Spring 2024 Issue

On Leadership: Angela Eldredge

By: Ron Derven

The chief operating officer of Price Real Estate in Salt Lake City is also a member of NAIOP’s 2024 Board of Directors. She shares her insights and lessons learned from 20-plus years in the commercial real estate industry.

Development: Could you talk about the founding and growth of Price Real Estate?


Angela Eldredge

Angela Eldredge: Price Real Estate was founded in 2002 by our owner, Steven Price, who continues as CEO. Steve’s father founded JP Realty, Inc., a REIT listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which both Steve and I worked for. In 2002, the company merged into General Growth Properties and later into Brookfield Companies. JP Realty owned regional shopping malls and strip and community centers throughout the Western U.S. and an industrial real estate portfolio, of which Steve managed about 2.5 to 3 million square feet. Steve is passionate about industrial real estate, so when his father’s company merged, he started Price Real Estate on his own to focus solely on industrial real estate. I joined his company shortly thereafter.

I was fascinated with malls and retail working for JP Realty, and I handled leases for some of retail’s biggest names, which was very exciting. When I joined Price, it was quite a challenge to pivot into industrial real estate. For the first few years, we focused on acquiring industrial buildings to build up cash flow while we were buying land for future industrial development. We concentrated on acquiring land in strategic transportation corridors and paid close attention to drive times, accessibility to freight infrastructure, and freeways. By 2008, we began developing industrial buildings on our acquired land.

Since that time, we have developed and have under management about 4.5 million square feet of industrial space. While we have sold some of the older buildings we acquired early on, we have never sold any of the properties that we developed. We are a legacy, long-term hold developer.

Development: What drew you to a career in commercial real estate?

Eldredge: After college, I was interested in a career in law but was not ready to make the time commitment to go to law school. I did, however, earn a paralegal degree with hopes of working in a law firm to gauge my long-term interest. I applied for positions but discovered law firms were hiring paralegals with a lot of experience — five years of experience.

A position opened at JP Realty in the legal department. I applied for the job figuring if I could get my foot in the door as a paralegal, I could leverage experience as a steppingstone to move on to a law firm. At the time, I had no interest in commercial real estate. As I worked there, I fell in love with the business.

Development: What is Price’s strategy for growing the business?

Eldredge: We have somewhat of a slower growth model than many companies in the business. We build out of cash and then we finance into permanent debt. The most we have ever built in one year are four buildings, which added about 1 million square feet of industrial to the market. That was our biggest growth year.

We have buildings in multiple Western U.S. markets, including Utah, New Mexico, California, Idaho and Wyoming, but we do not have employees on the ground in those markets. Everything is housed in Salt Lake City. We are a lean company and operate with only 16 employees.

Development: As one of the leaders in the company, what does leadership mean to you?

Eldredge: Leadership for me is about being part of someone else’s journey. As a leader, I want people to see the talent they have within themselves and build their capabilities. It’s exciting to see people develop talent they didn’t know they had.

Development: What is your primary role as COO of Price Real Estate?

Eldredge: Top leadership consists of our founder and CEO, our CFO and me. The CEO oversees acquisition, growth and construction; the CFO manages finance and accounting; and I handle legal, leasing and property management. Depending on where we are in a cycle, I might be heavily involved in negotiating leases, or I might be working on property management issues we have out in the field. Building relationships is an important part of my job. When we sign leases with tenants, we prioritize getting to know them and their businesses. We want to know how our building supports their business and how we can operate together.

Development: What qualities do you look for when hiring senior staff?

Eldredge: We have an entrepreneurial team, and when we hire a new person, we need them to fit well into that culture. I always tell our team, “Think as if you are the owner because if you think like an owner, you are likely to make the right decision.” I also look for people who are good collaborators. We’re a strong team at Price. Our CEO began the culture that continues today. We often refer to it as a “Navy SEAL team” approach. Until recently, we didn’t really have hierarchy or job titles; we just did what it took to be successful with a project. We want people who respect our process, respect each other, trust each other, and want to continue to grow and learn.

Development: You have been with Price Real Estate since 2003. What has been your greatest leadership challenge at the company?

Eldredge: The biggest leadership challenge for me is maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit that we had when we started the company. Often, this comes down to hiring the right person who has that entrepreneurial flair.

Development: When internal conflicts arise or mistakes are made, how do you handle the issue?

Eldredge: We have an honest conversation. I may talk about how the issue could have been handled differently or how to deal with it in the future. I think dealing with a problem when it happens is where you can find the best resolution and growth from the situation.

Development: What is your outlook for commercial real estate in your markets over the next three to five years?

Eldredge: We are optimistic about commercial real estate in our markets. One of the great things about the markets we’re in is that we’re competing against prudent developers who are not building projects just to build them. In the Salt Lake market, we have almost no new product being delivered this year because developers understand where interest rates, demand and achievable lease rates are. I think the market is positioned for a lot more growth in the future.

Development: Could you talk about the mentoring work you have done and what it means to you?

Eldredge: Mentoring allows me to see how I can help bring out talent in my employees. I would hope for the mentee, that I would inspire them — particularly women — because I am fortunate to be an active mother with a career. I try to demonstrate that you do not need to be a stay-at-home mom to be a good parent.

Development: How have you seen the business change, especially for women, over the two decades-plus that you have been in commercial real estate?

Eldredge: Women have been able to break into the business and become part of this profession, more so than when I started. Women are respected in ways that perhaps we weren’t previously because we have proven ourselves. Commercial real estate has changed in other ways as well. Today, the financial side seems to be the focus over the brick-and-mortar side. The commercial real estate business has also become a very attractive sector for people coming out of college.

Development: How have you benefited from joining and being a leader in the NAIOP Utah Chapter and being appointed to the National Board of Directors?

Eldredge: Being a leader at NAIOP tells the market that women are rising in the commercial real estate industry. Serving on the NAIOP board has helped me build my leadership skills and relationships in the industry.

Development: What is the best advice you have received in the commercial real estate business that has helped you in your career?

Eldredge: Our CEO tells us to never be fearful about trying something new. When we get into uncertain situations, keep on going. He gives us the time and space to figure things out, which has been extremely helpful in my career.

Development: What advice do you have for women entering and prospering in the business today?

Eldredge: Be willing to learn. I try not to make it about being a woman and just do the job. If we make it about the job, we can all rise to do what needs to be done.

Development: What crucial lessons have you learned in the commercial real estate business that you could pass on?

Eldredge: By focusing on relationships, by doing the right thing and the smart thing, and by always going for quality, good things happen, and you can go far.

Development: Being COO of Price Real Estate is a highly demanding job. What are your interests away from the office?

Eldredge: Right now, I am knee-deep in being a mom. I have a 15-year-old who plays highly competitive hockey and a 12-year-old who does competitive cheerleading. When not at work, you can find me in a gym or at an ice rink. Other than that, I do a lot of activities with friends and try to maintain close relationships with people who matter to me. 

Ron Derven is a contributing editor to Development magazine.



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