Mr. Bakke is a highly regarded real estate executive with over 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He is currently Principal of Tidewater Real Estate Investments having retired in March 2019 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Washington REIT, a $3 billion publically traded real estate investment trust based in Washington DC. During his five year tenure, he led the complete turnaround of this multi-asset REIT that consisted of diverse portfolio of office buildings, retail centers and multi-family properties located throughout the DC metro area. The turnaround not only included all processes and systems but also a wholesale change in leadership at all levels and a retooling of the entire portfolio.
Up until the end of 2012, he held the position of Market Managing Director for national commercial real estate owner – Equity Office Properties (EOP), a subsidiary of The Blackstone Group. Equity Office Properties, founded by legendary investor Sam Zell of Chicago, was bought by The Blackstone Group in March 2007 in what was at the time the largest leveraged buyout in history. Mr. Bakke had been instrumental in the growth and development of EOP from a small opportunistic investment company of 5 million square feet to a Fortune 100 REIT with over 150 million square feet of Class A office space prior to the sale.
Over his 20 plus years at EOP, he has held a variety of senior positions with the company and its predecessors including Senior Vice President, National Leasing, responsible for all marketing and leasing of the company’s 150 million square foot national portfolio and Senior Vice President, Field Operations with responsibilities for all leasing and property operations for EOP’s national portfolio prior the company’s public offering in 1997.
Prior to his real estate career he spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy with stints as an F-14 aviator and in logistics management. He has a BS in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy and a MBA in Finance, attending MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Golden Gate University.