30 in Their Thirties: Richard Kerwin // 32

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Acquisitions and Dispositions | Lormax Stern Development Co., Bloomfield Hills | Employees: 30 |

Revenue: NA | University of Michigan

When Richard Kerwin was working at a local real estate company in 2007, he saw an online job posting in his field with the description: “The faint of heart need not apply.” After interviewing for the position, which involved overseeing acquisitions and dispositions, he joined Lormax Stern Development Co. in Bloomfield Hills.

“We acquire underutilized shopping centers, we improve them by adding tenants, we tear down older areas, we add new square footage, we manage and better maintain the properties, and then we either hold on to them or sell them,” Kerwin says. “Our strategy is to create value.”

A recent example is the redevelopment of Macomb Mall in Roseville. Over the last two years, the company has torn down older areas of the center; added new tenants like Dick’s Sporting Goods, ULTA Beauty, and H&M; and reconfigured the property to improve access for shoppers. One of around 40 properties in the company’s portfolio, Kerwin says he assesses the potential acquisition of five to six retail properties every day.

“Some we spend five minutes on, others we examine for hours,” he says. “If we like something, we put in an offer. During that time, we’ll do our due diligence. We’ll look at the current leases, we look where we can add value, and if we close (on the deal), we’ll pass it on to our management team for redevelopment.”

Kerwin says he’s fortunate to have found his calling. “After college I was lending money, but I quickly realized I didn’t want to lend money. I wanted to get involved in investing and creating value. Overall, we have helped create hundreds and hundreds of jobs, which is something we’re all very proud of.” 

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