VanTrust Real Estate, NAIOP’s 2023 Developer of The Year, Opens Office in Salt Lake City

VanTrust Real Estate, LLC (VanTrust), a Kansas City-based, full-service real estate development company, announced the opening of its newest regional office in Salt Lake City. Recently recognized as NAIOP’s 2023 Developer of The Year, VanTrust has taken space downtown in the Kearns Building.

Since its founding in 2010, VanTrust has grown into one of the largest privately held commercial real estate companies in the nation. Specializing in office, industrial, multifamily, science + technology and mixed-use development, the company has developed more than $6.8 billion of product nationwide.

“We are excited to be part of the Salt Lake City development community,” said VanTrust President Dave Harrison. “This market has great growth prospects due to its strong population trends, market size, business-friendly climate, and high quality of life. And we believe our community-centric approach is a great fit for Utah.”

Chris McCluskey, who previously served as vice president of development in the company’s Dallas office, and Dave Denley, who previously served as vice president of development services in the company’s Phoenix office, are relocating to Salt Lake City to lead the team. McCluskey specializes in identifying and executing speculative development and build-to-suit opportunities, while Denley excels at overseeing project delivery and managing relationships with contractors, designers, engineers, and consultants. The establishment of the Salt Lake City office will enable VanTrust to expand its development opportunities in the Northwest markets, with a specific emphasis on Utah, Idaho, Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. The office will primarily focus on the development of industrial, urban infill, and multi-family projects in these regions.

According to McCluskey, VanTrust’s approach to development is unique for two important reasons. 

“We live by our motto of ‘developing with a difference’,” said McCluskey. “That means we are responsible stewards to the communities we operate in. We aim to deliver developments that become part of the community’s fabric and strengthen it.”

McCluskey also cited the company’s strong capital support of the Van Tuyl family as a key differentiator.  The unique structure and access to capital and equity positions VanTrust to pursue significant projects.

The company primarily develops for the Van Tuyl family, as well as select relationship-based partnerships and select fee-based development services for clients. The Van Tuyl family began their successful business enterprise with a single used-car dealership in the 1950s. The company grew to the largest privately owned auto group in the U.S. with more than 100 dealerships. Since its founding in 2010, VanTrust has built a portfolio of development assets across the country, including the Meadowbrook Park Redevelopment in Kansas, The Pointe at Polaris in Ohio, Northgate Distribution Center in Nevada, SkyCenter One in Florida, and Frisco Station in Texas. The company has developed more than 66 million square feet of projects nationwide and had more than $1.3 billion in project starts in 2022.

VanTrust is well-known for its strong support of nonprofits, both nationally and in the markets where they operate. In total, VanTrust has supported more than 200 charitable and service organizations and community-based projects in the areas of community revitalization, education, infrastructure, economic impact, financial literacy, community health and human services, and the arts.

“We like to say we are doing right by the dirt,” said Harrison.  “We believe that supporting communities financially and with our time and energy improves the quality of life for our clients, business associates, our employees, and those living and working around us. It is at the core of everything we do, as a company and as individuals.”

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