Aaron N. Gruen applies the analytical concepts and techniques of sociology and economics in conducting market research to estimate demands for a broad variety of land uses and real estate products. He combines market and economic research with financial analysis to identify and evaluate land use and economic development policies and development and redevelopment alternatives. Mr. Gruen has led or played a key role in the completion of more than 600 assignments for local, county, regional, and state entities, universities and other educational institutions, law firms and real estate investors and developers. Many of these assignments have involved pre-development market research, financial feasibility analysis, and economic and fiscal impact evaluation, land use programming, and development strategy. He has contributed to the programming and implementation of the development and redevelopment of office, retail, hotel, industrial, and residential properties and mixed-use projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Mr. Gruen has contributed to the formulation of successful reuse and deposition strategies for real estate owned by the State of California and the San Francisco School District and other government entities. He led the market research and financial analysis to program and estimate the value of the disposition and reuse of the former 75-acre Fred C. Nelles’ Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier, California. He assisted in the evaluation and negotiation of proposals for the sale of the property and contributed to the preparation and negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement and participation agreement with the selected buyer, Brookfield Residential, which is completing the redevelopment of the property into a mixed-use community. He also led the evaluation of proposals and assisted in the negotiation of a long-term ground lease between the State of California and selected developer (Majestic Realty) for the development of 3.1 million square feet of industrial and retail space on land at a prison in Chino. He led an asset enhancement strategy and monetization program to generate revenue for San Francisco State University to help fund the development of a science building while providing much needed housing. He co-led the preparation and implementation of a developer solicitation, evaluation, selection, and negotiation with the selected developer (SKK Developments) for the disposition and redevelopment of a mixed-use transit-oriented development of the former 20-acre corporation yard of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. He assisted the State of Arizona Land Trust with identifying potential bidders and establishing and evaluating the qualifications for bidders on the auction sale of State land in the Southeast Valley of the Phoenix region resulting in a winning bid significantly higher than appraised value at $245.5 million for 2,783 acres of land. He directed the reprogramming of the long vacant and non-tax generating West Gateway District in Schiller Park and implemented a developer/user solicitation program that resulted in Schiller Park monetizing the land it purchased in the district and recurring tax revenues from the development of an off- airport parking facility, gasoline station, car wash, convenience store and fast-food outlets.
Mr. Gruen has led market and financial evaluations and asset enhancement strategy development for facility master plans for large government users of office space including the counties of Alameda, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma County.
Mt. Gruen has led the preparation of revenue-generating development programming, master plans, and studies of the economic and fiscal impacts of airports including the Chicago Executive Airport, DuPage International Airport, Northern Colorado Regional Airport, the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, and Reading Regional Airport (Berks County, Pennsylvania).
Mr. Gruen has led the programming and implementation of revenue-generating, service enhancing tenancies and development of interior and exterior transit station commercial space for Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority. For the Regional Transportation Authority, he co-led a widely cited empirical study on the effect of Chicago Transit Authority and Metra stations on residential property values in the Chicago metropolitan region.
Mr. Gruen has directed comprehensive housing need assessments and housing policy studies for Chandler, Arizona; the city and county of Pueblo, Colorado; Des Moines County, Iowa; Lea County, New Mexico; Blue Ash, Ohio; Brookfield and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; the city and county of Sheridan, Wyoming; and a statewide study for the State of Iowa.
He has evaluated the demand for and financial feasibility of the development of sports facilities, conference and convention facilities, and enhancements to fairgrounds and fair programming in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Illinois.
For private entities such as the Alter Group, AMB Properties, Hunter Properties, Plote Properties, Pulte Homes, Regency Centers, Red Seal Development, Strong Capital Management, and Valenti Builders, Mr. Gruen has directed market research, financial analysis, and impact analysis to identify development, tenanting, and marketing strategies for the development or enhancement of business parks, industrial parks, shopping centers, hotels, office buildings, and housing uses.
Demographic, economic, real estate or industry market, investment, and fiscal and economic impact analysis provided by Mr. Gruen has served as the inputs and framework for the preparation and adoption of comprehensive and specific land use plans, and making decisions about economic development and infrastructure programs, taxation, and housing and land use policies and real estate transactions for over 75 communities in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Mr. Gruen has performed market and economic research for antitrust, rent control, and condemnation and zoning-related litigation. He has given deposition and trial testimony.
Mr. Gruen has taught market and real estate economic analysis for the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Development School and guest lectured at universities and been a frequent speaker at professional conferences. He is a contributing author to the Urban Land Institute’s textbook; Real Estate Market Analysis: Methods and Case Studies. His article, “Takings, Just Compensation and the Efficient Use of Land, Urban and Environmental Resources” was published in The Urban Lawyer, the National Quarterly on State and Local Government Law. Other articles he has authored or co-authored include “The Shortfall in the Production of Housing and Its Effects”, Economic Development Journal; “Reinventing Malls for What You Can’t Get Online”, Economic Development Now; “Avoiding Pitfalls of Public-Private Partnerships”, Economic Development Now; and “Transit Stations Influence Residential Property Values”, Urban Land.
Mr. Gruen earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. He is a licensed attorney at law in the State of Illinois. He is a licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker. He is a member of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.