JLL Tenant Broker Follows Her Musical Father’s Lead in Real Estate Career, With a Variation
Brooke Gothard followed in her dad’s footsteps for her career choice, but not when it comes to his musical pursuits. That hasn’t prevented her from seeking deals with a musical connection, however.
Gothard is a tenant broker in JLL’s Atlanta office, where she represents technology and creative-sector companies. Her father, Leigh Martin, has worked in Atlanta commercial real estate for more than 30 years, mostly in the data center and office sectors, and can be seen singing and playing the guitar in the area on weekends.
As Father’s Day approaches, Gothard recalls with appreciation all that she’s picked up from her dad, and how music even played an indirect role in one of her most memorable deals. That was when she convinced longtime client Block Inc., the financial services and digital payments company formerly known as Square, to lease space last year for its CashApp subsidiary at a former mill and music club in downtown Atlanta.
The late 19th century property manufactured wood packing materials for decades before being converted into a nightspot, which closed in 2016. Developers bought the former club and transformed it into creative office space called The Mill, but it didn’t meet all of San Francisco-based Block’s typical office requirements, Gothard said.
However, “they ended up falling in love with the building and signing a long-term lease,” she said.
Her dad wasn’t her only role model in the industry. Martin’s professional partner, Wendy McArthur, provided a career example for Gothard growing up.
“I saw you could do all the mom things and still have a career,” Gothard said. “That was very intriguing.”
Martin and McArthur are both managing directors in JLL’s Atlanta office. Gothard, 34, is a member of their team. While Martin and McArthur lean more toward data center work, Gothard advises tech companies on office leases.
Their differing interests in commercial property also extend to their relationships with music. Martin, who previously worked for CBRE, has played guitar in Atlanta-area bands for years. Lately, he has a regular weekend gig playing at an assisted living development in Marietta. Martin has also earned a reputation in the local community for writing and performing a new holiday-themed song every year.
Though Gothard isn’t involved in music, Martin’s musical side career helped her develop an appreciation for it. And attending her dad’s performances is one of the few ways that Gothard gets away from commercial real estate.
Her husband, Mike Gothard, is a business development director for DPR Construction. The couple, who live in Atlanta with their two daughters, can’t drive past a new construction project without getting into a discussion about its design and location.
Gothard wants to keep building her reputation as an expert in tech company office leases but doesn’t expect that to extend to her father’s niche in brokering data center transactions.
“That’s a whole different language they speak,” Gothard said.