How Colin Fitzgibbons Is Leaning In to Leadership
Hunt Realty Investments’ new president has plans to take on new territory.
When it came to career aspirations, Colin Fitzgibbons wasn’t sure what path to follow as a young adult. His mother was a journalist and his father worked in real estate, so Fitzgibbons decided to give both a try and see what fit best. After interning in the sports department of the Washington Post for two years, he switched to real estate with an internship at The Staubach Co., spending two summers in New York City, between his college years at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.
“I always wanted to live in New York full time and that internship gave me the chance,” said Fitzgibbons. From that point, he was hired as a junior broker and worked at the firm for five years.
“I enjoyed every aspect of working with Colin and I miss him dearly. I wish he was still in New York City,” said Joseph Pollaci, president at Nucor Construction Corp. and Fitzgibbons’ former colleague from The Staubach Co. “He was structured and diligent but at the same time the ultimate team member. He never hesitated to lend a hand and take out time from his busy schedule to help others.” Fitzgibbons and Pollaci worked together on various projects including the AOL headquarters relocation from Virginia to New York City.
After deciding to stick with real estate, Fitzgibbons ventured back to his hometown of Dallas, where he went to business school at Southern Methodist University. “I didn’t know what I was getting into with real estate,” he said. “I liked that it’s a very democratic industry, where if you’re self-motivated and a direct type of person, you can find success without needing to climb a long corporate ladder.” Fitzgibbons joined KDC as an intern and eventually got hired in a business development role, where he would stay on for 10 years until February 2020.
“Colin is very deliberate and always had a measured response. He was never one to jump to a conclusion or allow emotion to cloud his judgement, and that’s something I admired about him,” added Pollaci.
Now, Fitzgibbons is the president of Hunt Realty Investments, ready to tackle new projects and challenge his leadership skills. “When I joined Hunt (the people who hired me) said ‘here is the platform and plan for the firm, the rest is up to you.’ I came in with the mindset to grow the environment the company is in today,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment, but that leaves room for opportunity in the future.”
When asked about his main focus points for the new role, Fitzgibbons referenced the company’s three main developments for the next decade. Fields, a 2,500-acre land holding in Frisco, Texas, has just been zoned to start construction. The second major project is North End Apartments, a multifamily community in Dallas’ Uptown District with 550 underutilized apartments set for redevelopment. Lastly, the Reunion Tower, also in Dallas, featuring a Hyatt Regency hotel and 20 acres of adjacent land.
“I was attracted to this position because it offered me a chance to try something new. Most of my career was in the office space and I wasn’t really exposed to other property types,” Fitzgibbons explained. “This new position will give me a crash course in single-family, multifamily, hotel, retail and potentially industrial and student housing, as well.”
When not working on major Hunt projects, Fitzgibbons splits his free time among his three young boys. Before the coronavirus, he would coach their sports teams and occasionally work on growing his golf skills. Now he’s fully working from home, using the extra time with his family to develop another passion—cooking. “I’m a wannabe chef. This quarantine is giving me a chance to get back into my chef aspirations. I have a smoker, so I like to do barbecue and I’ve become the unofficial lunch lady in our home.”
Overall, Fitzgibbons sees a bright future for the business and is looking forward to learning something new with each day in his new position. If there’s one thing he could say truly helped prepare him for his role as president at Hunt, it’s his knack for networking.
“I had to really work hard to create a network from scratch when I came back to Dallas after 10 years of being away,” he explained. “The minute I landed back home I started trying to reconnect and meet people I knew from business school and lean on others from my past for advice. I feel that a lifetime of me making this effort into taking initiative and taking on leadership roles has led me to the position I’m in now.”