The Staubach Company
The Staubach Company
Incorporated: 1977 as Holloway-Staubach Corporation
Sales: $225 million (2002 est.)
NAIC: 531210 Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers; 531312 Nonresidential Property Managers
The Staubach Company is one of the leading providers of corporate real estate services in the United States. The firm specializes in helping tenants negotiate leases and offers a host of related services, including site selection, financing, acquisition, disposition, design and construction, and property management. Staubach has more than 50 offices in North America and works with affiliates in more than 40 countries to negotiate leases worth upwards of $13 billion annually. Its clients include major corporations like JPMorgan Chase, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Texas Instruments, and ExxonMobile. Company namesake and CEO Roger Staubach, a former football star, owns a majority stake in the firm.
Late 1970s Origins
The Staubach Company was founded in Dallas, Texas, by Roger Staubach, a quarterback for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. Born in 1942 near Cincinnati, Ohio, Staubach was a natural athlete who had excelled in baseball, basketball, and football. He played all three sports at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he won college football's prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1963. After graduating in 1965 with an engineering degree, he spent four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He joined the Cowboys after completing his tour of duty and went on to lead them to four Super Bowls and two national championships.
In the days before athletes' salaries hit the stratosphere, Staubach was paid just $25,000 a year to start, and he sought a job in the off-season to better support his wife and three young daughters. In 1970, he began working for the Henry S. Miller Company as an insurance salesman but soon switched to being a commercial real estate broker. He became one of the firm's top salesmen and was eventually named a vice-president. In 1977, he and fellow broker Robert Holloway left to form a real estate company, which they called Holloway-Staubach Corporation. Their first project was developing the Hillcrest Oaks office complex in Dallas, where the new firm also located its headquarters. The company had a staff of six.
After an outstanding career that included leading his team to more victories than any quarterback in NFL history, Staubach retired from football after the 1979 season to devote himself full-time to real estate. The early 1980s saw Dallas in the midst of a building boom, and the company grew rapidly. In 1982, Staubach bought out Holloway, who wanted to concentrate on property development, and the firm became known as the Staubach Company. The following year the firm's first major tenant representation transaction, for Commercial Metals, was completed.
Roger Staubach, whose football persona had been one of taking risks, never giving up and of diving into oncoming tacklers to get an extra yard rather than stepping safely out of bounds, was conversely a cautious and conservative businessman. He preferred to avoid risk, disdaining speculative development projects in favor of concentrating his firm's energies on the less glamorous work of brokering leases for tenants. A deeply religious, highly principled man, he was committed to his employees and clients and preferred to build the company carefully to assure its financial health over the long term. Unlike most real estate brokers, his firm's employees were paid with salaries and bonuses rather than commissions. Because Staubach represented the lessee, rather than the property owner, his clients were put at ease by the knowledge that the broker did not have a personal stake in the deal, as commissions were paid by the landlord.
By 1985 the firm had 120 employees and was taking in more than $5.4 million annually, up from just over a million in 1983. It was now performing national work for such accounts as AT&T. The company was organized into four divisions—office and industrial leasing, commercial real estate brokerage, investment, and property management. The first of these units, which produced 85 percent of the firm's revenues, had grown from negotiating leases worth $6 million in 1982 to $100 million in 1985. In addition to helping tenants secure the best possible rental rates, the division also assisted with site selection and provided other consulting services. Staubach's property management unit handled some 75,000 square feet of commercial building space, a figure that had more than doubled in a year's time. This rapid growth helped place the firm on Inc. magazine's list of the 500 fastest-growing firms in the United States.
The company's business was largely centered in Dallas, but Staubach had plans to expand, and the firm was already doing work as far away as San Francisco, Phoenix, and Denver and had formed an association with a British agency, Weatherall-Green. Roger Staubach also helped operate and was a one-third stockholder in SBC Development Corporation, which had grown from putting $4 million into construction projects in 1982 to $40 million in 1985. It was run by Bob Breunig, a former Cowboy linebacker who had roomed with Staubach on road trips and also served as executive vice-president of Staubach Company.
The mid-1980s saw office leasing opportunities in the Dallas market began to decline, and in the fall of 1986 Staubach added new divisions to handle leasing of retail properties and design and construction consulting services. Also during that year, the company opened its first satellite office, in Atlanta, where it was helping develop a 430-acre site with wealthy Dallas businessman H. Ross Perot.
In May 1987, Staubach opened an East Coast office near Washington D.C., and the next year won a major assignment from the U.S. General Services Administration to handle leases for federal offices in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. In 1988, the company also opened a new office in Newport Beach, California, which joined other recent additions in Boca Raton, Florida, and Nashville. In November of that year, Roger Staubach sold a 20 percent stake in his company to Robert Rainwater, a Fort Worth, Texas-based financier. The new capital was used to help fund the company's ongoing national expansion. By now, Staubach's annual revenues had grown to $12.7 million. Major clients included CompUSA and GTE.
The early 1990s saw the company complete a number of major assignments; these included helping United Parcel Service and MCI find new headquarters. The firm also formed a financial services division, which secured one of the first so-called "synthetic leases" in the industry for Sun Microsystems. During this period, Staubach opened offices in Houston, San Francisco, Detroit, and Denver. Its clients now included such top corporations as Barnes & Noble, Toyota, and Kmart.
Expansion Abroad in Mid-1990s
As Staubach gained more work from multinational corporations, it began to enlarge its international capabilities. Beginning in late 1994, new alliances were formed with complementary firms in Hong Kong and Mexico. With its foreign partners—First Pacific Davies in Asia and Corporacion Mexicana de Inmuebles in Mexico, as well as Weatherall Green in Britain—it could offer leasing, purchasing, and construction services for corporations looking for office space on three continents.
In March 1996, Roger Staubach appointed company veteran James Leslie to the posts of president and chief operating officer, retaining for himself the CEO and board chairman roles. Freed from the demands of day-to-day management, he would focus on gaining new clients and promoting the firm's services. By now, Staubach Company had offices in 11 U.S. cities and employed 235. Annual revenues topped $54 million, and the firm handled transactions worth an estimated $2 billion. Its recent growth had been helped by expansion into the industrial, retail, and financial services areas, a move necessitated by the firm's increasing competition, as well as pressure from property owners to lower commissions on lease renewals.
The year 1997 saw Staubach open its first New York office and also add an international real estate division in Cupertino, California, that would serve companies seeking quarters abroad. One of its first clients was Netscape Communications, which hired the firm to make all of its international real estate deals. Staubach was now able to perform complete oversight of a company's real estate operations, which served to aid growing firms that could not assemble an experienced staff quickly enough to execute expansion plans. The company also continued to be active in other areas of real estate, including land acquisition, construction management, and facility management.
In 1998, the firm opened an office in Cleveland with four former brokers recruited from Ostendorf-Morris Company. As was the arrangement with the managers of Staubach's other regional offices, they would also be co-owners of the agency with Staubach Company. The year 1999 saw Staubach form a partnership to handle the $80 million conversion of a Denver hospital into a mixture of housing and businesses. The firm also took over management of the 1,200 facility real estate portfolio of New Century Energies of Denver, as well as working to broker the sale of $135 million worth of retail properties, most of which had been used as drugstores by the CVS chain. They were eventually sold and then leased back to CVS.
Operating Principles: We will adopt the objectives of our clients, the users of space, and dedicate ourselves to the achievement of their goals. We strive to understand our clients' long-term operational objectives and to orient our work to achieve these objectives, rather than simply fulfill a short-term real estate need.… If at any time our clients are not completely satisfied with the services we have provided, they have the unilateral right to adjust our fee.
Staubach expanded to Canada in 1999 when it formed a partnership with Tenant Resource Corporation of Toronto, Canada, which changed its name to Staubach Canada, Inc. It had additional offices in Ottawa and Montreal. Staubach's sales hit $130 million for the year, and its employee ranks grew to 700. It now had offices in 29 cities, the most recent U.S. addition beingChicago, which came via a merger with the brokership half of Tanguay-Burke-Stratton LLC. Its client list had grown to include IBM, AMC Theatres, Mobil, and Home Depot, along with Lincoln Financial Services and Blockbuster, whose national real estate portfolios the firm managed.
In December 1999, Staubach formed a joint venture with Singapore-based DTZ Debenham Tie Leung to offer real estate services in 33 countries under the name DTZ Staubach Tie Leung. Staubach would own a third of the operation, with DTZ's European and Asian entities each holding another third. Plans for Staubach to build more than 1,000 homes in southern Dallas were dropped late in the year after a request for $7.6 million in public assistance caused controversy.
In January 2000, Staubach announced it was forming a new division to handle sales of commercial real estate, primarily industrial and retail properties. The move came as the firm found increasing numbers of its leasing clients requesting help selling property they needed to dispose of. During the year, the company also formed eStaubach Partners, based in Virginia, which would develop Web-based real estate products and services, and formed two new partnerships in South America, Herzog Staubach and Staubach Spanish Americas and Caribbean (SAC), Ltda., with offices slated to open in Santiago, Chile, and Panama City, Panama.
By now, Staubach had 800 employees and was taking in an estimated $165 million. Many of its regional offices that had started with just a handful of employees had grown exponentially, as typified by the Denver agency, which now employed 25. At this time, the company's business was increasingly derived from high tech, Internet, and telecommunications companies, which accounted for more than a third of its total work.
Penn Station Contract Awarded in 2001
Staubach won a major contract in March 2001 when it was selected, along with Frankfurt Airport Services Group Worldwide of Germany, to develop and manage the $788 million Penn Station redevelopment project in New York City. The two firms would oversee the work, which involved converting a historic post office near Madison Square Garden by building a new structure on top of it as well as adding a sizable retail complex. Staubach would manage the development of the project and design and implement the retail component.
The year 2001 also saw Staubach and Washington Group International Inc. of Boise, Idaho, team up to take over management of the airport at Addison, Texas, in which city the firm was now headquartered. They would keep 18 percent of the gross revenues in exchange for Staubach's managing its leasing and real estate operations, while Washington Group's handled flight operations and development. The firm also opened a new office in Fort Worth, Texas, to oversee its work for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, one of Staubach's largest clients, which had more than 10,000 active leases. The company also finalized another major sale/leaseback deal for CVS properties worth $288 million.
In 2002, Staubach linked up with Davaco, Inc. of Dallas, a retail fixture design and service company, and Buxton Company of Fort Worth, a direct marketing research firm, to offer their services in conjunction with its own. The year also saw Roger Staubach partner with former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman to form Hall of Fame Racing, which would sponsor a NASCAR racing team. In 2003, Staubach Company formed a unit to provide lease negotiation and development consulting for the automotive sector, including dealerships and manufacturers. The company had already been working with such firms in this area as BMW, Honda, Alamo Rental Car, and AutoNation. Though the economic downturn of the early 2000s had caused considerable turmoil in the real estate business, during 2002 Staubach negotiated leases valued at $13.7 billion, which made it the fourth-largest firm of its kind in the United States.
In January 2003, Staubach named Elysia Ragusa president and chief operating officer. She had worked with the firm for 14 years, most recently heading its real estate services division. In March, an office was opened in Tallahassee, Florida, to serve the northern part of that state, and in October the firm partnered with MetaPartners of Cary, North Carolina, to offer tenant representation services there under the Staubach name. In December, the company also hired a Washington-based lobbying firm to help bring it more government work. Roger Staubach, a staunch Republican, had been friends with President George W. Bush for many years. By now, the firm had more than 50 offices and 1,200 employees.
In 2004, Staubach was hired to sell or lease major facilities owned by OfficeMax, Inc. in Cleveland and by Texas Instruments, Inc. in Massachusetts. The latter firm sought to dispose of a 261 acre site where more than 2,000 workers had staffed a 1.1 million square foot building complex.
- Roger Staubach and Robert Holloway form Holloway-Staubach Corporation.
- Staubach buys out his partner's interest to create Staubach Company.
- The company's first regional office is opened in Atlanta.
- A 20 percent stake in the firm is sold to Robert Rainwater.
- European, Asian, and Mexican partnerships are formed.
- New York and Silicon Valley International offices are opened.
- The company opens a Canadian branch, forms a part-nership with DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, and moves to new headquarters.
- A sales division is formed.
- Staubach wins a commission to help develop a new Penn Station in New York.
After more than 25 years, The Staubach Company had grown to become one of the largest tenant-representation real estate firms in the United States, as well as offering a wide range of other services. It continued to be led by namesake and founder Roger Staubach, whose fame as a football great had helped open doors but whose principled leadership and carefully chosen team of skilled professionals had established a solid reputation for service.
Staubach Global Services; Staubach Retail Services; Wolverine Equities Company; Staubach Canada, Inc.
Julien J. Studley, Inc.; Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; Trammell Crow Company; CRESA Partners LLC; Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc.; Grubb & Ellis Company.
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