A real estate attorney has never been appointed head of the Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA). Faegre & Benson attorney Peter Berrie is the first.
Ten years ago Berrie started attending MSCA meetings and serving on various committees. In 2009 he was elected second vice president of the group, and in 2011 he will serve as MSCA president.
Finance & Commerce asked Berrie if he thought people are surprised that he, a real estate attorney, is now leading the group.
"Yes," said Berrie. "When I looked at the [president's] gavel I didn't see any lawyers' names engraved on it. It was mostly developers, retailers, and brokers, which is what I think most people would expect."
The 12/15/10 issue of Finance & Commerce features a Q&A interview with Berrie and includes his perspective on the organization, his goals, and his concerns.
"I think lawyers, especially transactional lawyers, are good in this type of role," Berrie told the publication. "To be successful, we have to understand both our clients' perspective but also the perspective parties, on the deal, so I think we're naturally inclined to do that. So that is helpful in this organization, which is very diverse; you need to understand the perspective of the brokers, retailers, developers and property managers. The rest of us fit in the service providers [category], including lawyers, bankers, title companies, architects, contractors and property maintenance people."
The MSCA has 600 members.