The Kings of Commercial
"It's the first time a single individual has become the dominant brand," says his former boss, Dave Lutton, owner of Charles Reinhart Company Realtors. "We've seen it in residential before, but not commercial. Before Jim, commercial was an old boys' club, and nobody dominated like Jim has come to. Jim Chaconas is without question the most successful commercial salesman in the county, probably the biggest in history."
Though he can recite the location, size, price, landlord, and tenant of every important piece of commercial real estate in Ann Arbor, Chaconas isn't a native.
"I was born in Washington D.C. in 1952," he says, sitting in the street-level conference room of his offices in McKinley Towne Centre. "My father had a bar in D.C. He got a job with Schlitz, and in 1960 they brought him up here to manage their distributorship. It was on Huron where Say Cheese is now. We moved around, and I went to Eberwhite, then Northside, then Eberwhite again, then Slauson, then half a semester at Pioneer. Then we moved to Florida, and I went to school there. Then we came back to Ann Arbor for half a semester of my senior year."