Indy REAL will host a networking event March 21st at Helium Comedy Club featuring the Presidents of the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Sports Corp and Indy Eleven


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A relatively new networking group for young professionals involved in development and the commercial real estate field is growing rapidly and is trying to change the game on how professionals in that field have interacted for decades.

The group will host its third large networking event March 21st at the new Helium Comedy Club downtown in Circle Centre Mall. The event is titled, “Indy- Built on the Business of Sport,” and will aim to educate attendees on the events and risks that took place to make Indianapolis the, “Amateur Sports Capital of the World.”

“We believe that by constantly communicating and forming genuine relationships with other real estate professionals, that we can all ascend.” Indy REAL President and Thompson Thrift Senior Leasing Representative Brandon Borah said. “One of the founding principles of REAL is by collaborating with the high-integrity high-ambition individuals in the trade, we can positively impact the communities we serve. This is not a zero-sum game. A rising tide lifts all boats. If we provide a platform to educate brokers, developers, etc. about the best practices of the industry, central Indiana communities will be better because of it.”

Borah and a group of other commercial real estate brokers started Indy REAL in 2017 when they were trying to create a Next-Gen Chapter for another organization. After analyzing what they were hoping to get out of the group, they found there really wasn’t anything in town connecting all the people it takes to complete a commercial transaction in today’s environment.

“We saw a need for a fresh organization to link all segments of real estate together: retail, office, multifamily, and industrial,” Indy REAL VP and Niessink Commercial Real Estate Broker Shannon Hunt said. “Many new projects are mixed use and it takes cross-collaboration among disciplines to make the pieces come together. Therefore, it only made sense to bring together all of the segments within commercial real estate to focus on sharing information, education, and having fun to get deals done and build long-term relationships. REAL’s rapid growth is proof that we are filling a need.”

“I’ve been impressed with the energy behind REAL since its inception. We are a passionate group of young professionals dedicated to bringing each other together. We share in the opinion that diversity, professionalism and most importantly connectivity benefits the industry as a whole,” Indy REAL Events Director and Cushman Wakefield Senior Associate Bailey Nuckols said.

The group’s first large event took place in April of 2018. Downtown Indy’s Real Estate Development Director at the time, Catherine Esselman, led a bus tour of downtown Indianapolis highlighting locations that the city has targeted for redevelopment and areas that could be, “activated.” The tour also made stops at the GM Stamping Plant, Bottleworks and City Way 2.0. Attendees got to speak with the players behind those projects.

“I was blown away by the quality of the tour and the amount of information I learned about what’s happening and more importantly what’s on the horizon for Indy,” Indy REAL’s newly appointed Membership Director and ALO Property Group Director Brian Bondus said. “After the bus tour, I knew this was a group I wanted to be involved with.”

Bondus, a former reporter for Fox 59 and CBS 4, spearheaded REAL’s second large event titled, “Carmel- How We Got here.” Bondus led two discussions with panelists including Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, City Councilman Bruce Kimball, Redevelopment Commission Director Henry Mestetsky and developers, Jamie Browning and Justin Moffett.

“I loved how informative and open the conversations were at the Carmel event,” Education Director and LOR Corporation Leasing Associate Barrett Key. “With the event selling out three-days beforehand, it was quite an intimate setting and the conversation really addressed some of the obstacles we have to overcome on a daily basis.”

Key, a former high school teacher, is now working on expanding some of the group’s educational components to the Internet. He’s spearheading a team that in the near future will begin posting educational videos on how to do commercial real estate, tackling topics like how to draft a LOI response, pro formas 101 and what is a TI allowance.

“Commercial real estate is hard and there’s nowhere on the Internet where you learn a lot of this stuff” Key said. “It goes back to the principle that this isn’t a zero-sum game. If you’re better at your job that means, there will be more tenants and concepts coming to the Indy market to fill my vacancies.”

The REAL Board has nine members including Brandon Borah- President, Shannon Hunt- Vice President, Alex Davenport- Treasurer, Courtney Gaylan- Sponsorship Director, Kory Ryan- Philanthropy Director, Bailey Nuckols- Events Director, Brian Bondus- Membership Director, Paige Pettenaro- Marketing Director and Barrett Key- Education Director.

After just three large events and a handful of happy hours, the group has grown to more than 120 members.

Tickets are still available to attend the group’s Helium event March 21st. Bondus will once again moderate the panel discussions. The first is titled, “If You Build it, They Will Come,” featuring Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson, Indy Eleven and Keystone Group Owner Ersal Ozdemir and Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn. The second panel discussion is titled, “Athletes Turned Investor,” and features former Colts MLB and Stacked Pickle CEO Gary Brackett, former Boston Bruin Center and Pier 48 Founder Fred Knipsheer and two-time Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots and Marco’s Pizza Franchisee Brandon Gorin.

k to become a member of Indy REAL- No cost associated

Link to sign up to, “Indy- Built on the Business of Sport.”

More about Indy REAL

We believe that Real Estate has the ability to revitalize and transform our communities and we take tremendous pride in being involved in this process. The quality and overall impact these assets have on any given area depends largely on the people that are involved in the project.

REAL exists to foster collaborative efforts among a group of dedicated and high-integrity individuals to get commercial Real Estate deals completed. This platform creates possibilities that may have otherwise gone undiscovered, provides business and personal growth opportunities and connects a network of professionals, which is essential for any plan to come to fruition.