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, real estate products, and business opportunities. He combines market and economic research with financial analysis to identify and evaluate land use and economic development policies, asset management enhancement and occupancy strategies, and development and redevelopment alternatives. Mr. Gruen has led or played a key role in the completion of more than 600 assignments for public sector entities, universities, corporations, financial institutions, retailers, law firms, and publicly-traded and privately-held real estate investors and developers. Many of these assignments have involved pre-development market, financial, and impact evaluation and forecasting, land use programming, the formulation of implementation strategy, and transaction advisory and negotiation support.
Mr. Gruen’s market research, economic analysis, and investment analysis has contributed to the programming and implementation of the revitalization or creation of downtowns, commercial corridors, and neighborhoods, and the development and redevelopment of office, retail, industrial, hotel, residential, and mixed-use properties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
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, including the municipalities of Buckeye, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Peoria, Surprise, Scottsdale, and Tempe (AZ); Fayetteville (AR); Antioch, Brentwood, Carlsbad, Daly City, Davis, El Cerrito, Elk Grove, Lincoln, Placer County, Riverside, Roseville, San Diego, Santa Rosa, Scotts Valley, Tracy, Vallejo, and Visalia, and Alameda County, San Benito County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz County, and Solano County (CA); Boulder, Greeley, Centennial, Glenwood Springs, Fort Collins, Loveland, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, Woodland Park, and La Plata County (CO); many Illinois communities including Algonquin, Antioch, Aurora, Buffalo Grove, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, East Dundee, Flossmoor, Franklin Park, Glenwood Heights, Glen Ellyn, Harvard, Hanover Park, Highland Park. Hinsdale, Huntley, Joliet, Lily Lake, Monee, Montgomery, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Ottawa, Paris, Prospect Heights, Romeoville, Schiller Park, South Elgin, Sugar Grove, Wheaton, West Chicago, Wilmette, Winfield, Zion, and Jackson County and Kane County; Logansport, Whiting, and Porter County (IN); Altoona, Ames, Bettendorf, Des Moines, and Des Moines County (IA); Garden City, Olathe, Overland Park, and Wichita (KS); Haverhill (MA); City of Crystal and Park Rapids (MN); Liberty (MS); Plattsmouth (NE), Hobbs and Lea County (NM); Grand Forks (ND); Reno (NV); Blue Ash and Ravenna (OH); Berks County (PA); and Bristol, Brookfield, Franklin, Greendale, Kenosha, La Crosse, Menomonee Falls, Oak Creek, Waupaca, Waukesha, and West Allis (WI).
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. He led the market research and financial analysis to program and estimate the value of the disposition and reuse of the 75-acre Fed C. Nelles’ Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier, California. He assisted in the evaluation and negotiation of proposals and the preparation of a purchase and sale agreement for the sale of the property. He also led the evaluation of proposals and supported the negotiation of a long-term ground lease between the State of California and selected developer for the development of 3.1 million square feet of industrial and retail space on land at a prison in Chino. He also conducted the financial analysis to estimate the values and returns from alternative reuse options for the San Quentin Prison and contributed market research and analysis for the planning and disposition of the award-winning Agnews Developmental Center in Silicon Valley. He has conducted market research, real estate feasibility assessments, aviation and non-aviation-related industry targeting analyses, and impact analyses for airports including the Northern Colorado Regional Airport, Chicago Executive Airport, DuPage International Airport, Porter County Regional Airport, and Southern Illinois Airport.
Mr. Gruen has contributed to facility master plans, asset enhancement and occupancy strategies for the use and reuse of government facilities for the City of San Diego and the counties of Alameda, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. He has assisted educational institutions such as San Jose Evergreen Community College District, San Francisco State University, Arizona State University, and The University of Chicago with evaluating housing needs and other campus real estate development and neighborhood enhancement opportunities. He has assisted Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority with programming and implementing revenue-generating asset enhancement and joint development programs for their transit stations. For the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, and other fairs, he has conducted survey research, market research and financial analysis to identify strategic action plans to enhance fairs and fairgrounds.
Mr. Gruen has led many fiscal impact and economic impact assessments of housing, industrial, office, retail, hotel, and auto center uses as well as airports, colleges, hospitals, sports facilities, museums, and infrastructure facilities. He has led housing needs assessment studies for the Iowa Finance Authority and local and regional governmental entities. He has also conducted studies that have provided the basis for a wide variety of businesses and developers to obtain tax abatements and other incentives.
He is a contributing author to the Urban Land Institute’s textbook; Real Estate Market Analysis: Methods and Case Studies. He has taught market and real estate economic analysis for the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Development School and guest lectured at major universities and been a frequent speaker at professional conferences. 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. Articles on demographic and cultural impacts on retailing, transit oriented development, industrial and office development, and comprehensive planning law have been published in Urban Land. Articles on regulatory takings and eminent domain have been published in Illinois State Bar Association and California State Bar Association journals His article on the effects of government controls on the subprime loan market was published in the California Real Estate Journal. Additional articles on housing, characteristics of successful places, economic forecasts, and other topics have been published in Public Management, Planning, and International Council of Economic Development journals.
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 licensed as an attorney at law in the State of Illinois. He is also a Licensed Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois. He has served on Urban Land Institute’s Office and Industrial Park Council and Small Scale Development Council. He is a member of the International Council of Economic Development. He is a member of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.