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Distinguished commercial real estate developer, ASU alum joins University Realty


Photo of Jeff Roberts

Jeff Roberts

February 11, 2020

Arizona State University alumnus Jeff Roberts has been named the new chief operating officer for University Realty LLC, a subsidiary of the nonprofit ASU Enterprise Partners.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Jeff join our team,” said Randy Levin, the chief executive officer of University Realty. “We’ve built our organization with enthusiastic, entrepreneurially minded team members who advocate for the university’s vision and want to use their real estate expertise and learned skills to help create meaningful change.” 

University Realty acquires, cultivates and develops commercial and residential real estate for the sole purpose of advancing ASU. These developments bring more resources and revenue to help establish the university as a national leader in academic excellence, interdisciplinary research and social embeddedness.

Over the past six years, University Realty has developed a large and diverse portfolio of assets, including the historic eight-story Ambassador Barbara Barrett and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center at ASU (three blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C.); the historic Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles; SkySong Center at ASU In Scottsdale; and the 20-story senior living facility Mirabella on ASU’s Tempe campus. As a public charity, the revenue generated from these properties drives the university’s mission and supports the economic vitality of Arizona. 

As the organization scaled its ability and ambition, the governing board of directors determined a need for a chief operating officer. The new hire will be instrumental in managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and internal affairs, enabling Levin to be more strategic and visionary in developing long-term business goals and identifying new ways to generate revenue for ASU. 

Roberts is uniquely suited for the role with almost three decades of experience in real estate development and asset management. He has developed almost 6 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and multifamily real estate in Arizona, Florida and Colorado. 

Throughout his distinguished career, Roberts has risen through the ranks of leadership. He has served as an asset manager, project manager/director, development vice president and principal. He has also demonstrated success in development for both public and private real estate markets. 

“Jeff’s experience as a senior executive decision-maker, his passion for his work and his love for ASU will make him an asset to our team,” Levin said. “He has an additional rare ability to exuberate the patience and temperament necessary to navigate real estate approvals through a publicly perceived parent organization.”

Roberts has an affinity to the university and local real estate knowledge. He holds an Arizona Real Estate Broker’s License and a Bachelor of Science in real estate from ASU. He was named ASU’s Baseball Pitcher of the Year in 1985 and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners before starting his career in real estate. As an alumnus, he’s capable of serving as a strong advocate for ASU’s charter as the New American University. 

Additionally, Roberts has demonstrated his devotion to philanthropy and community engagement. He has served on the board of Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, as well as several committees with various Catholic organizations. 

“Our team, along with many of our development partners, consultants and brokers, welcome Jeff’s presence with great enthusiasm and anticipation,” Levin said. “They’re eager to collaborate on our growing sustainable model of generating resources to advance the university’s mission, thereby creating more college graduates, a better-educated workforce and the ability to respond to a rapidly changing global economy.”

Written by Amanda Stoneman

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