Case Studies

Access Commercial

Integrated commercial development services based in Omaha, Nebraska

Access Commercial has been providing a range of integrated commercial development services since 2009. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, the company serves 75 markets throughout the country, with completed and ongoing projects in 40 states.

Darren Hicks and Kirk Hanson Jr. founded the business together. Before establishing Access, the partners worked for several years together for a regional developer. They specialized in commercial shopping centers up until the recession, when the market dipped.

“We share a background primarily in retail and turnkey development,” Hanson says. “We had developed shopping centers and build-to-suits with Walgreens before starting up this company. We saw a need in the market for retailers to be able to identify quality real estate, but have a partner that stayed involved in the construction process. With our project management or ‘Store Development’ division, we work with a range of commercial customers, including retailers, health care tenants and office tenants.”

National presence

What sets Access apart from other developers is a broad network of strategic partners. The company has relationships with real estate brokers, contractors and other professionals throughout the country.

“If one of our clients wants to open 50 locations across the country, we can take care of the real estate and construction,” says Hanson. “Our unique outsource model allows us to plug in contributors to a project anywhere in the U.S. We couldn’t do this without having all these partners.”

The company’s partners include architects, real estate brokers and tenant finish contractors. In some cases, when the business has taken on a project closer to home, Access will serve as the general contractor. Typically, however, everything is outsourced. Access serves primarily as a client liaison, making connections between project owners and the people who can get the job done.

The team’s set of brokerage services includes tenant representation, shopping center and project leasing, investment brokerage and REO/distressed disposition. Clients can count on Access for flexible, customized services that meet the unique needs of each project and owner.

Throughout the process of a development project, Access also provides honed asset management. Whether an undeveloped site or a completed project, the business can help owners maintain properties. This allows owners to avoid the headaches of managing assets while keeping them in the loop about expenses.

Development work

Over the last six years, the company has worked with more than 30 franchised groups. “A lot of our work involves  national retail clients,” notes Hanson. “Our unique approach to this business has allowed us to take a concept and turn it into a strong business.”

One repeat client is Complete Nutrition. When the chain started working with Access, it had only 10 locations. “Over the course of a three-year period, we did more than 200 locations across the country,” says Hanson. “In 2011, we opened 70 new facilities for them, including franchises and a corporate base.”

Now that vertical development work is coming back in a strengthening market, Hanson and Hicks are taking on new opportunities. “We have started doing mixed use and pad retail projects,” Hanson explains. “We are working on a 25,000-square-foot building here in Omaha as the developer. It’s a mixed use, with 12,000 square feet of first floor retail and 12,000 square feet of office space above it. Tenants are moving in as of the middle of March 2015. That was a $7 million project.”

Another new client is Sanford Health out of Sioux Falls, Nebraska. Access is assisting in development and construction for the company. “We are working on several ‘profile’ clinics nationally for them right now,” says Hanson.

Continued growth

Access has maintained success through tight management and constant communication with clients. “One thing that is critical to our operation is that we view the jobs we do as inventory,” explains Hanson. “The entire process from site selection to the opening is critical for us and the client. We track the numbers closely and we are able to do the budgets before lease signing, giving our clients assurance their costs are accounted for before making a major lease commitment.”

With a focus on technology, coordination and innovative business, the team is on a strong trajectory of growth. “Our primary goal is to take care of clients, our employees and the community,” Hanson adds. “We plan to continue to develop a high-performing real estate portfolio over the coming years. I see us doing several more large rollouts taking other companies with a few locations to businesses with 100 or more locations. In the long-term, we are looking into opening a southeast and southwest office to help us continue to grow in those markets.”

Employing innovative processes, lasting relationships and a customer-first mentality, Access Commercial is building sustained expansion in markets across the United States.

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Spring 2018



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