CLRE Advisors knew where we wanted our next office, and worked hard to make the deal happen. They explored other opportunities on our behalf, but never gave up on our first choice. They listened and kept working until the transaction was completed.
Firethorn founder and CEO Tripp Rackley (right) and CFO Jeff Hodges.
Firethorn’s management team and staff possess extensive financial services, wireless, payments and transaction processing experience. They have implemented systems for more than 2,000 financial institutions and trained over 20,000 bankers. Leveraging this experience, Firethorn assembles, connects, and manages the complex web of partners, network standards, and platform interfaces that make mobile banking and payments possible.
Since its founding in 2005, Firethorn has continued to expand its staff, and eventually outgrew its initial office space. With help from CLRE Advisors, Firethorn was able to find a new home that is well suited for the company’s continued growth.
“When I first began working with CLRE Advisors in 1997, at nFront, the first company I started, we only had a few employees and no venture funding,” recalls Firethorn founder and CEO Tripp Rackley. “I remember Bill Leonard taking a very personal interest in what we were doing, and I also remember how hard he worked to find office space that was a perfect fit for us. He continued to represent us as we went public, merged with another public company, and took over a 50,000 square foot building.”
“Bill really defines what I consider to be a good team member – low maintenance but a high producer,” Rackley adds. “Whether it’s a large or small deal, he will stay with you after everything is signed to be sure his customer gets the desired result. Bill has always been consistent when representing us in many different real estate deals over the past 12 years, and he’s done a great job with them all.”
“Trust is the first word that comes to mind with Bill,” adds Firethorn CFO Jeff Hodges. “You can turn him loose on a project and he will come back with creative, proactive ideas that fit your needs. In addition, Bill is very well connected and respected in the Atlanta real estate community and very knowledgeable of the market. In terms of who to call, how to structure a deal and getting it done, those relationships are critical. It cuts out a lot of the noise and extra work for me, and it gives you confidence that you are going to get the best deal that fits your needs.” Rackley recalls, “When Bill asked me about buildings I liked, I told him the Cousins’ Terminus project in Buckhead is at the top of the list. Bill is the kind of guy who will file away, ‘Tripp really wants to be at Terminus.’ He kept working on it, and that’s how it all worked out.”
Hodges adds, “Once we identified our search ring, Bill found the top prospects for office space and helped to run a turnkey process, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time on the search. Bill was very good at helping structure a deal that met Cousins’ needs and also met our requirements. In the end, we were able to negotiate a lease that was fair for us and for Cousins.”
“Terminus is the best complex I’ve ever been in,” says Rackley. “The employees love it. Cousins does an incredible job managing it, and all the amenities are great. Relationships are very important to us and we look forward to a long-term relationship with Cousins. There is no question we got the optimal space with Atlanta’s premier developer, along with an even-handed deal.”