Allen Block Circa 1969
Block Funds was founded in July 2004, but the roots of this premier private equity fund sponsor go back over seven decades to 1940 when Allen J. Block began his career in real estate. In the 1970s, Allen’s sons, Stephen, Kenneth and Michael, all joined their father in the family business, which grew into a regional, full-service commercial real estate brokerage company. In 2009 the brothers established Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES) in order to further the company’s mission and to carry on their father’s legacy.
Today BRES remains a successful, independent, family-run business that values accountability, long-term commitment and the relentless pursuit of excellence. BRES recently completed a record fiscal year with total sales and leasing transactions in excess of $879 million. BRES' management portfolio reached 38.95 million of commercial square feet and over 7,500 multifamily units. Block Construction Services, a subsidiary of BRES, completed renovation and redevelopment projects this fiscal year exceeding $323 million. BRES tallied $215 million in investment sales and with Block Funds, raised over $75 million in equity funds for syndication of new acquisitions and development projects.
Bolstered by BRES' core values and solid foundation of commercial real estate expertise, Block Funds is writing its own distinct success story. That story began in 2004 as demand for investment real estate surged. In response to this rising demand, the Block family leveraged its decades of commercial real estate knowledge to create Block Funds. The idea was to partner with individual investors to build a portfolio of institutional-quality office, industrial and retail commercial real estate.
The emerging success story that is Block Funds is a testament to its roots in BRES' enduring tradition of commitment to core values, strong client relationships, and progressive but responsible investments.
At Block Funds, our investment philosophy is driven by adherence to market fundamentals. The Block Funds team is dedicated to sound market research, detail-oriented asset management, and relationship-driven real estate. Adherence to these and other fundamentals helps our professionals to find and acquire compelling commercial real estate investments in our target markets and to manage those investments in a manner that mitigates risk while maximizing returns for our investors.
Our dedication to steady, disciplined market research helps us find institutional quality commercial real estate investments with unrealized value at the right time. At Block Funds an acquisitions professional is assigned to each target market. This enables our acquisitions professionals to develop an in-depth understanding of opportunities presented by each target market and to create an investment strategy to take advantage of pricing and operating inefficiencies within each target market and among available property types. We pride ourselves on being the most knowledgeable, responsive real estate team in the market.
Block Funds professionals are also experts at providing world-class asset management. We do our homework by learning everything there is to know about the properties we acquire and ignore no detail in the strategic management of these assets for our investors. Active market research and active asset management are fundamental to building wealth for our investors and we take both very seriously. At Block Funds, we build for our investors a diversified portfolio that weathers changing markets and provides stable returns with low correlation to the performance of the stock and bond markets.
Our dedication to relationship-driven real estate perhaps says the most about who we are. Block Funds professionals pursue and maintain long-term relationships with key people in commercial real estate like brokers, sellers, developers, and financial partners. Building and nurturing these relationships helps us stay on top of changing trends in our target markets. More importantly, though, these relationships help us find unlisted, off-market acquisition opportunities at discounted prices.
The commitment by Block Funds to relationship driven real estate also extends to our clients. We value the relationships with our investors who rely on us as faithful stewards of their wealth. Our clients trust us to provide strong, stable returns on their investments and we deliver. In a world economic climate beset by increased volatility, the strength of Block Funds as a stable steward of our clients wealth remains an essential component of who we are.
By focusing on real estate fundamentals, Block Funds invests in properties that meet our objectives of capital preservation, current income and long-term capital appreciation. Our investors earn a return on their investment through monthly income distributions, equity achieved through loan principal paydown, and through realizing appreciation in the value of fund properties at the sale of such properties. Block Funds long-term, fundamental value-based approach to investing delivers superior risk-adjusted returns across changing real estate market cycles and shifts in the global economy.
Block Funds team of professionals has the experience and expertise to locate excellent investment opportunities with attractive stabilized cash flows and outstanding potential at a substantial discount to replacement value, in all types of market cycles. Block Funds establishes a business plan for each asset, identifying strategies to optimize income and positioning each asset to maximize investor return at exit. By taking advantage of pricing and operating inefficiencies inherent in commercial real estate, Block Funds creates value through leveraging our experience and expertise.
Kansas City Business Journal
- #1 Commercial real estate property manager—managing over 27.5 million gross leasable square feet—managing industrial, office and retail
- #1 Most active commercial real estate firm with 723 transactions
- #2 Commercial real estate company with 66 real estate agents
- #10 Top Area Multitenant Industrial Facility (Pine Ridge Business Park—2,590,970 leasable space locally)
- #17 Top Area Multitenant Industrial Facility (Riverside Industrial & Distribution Center—1,337,561 leasable space locally)
- #17 Top Area Multitenant Office Building (Financial Plaza—292,000 total leasable square feet)
- #18 Top Area Multitenant Office Building (Commerce Plaza I & II—282,000 leasable square feet)
- #21 Top Area Multitenant Industrial Facility (Paseo Industrial Park—926,000 leasable space locally)
- #23 Top Area Multitenant Industrial Facility (College Crossing Business Park—820,140 leasable space locally)
- #24 Top Area Multitenant Office Building (Pinnacle Corporate Centre I—73,393 leasable square feet)
- #25 Top Area Multitenant Office Building (Four Pine Ridge Plaza—68,773 leasable square feet)
St. Louis Business Journal
- #16 Largest commercial real estate firm, based on number of local active licensed agents (Block Hawley)
National Real Estate Investor
- Ranked 23rd for total office space developed or under construction of 600,000 square feet
Commercial Property Executive
- Ranked 20th nationally for top property manager
- Ranked 20th top development firm
- Ranked 19th most powerful brokerage firm
Midwest Real Estate News
- Ranked 8th in top owners in the Midwest
- Ranked 13th in top property management in the Midwest
- Ranked 17th in top brokers in the Midwest
- #1 top area commercial real estate company for $748 million gross sales
- #1 top area commercial real estate company for square footage managed/sold/leased
CoStar Group, Inc.
- #2 Top area leasing firms
- #3 Top area sales firms
* As of end of year 2015
The Principals of Block Funds have over 200 combined years of experience in real estate and have been involved in investment transactions totaling over $5.3 billion. We have developed an expertise in sourcing, structuring, developing and managing superior commercial real estate investments.
As part of a fully-integrated commercial real estate and private equity institution, Block Funds investment professionals are knowledgeable in all aspects of commercial real estate including development, construction management, commercial brokerage, asset management, investments, corporate real estate services and strategic support. Our multi-disciplinary experience and expertise allows Block Funds to identify and unlock value in commercial real estate that would not otherwise be recognized.
Scott Smith joined Block Real Estate Services, LLC in April 2013 as Director of Capital Markets for the Block Funds team. We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague. Scott Smith died at his home in Kansas City on Oct. 13, 2019 of cardiac arrest at age 63. Scott was born in Kansas City to Drs. Katherine W. and H. Eugene Smith. He graduated from Pomfret School and earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago. Scott was a bond trader for many years and later worked in commercial real estate investment with Block Funds. He enjoyed reading, music, bird-watching, and cooking. He will be remembered for his outsized personality, irreverent sense of humor, and unfiltered commentary on just about any subject. Scott will be greatly missed.
Investor Relations Coordinator
816.410.9589 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Eytcheson joined the Block Funds team in August of 2007. Erin corresponds directly with investors regarding purchases of ownership units in equity investment offerings. She also manages the Block Funds Investor Portal, where accredited investors can register, verify their accredited status, and make direct investments in commercial real estate assets online.
Director of Investor Relations
816.412.8453 | email@example.com
Adam joined Block in 2014 and previously worked in leasing and corporate services with Cassidy Turley and as a special servicing asset manager as a contractor for the FDIC. Adam has led and overseen the underwriting activities of many of BRES’s major acquisitions and developments. Adam is experienced in all areas of the investment and acquisitions department and has performed many other ancillary functions for the firm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Missouri Columbia and is a licensed real estate agent in Kansas and Missouri. Additionally, Adam brings leadership experience from his time as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in the Army.
816.412.5836 | firstname.lastname@example.org
John Drowns joined the Block Funds investor relations team in 2019. John began cultivating his passion and knowledge of the commercial real estate industry while working for an office/flex developer as a young man in Kansas City. After graduating from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, John worked for CB Richard Ellis’ Financial Consulting Group; and later, Debt & Structured Finance Group in Phoenix, AZ where he executed the underwriting of commercial real estate with an aggregate consideration of over $7 billion. Prior to returning to Kansas City, John was also an investment sales associate with Transwestern’s Phoenix Multifamily Group, specializing in communities 150 units and greater. In 2018, John’s first assignment with Block Real Estate Services was the oversight of tenant improvements for approximately 2.1 million square feet of office property.
AARON M. MESMER, CCIM
Vice President of Developments & Acquisitions
816.412.5858 | email@example.com
Property Specialty: Multifamily and Industrial
Aaron M. Mesmer joined Block Real Estate Services in 2005 as an investment sales specialist focused on achieving maximum returns for his clients through the acquisition or disposition of real estate assets.
Since joining Block, Aaron has been involved in over 125 investment real estate transactions valued at more than $750 million. Aaron has also been involved in multiple developments encompassing more than 375 acres with planned development including 3,100,000 square feet of industrial space, 600,000 square feet of office space and 2,100 units of multifamily and senior housing development.
GRANT O. REVES, CCIM
816.412.5879 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Specialty: Multifamily and Industrial
Grant Reves joined Block Real Estate Services, LLC in February 2007 as an investment real estate specialist focused on multifamily acquisitions. As a member of Block’s Investment Services Group, Grant’s responsibilities on behalf of clients include the review and analysis of potential acquisitions, due diligence, transaction valuation and execution, and detailed financial modeling. Since 2002, Grant has been involved in transactions totaling more than $1.2 billion.
Multifamily Asset Management
816.878.6317 | email@example.com
Jason Charcut joined Block Real Estate Services in 2018 as the Asset Manager of Multifamily Investments. He is responsible for the execution of the strategic business plans for each owned property with a focus of achieving cash flow yields, occupancy, and the overall performance of the assets. Jason possesses a wide knowledge base of management and operational experience in student, rehab, mid-rise, high-rise, garden and townhome communities. He has developed and executed numerous efficiency programs to improve profitability and accountability within the organizations he has worked, which has led to a consistent track record of increasing the value of assets under his leadership. Jason is a graduate of The University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Strategic Communications. He has also received professional designations through the National Apartment Association including Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), and Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS).
BRIAN R. BEGGS, CFA, CCIM
Director of Acquisitions
816.932.5568 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Specialty: Medical and Industrial
Brian Beggs joined Block Real Estate Services, LLC in January of 2003 as a financial analyst specializing in financial statement and investment analysis and is now Director of Acquisitions and a Principal in all of the Block Funds.
Brian’s primary functions include the review and analysis of potential acquisitions and dispositions, detailed financial modeling and transaction valuation and execution. He has been involved in property acquisitions with a total value of over $725 million.
SR. Vice President
Director, Healthcare Acquisitions/Development
816.412.8467 | email@example.com
Property Specialty: Medical
Since joining Block in 2011, Stephen M. Bessenbacher, in his role as vice president of healthcare development, has led the development and acquisition of over 500,000 square feet of medical based real estate with a value of more than $300,000,000. Prior to joining Block, Steve was director of healthcare development for LADCO Development, a Des Moines, IA based real estate development firm. Prior to joining LADCO, Steve spent 10 years in healthcare administration with the former Health Midwest Health System. Steve received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. In 2004, Steve received a Master’s in Business Administration from the Henry Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
KENNETH G. BLOCK, SIOR, CCIM
Kenneth G. Block is the managing principal of Block Real Estate Services, LLC. He entered the real estate field in 1975 and specializes in investment sales and development of industrial, office, and business park properties. To date, he has been involved in the development of over 220 buildings with a total value in excess of $1.3 billion. Over his career, he has been involved in more than $2.5 billion of property sales and dispositions in all asset classes.
Ken is thoroughly knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate brokerage, development, construction, financing, syndication, leasing and marketing. Ken is an active industrial member of SIOR and a member of CCIM. He currently serves on the editorial advisory board of Midwest Real Estate News.
STEPHEN J. BLOCK
Stephen J. Block is a principal with Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES) and he started working with BRES in 1974 after graduating from Carnegie-Mellon University. Stephen began his career in leasing office and retail space. This led him to begin renovation of several buildings in the historic Westport district of Kansas City and ultimately to development of several office and retail properties in cooperation with the city and various redevelopment agencies.
Stephen is thoroughly knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate brokerage, development, construction, financing, syndication, leasing and marketing. Stephen is currently president of the Westport Community Improvement District. He is a Life Member of the Missouri Million Dollar Club and has received numerous awards and citations from various development agencies including Urban Design Awards and Economic Development Cornerstone Awards.
MICHAEL R. BLOCK, CPM
Michael R. Block is a principal with Block Real Estate Services (BRES) and has been with BRES since 1979. He is a member of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRAR) and has been in its Multi-Million Dollar Club for many years. Michael received lifetime membership in the Missouri Association of Realtors’ Million Dollar Club in 1986. In addition to being an active member of the local, state and national realtor associations, he also belongs to the local chapters of IREM and CCIM.
Michael participates in a number of community and civic organizations including the Bacchus Foundation, the Avidus Foundation, the Kansas City Jazz Festival, the Kansas City Chiefs Red Coaters, and the Helzberg Leadership Fellows.
HARRY P. DRAKE, CCIM, CPM
Executive Vice President / COO
Harry P. Drake is Block Real Estate Services, LLC Executive Vice President/COO. He oversees the Property Management division, which is made up of 20 directors/managers and support staff responsible for over 24 million square feet of commercial space and over 1,800 multifamily housing units located in the metropolitan areas of Kansas City, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Phoenix. In addition, Harry also coordinates the response of BRES’s distressed asset services team. He has served as a court appointed receiver for commercial properties totaling in excess of one million square feet securing debt in excess of $75 million located in the Kansas City and St. Louis Metropolitan areas.
Harry is a Principal in Block Funds and a member of the Block Real Estate Services, LLC Executive Committee. He has been in the commercial real estate industry since 1980, and is a graduate of Michigan State Universitys College of Business, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutions Management. Harry also attended the Rockhurst University, Executive Fellows MBA program.