Courtenay's 30-Year Plan
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Courtenay Jenkins has spent most of his career working for Cushman & Wakefield in Baltimore. Starting in 1983 when Baltimore City was booming, he made a name for himself in the new field of tenant rep and parlayed that into a corporate HQs specialization.
Courtenay got into real estate when Jim Rouse's Harborplace was pretty new and office vacancy was in the single digits. "A whole new market was being created, and there was room for brokers," he says. Vacancy may be a lot higher now, but Courtenay is excited to witness the next leap forward. He says he wants to be sure to be working when the new Inner Harbor master plan's vision is complete (like a giant hoagie, it's rewarding to see things through). More residents, parks, and bridges will complete the city's rebirth that began with Harbor East and now the momentum at Harbor Point (the key to success in Baltimore is including the word "harbor" in your project name).
When Courtenay started in real estate, he'd been living in New York, but he didn't like the Wall Street way of just dealing with paper. Instead, he wanted to work on something he could touch. So through a chain of referrals, his dad connected him with Joe Casey (then of Casey Miller Kornblatt & Burns and now retired, above) with CoStar's Kristen Joy and Howard Bank's Dick Story). Courtenay and Joe worked together at Trammell Crow and in '07 launched Cushman's Baltimore office.
But the CBD's hey day ended (appropriate for a guy who's first job was baling hay) as Baltimore City became overbuilt. Landlords were fighting over tenants, and Courtenay saw a hole in the market: tenant rep. His first deal was a 20k SF lease in the Vickers Building at 225 E Redwood St (so long ago the building wasn't yet available in color), then owned by Alex. Brown Realty. That focus positioned Courtenay well for the influx of corporate HQs to Baltimore City, and his career evolved to working on large leases for the likes of Alex. Brown, USF&G, Fidelity, and Maryland Casualty.
There's more to Courtenay than real estate, though. After his first job at a local family farm and then ranching in Colorado and Montana, he picked up sailing in high school. "I had nothing better to do," he says (an excuse that has fueled some of America's greatest creations). At the University of Vermont, he took classes three days a week and skied at Mad River the rest of the time. After college, he joined a boat that made it to the finals of the 1980 America's Cup, eliminated by Dennis Conner (above), though Courtenay shouldn't feel bad because Dennis won that trophy four times over his career. Now Courtenay owns a boat in Maine with five partners and one in Maryland with three partners.