IRVINE, CA—A thousand professionals including GlobeSt.com gathered at the Hotel Irvine on May 15 for NAIOP SoCal‘s 24th annual “Night at the Fights” black-tie event. The sold-out gala with a waiting list this year, a major event for the chapter and for the industry, featured networking, a five-star dinner and a fight card with championship boxing and MMA bouts.
The Round 2 after-party, dubbed “the Yacht Club” this year, included casino games, live music featuring the Tijuana Dogs and a patio full of cigar smokers. East guest received a casino chip for play and a cigar.
HFF served as ring sponsor and Auction.com served as Round 2 sponsor.
The event is also a major fundraiser for the chapter’s political action committee, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Building Block Foundation Fund, a philanthropic organization formed to enable commercial real estate professionals and companies to give back in a meaningful way. BBFF invests in local charities that provide financial assistance and support to at-risk youth in Orange County.
According to Kevin MacKenzie, Night at the Fights chair and senior managing director for HFF, “Each year we strive to raise the bar in order to provide a great event for the commercial real estate industry and the firms that support NAIOP SoCal. We have consistently sold out these past several years and attract the leaders of all the major firms, our past chapter presidents and a wide array of industry representation. It’s the strongest industry event for networking in Southern California.”
Nearly all of NAIOP’s almost-100 major corporate sponsor firms were represented at the event, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Irvine Co. Office Properties, KPRS, LBA Realty, PMRG and Shea Properties.
Jim Proehl, president of NAIOP SoCal and EVP/managing director, Western division, for PMRG, says, “It takes quite an effort to put on an event for 1,000 commercial real estate professionals—but we have a fantastic staff and committee. I think this event has become a great barometer of the health of the industry. When we sell out, you know things are strong for the commercial real estate business.”