About the Author


John Culbertson, CCIM, CRE, SIOR

Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

Office: 704-953-5500

Cell:     704-501-7273

e-mail:  jculbertson@cardinal-partners.com

website:  www.cardinal-partners.com

John Culbertson has a knack for developing creative solutions and successful strategies for even the most complex real estate deals, and he’s always up for a new challenge. He reviews your needs from every angle, understands all the complexities and comes up with the right strategy for your ultimate success. He’s our proverbial “man with a plan.”

John has developed proprietary processes for all aspects of real estate sales, leasing and development. He has development and transaction experience throughout the United States, and has worked with a wide variety of public and private institutional clients. John obtained his MBA from the McColl School of Business (the Executive MBA program at Queens College) and is a frequent participant in Harvard’s Program on Negotiation.


2006 – Present

Cardinal Real Estate Partners, LLC

Charlotte, North Carolina

Owner, Founder, Partner

Cardinal Partners: Founded commercial real estate firm in 2006 and navigated its successful growth.  The firm has established its reputation for implementing proprietary and consultative processes for its institutional and high-net-worth clientele.

Responsibilities:  Owner, strategist, leader, business architect, business developer.  Leading negotiator, strategic project management. Establish business choices and direction based on thorough market knowledge and sound expertise.  Build and establish successful, well-managed processes that build trust and create client satisfaction for company-wide implementation.  Additional specialties: due diligence, brokerage, problem solving, consulting, marketing and goal setting.

Accomplishments:  Created successful business from start-up.  Recruited and put together tremendously talented leadership team with over 90 years of strategically diverse and applied commercial real estate experience.  Created team construct and streamlined processes to ensure seasoned professionals have the opportunity to be creative while working together in the most effective platform possible.  Established proprietary processes that have maximized results, created value, met clients’ needs and increased volume and revenue.  Negotiated win-win solutions for Cardinal clients.  Produced strong revenue portfolio with diverse commercial real estate projects and client base.
2000 – 2006

CB Richard Ellis, formerly Trammell Crow

Charlotte, North Carolina

At the end of 2006 CBRE completed the acquisition of commercial real estate competitor Trammell Crow Company in a transaction valued at $2.2 billion.  Trammell Crow, established in 1948 operating across the US and in Canada with diverse commercial real estate product expertise in areas such as industrial, office, healthcare, airport distribution centers, mixed use land development.

2001 – 2006

Trammell Crow

Senior Vice President of Industrial Development / Critical Facilities

Charlotte, North Carolina

Responsibilities:  Promoted to Senior Vice President role to take on larger leadership responsibilities and navigate the company through the challenges of the commercial real estate market after 9/11.

Accomplishments:  Provided stabilization and leadership for Trammell Crow’s southeast sector.  Negotiated national telecoms projects.  Nationally recognized for managing the disposition of Charlotte Coliseum for city of Charlotte, North Carolina.  This high-profile project won acclaim in the national press for its leadership, ethicality and creative execution.

2000 – 2001

Trammell Crow

Vice President of Industrial Development / Telecom Facilities

Charlotte, North Carolina

Recruited into role to develop airport distribution centers and telecoms for Trammell Crow while stabilizing the overall business for the southeastern sector of the company.  Promoted to larger role as Senior Vice President of Industrial Development/Telecoms after one year as Vice President.

1997 – 2000

AMB / International Airport Centers (IAC)

Chicago, Illinois/Charlotte, North Carolina

International Airport Centers, IAC operated as a $385-million-dollar company managing a portfolio of transportation-related cargo, warehouse distribution and office complexes, with over 7,900,000 square feet throughout the United States.  IAC was sold to AMB in 2001.


1998 – 2000

IAC-Regional Director

Promoted to IAC regional role in 1998.

Responsibilities:  Senior member of development team.  Took on greater responsibility for Charlotte, New York and Boston regional development projects while adding responsibilities for projects in Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.  Total project management.  Managed day-to-day development, leasing and reporting for projects.  Multi-site, multi-project responsibility.

Accomplishments:  Broad, successful institutional project management experience established with leadership of projects ranging from $1 million to $100 million.  Large property/construction management with all project reporting, awarding of contracts, vendor management, relationship development, multiple site and project management, etc.  Developed leading expertise in lease negotiations.

IAC Projects of note:

  • 88 Black Falcon: 620,000 square foot facility renovation project in Boston.  Converted World War II deportation warehouse into Class A office space.  Successfully completed renovation, leased property and oversaw onsite management.
  • IAC-CLT Facility:  Successfully led development and leasing team for 610,000 square foot airport commerce distribution and office facility in Charlotte, North Carolina through acquisition, entitlement and development (4 phases).

1997 – 1998

IAC-Leasing and Project Manager

Recruited into opportunity for strong project management background business ties to Charlotte, North Carolina and southeast.

Responsibilities: Headed up development and day-to-day on the ground construction management for Charlotte, North Carolina.  Developed clientele.  Wrote, negotiated leases.  Made presentations.  Awarded property management contracts.  Overall vendor management for projects.  Multi-phase management: created and executed many completely new management processes for IAC in this role.

Accomplishments: Successful professional transition from entrepreneurial-based commercial real estate development with smaller geographic project base to large, national commercial real estate company with institutionally based project development and management, broader project size and scope.  Project management processes created became foundational to the IAC model and implemented successfully across the company and on a national basis.

1995 – 1997

Norcom Development

Charlotte, NC

Project Manager, Associate Developer

Norcom Development is a full-service commercial real estate company with primary focus on property management, development, leasing, brokerage and acquisitions for retail and industrial projects.  Geographic concentration in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states.

Responsibilities:  Project management, land and office brokerage.  Full cycle build-to-suit project management: proposal development and presentation, oversaw project development, supervised construction, facilitate/led neighborhood meetings and made presentations, oversaw leasing of facilities/properties.  Multi-site project management.  Projects ranged from $18 million to $25 million in size, scope and value.


  • Park/Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation: Successfully structured and planned project.  Presented and won bid.  Managed project development, supervised construction, made neighborhood presentations.  Upon successful completion, leased park back to county.
  • Tanglewood Commons, Clemmons, NC – shopping center.
  • Poplar Crossing, Concord, NC – shopping center.
  • CityView Commons, Charlotte, NC


  • Counselors of Real Estate “CRE”: The Counselors of Real Estate is the membership organization established exclusively for real estate advisors who provide unbiased and trusted advice. Founded in 1953, the organization serves 1,100 members worldwide. Membership in the organization is awarded by invitation only through peer, employer and client review.
  • Certified Commercial Investment Manager,  “CCIM”: CCIMs have completed a designation curriculum that covers essential CCIM skill sets including ethics, interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, and investment analysis for commercial investment real estate. CCIMs have completed a portfolio demonstrating the depth of their commercial real estate experience and completed a comprehensive examination.
  • Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, “SIOR” is a leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association with more than 3,000 members in more than 630 cities in 33 countries, performing more than 80,000 transactions a year. Comprehensive education and experience are required.

Personally – John enjoys community and political involvement coupled with ongoing personal, professional growth:

  • Board Member, University of North Carolina Charlotte-Center for Real Estate Advisory Board
  • Board Member, North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Economic Development Board
  • Board member, Charlotte Film Commission
  • Board Member, Charlotte Regional Partnership
  • Board Member, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce-Charlotte Regional Roads Committee (RRC)
  • Former Board Member, North Carolina Department of Transportation Turnpike Authority; Chairman of the Plans and Programming committee
  • Former Member, Board of Visitors, Johnson C. Smith University
  • Former Board Member, Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO)
  • Former Board Member, Charlotte Association to National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP)
  • Former Board Member, Real Estate Business Industry Council (REBIC)
  • Former President, Queens Learning Society
  • Former Board Member, Charlotte Children’s Theatre
  • Harvard Law School,  The Program on Negotiations, (3) professional/executive level courses
  • Strategic Coach for Entrepreneurs, 2001 – present
  • Member, Urban Land Institute

John resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Leslie, and three active boys.
He is an avid skier and mountain bike racer with more than 50 races across the US. He also enjoys golf, photography, traveling, and reading non-fiction and history.

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