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2012 Kukulu Hale Awards

Recognizing Excellence in Hawaii's Commercial Real Estate Industry

(page 6 of 9)

Commercial Broker of the Year

Jackson Nakasone

President, Grubb & Ellis | CBI, Inc.

After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a degree in travel industry management, Jackson Nakasone spent 11 years in the hospitality industry, specializing in the opening of hotel and restaurant properties.  He also was a partner in a successful downtown Honolulu restaurant, Del Centro, until his partner decided to move to the mainland and dissolve the partnership. It was a crossroads in Jackson’s career.

He still remembers the advice of his 11-year-old son at the time, “Dad, if you ask me, I would go work at a job that took the least amount of hours and made the most amount of money.”

The part about ‘least amount of hours’ may be debatable for someone with Jackson’s success record, but after receiving his real estate license in 1978 and joining the Grubb and Ellis Hawaii office, Jackson’s first transaction was a $4,550,000 foreclosure project. “When I looked at my compensation, I was hooked,” he says.

Jackson has personally sold over $100 million worth of property, handling sales for such high-profile clients as the Dillingham Ranch owners ($43 million) and the Motor Supply family, whose Kapiolani property sold for $26 million – more than $415 per square foot and the highest square-foot price in Hawaii to date.

In 1982, Jackson formed his own company called CBI, Inc. (an acronym for Clients Best Interest) to compete in a field he felt was growing. Then in 2000, CBI consummated an affiliate relationship with Grubb and Ellis, with Jackson at the helm. Today the company has more than 15 transactional advisors and a commercial management division that manages a portfolio of 40-plus properties totaling some 1.25 million square feet.

Jackson’s dedication to the profession goes well beyond the compensatory rewards. “I enjoy serving my clients, watching them succeed in their real estate portfolio, and growing their business,” he says, adding that he values the people who have helped him succeed in this very competitive business and enjoys mentoring others in the field, just as others have shared their expertise with him over the years. “Most of all, I appreciate my wife and two children who never gave me challenges at home, so I could focus on my company and ‘business family, who remain loyal and professional.”

Asked about the values and qualities it takes to be successful, Jackson produced a long list. At the top of the list:  “The work is very hard, not ‘rocket science’ hard, but it takes discipline in being your own independent agent.” Building relationships, always being ‘civil’, loving your work and not accepting mediocrity also made the list.

Equally dedicated to his community as to his profession, Jackson has served on many professional, civic and community boards. Examples:  Palama Settlement (current board chair),  PBS Hawaii board,   Central Pacific Supply Corporation board,  McKinley High School Foundation, (past president),  Epiphany Church, and the Episcopal Diocese (pro bono real estate advisor).

And, of course, he remains a valued member and former chapter president of NAIOP Hawaii.

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