Worth office in 2008, extending its reach within the industrial and office market sectors with services such as project leasing, tenant representation, property and facility management, development, construction management and investments.
“We’ve talked about adding a retail division but it was always about finding the right people who embodied our culture,” said Matt Carthey, partner and managing principal of the Fort Worth office.
HLC has achieved that goal with the hiring of Tracy Gray as principal over the retail division. The division is based out of Fort Worth because of Gray’s vast knowledge of the city but the division’s reach will extend across all the company’s markets, Carthey said.
Prior to joining HLC, Gray served as vice president and market leader at Vision Commercial Real Estate. In that role, he helped lead Vision’s expansion throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
He launched his career in commercial real estate with Colonial Commercial Real Estate, where he was a top producer.
A native of Fort Worth, Gray, 36, attended Fort Worth Country Day and then Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Arlington, where he studied political science and history.
Gray then spent more than a decade working in the hospitality industry, where he became a partner and general manager at Le Cep, nationally recognized as a top-ranked restaurant.
His experience in hospitality provided unique insight in retail operations that helped position him for success in commercial real estate.
Gray was a Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40 honoree in 2021.
“With Gray leading the way, we’ve partnered with an individual who has an exceptional work ethic and a desire to do right for his clients and team,” Carthey said.
Reilly Clark, who worked with Gray at Vision Commercial, also joined the new division at HLC. He is responsible for executing transactions on retail assets in the Fort Worth market representing private and institutional investors.
The retail division has brought more than one million square feet in retail business into the company’s portfolio within just a few months.
The Fort Worth office has a portfolio of 20 million square feet across the industrial, office and retail sectors, Carthey said. Companywide, HLC’s portfolio is about 100 million square feet.
After the retails setbacks caused by pandemic shutdowns, Gray said this is an opportune moment for the launch of a new retail division.
“Retail took a hit but is responding well recently,” Gray said. “We identify and create long term solutions for each individual ownership and asset. We have been able to achieve historic levels of occupancy for our clients.”
Without a doubt, there was genuine concern about what the retail market would look like after the pandemic, according to Gray, but those concerns are disappearing as demand grows for new brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants.
“Texas is a very strong market and I’m excited for the future,” Gray said.