Cardinal Insights – the Podcast is rolling and my guest will be no other than the real estate pioneer, Clay Grubb. Funny name – great guy.

Clay is CEO of Charlotte-based Grubb Properties. Founded in 1963 by his late father, Robert Clay Grubb, Jr., Clay has been at the helm for 20 years. From its start, Grubb Properties focused on enhancing its assets through exceptional management. The company has a great story in how Robert Grubb started it, which Clay shares in the podcast.

In short: Grubb Properties has evolved from being a single-family developer in Lexington, N.C. to be one of the most esteemed multifamily and office real operators in the region. Owned by its employees and board members, with offices in Charlotte, Cary, and Lexington, N.C., and Atlanta, Grubb Properties has completed over $2 billion in investment transactions. This includes seven private equity real estate funds. Grubb’s transaction and development experience span over 25 years, 4 million SF of commercial and 15,000 residential units.

That’s the official story. My story is Clay and I have known each other for almost forever. We spent summers off-roading in rural parts of the state. He dated my cousin. My family has done – and still does – business with him. He and I like to mountain bike together and then enjoy a cold brew as we rest our sore muscles.

In all seriousness, Clay also is one of the smartest, most ethical and hardest working real estate professionals you will ever meet. During the podcast, we talked about how his dad got his start building Grubb Properties, and how that has shaped the values that still drive the company today. I also learned some surprising facts about Opportunity Zones (Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is in an Opportunity Zone!?!).

Clay and I also talked about Clay’s concerns about the economy and where he sees the most opportunity. (Have I mentioned that this guy is smart and observant?)

As you know, I enjoy sharing stories and observations about real estate. I wanted to experiment with a new format, and so in recent months, I’ve been busy recording in our podcast studio. The plan is to air these podcasts throughout this fall and winter. I’ve talked with some great guests, including Clay, economic developer Ronnie Bryant, and CRE veterans Brad Cherry of JLL and Anne Johnson with CBRE, among others.

I hope you will enjoy listening to Cardinal Insights – the Podcast as much as I’ve enjoyed recording them. I’d appreciate your feedback. And if you’d like to be a guest, let me know.

Happy listening!