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Fehmi Karahan and Holt Lunsford inducted into the NTCAR Hall of Fame

Two veteran business leaders – one the mastermind behind Plano’s massive Legacy West development, the other a commercial real-estate leader lauded for his integrity, creative leadership and financial acumen – were recognized Tuesday (April 30) for their significant contributions to Dallas/Fort Worth’s landscape.

That’s when the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (NTCAR) inducted Fehmi Karahan, president and chief executive officer of The Karahan Companies, and Holt Lunsford, founder and chief executive officer of Holt Lunsford Commercial into the 2019 NTCAR Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. 

NTCAR hall of fame
Holt Lunsford, Fehmi Karahan, and Chuck Dannis (Photo by Alexandra Olivia)

Also, Charles “Chuck” G. Dannis, senior managing director of National Valuation Consultants, Inc. (and former founder of Crosson Dannis), was presented the Michael F. McAuley Lifetime Achievement Award. This recognition is given to an individual who has dedicated countless hours of personal effort to their community, to professional organizations committed to the real estate industry and to charitable pursuits during their professional real estate career. Additionally, the award recognizes the individual’s commitment to promoting integrity, honesty, reciprocation and professionalism throughout their commercial real estate career.

Marking its 31st anniversary, the NTCAR Reunion and Hall of Fame event was Tuesday (April 30) at Dallas Country Club (4100 Beverly Dr.) with an hors d’oeuvres reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. (See bios on all honorees at the end of this release.) 

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Karahan is the leading master developer of the $3 billion Legacy West development in Plano, including the $700 million, mixed-use Legacy West urban center. Described by Steve Brown at The Dallas Morning News as “one of the largest and most successful real estate projects ever built in Texas,” Legacy West is also home to major offices such as Toyota Motor North America Headquarters, Liberty Mutual, FedEx Office Headquarters, JPMorgan Chase, NTT Data US Headquarters and Boeing Global Services Headquarters. Recently, he teamed up with Hunt Realty and Chief Partners in the purchase of 2,544-acre site in Frisco, which is the largest contiguous-land assemblage in Frisco. The site will be home to the PGA USA headquarters.

Karahan has led The Karahan Companies since 1984 and has been involved in the development of retail, office and mixed-use projects throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, including most notably Legacy Town Center. 

“Fehmi Karahan has left a massive imprint on Collin County and has forever changed the North Texas region – and he’s not finished yet!” said Lynn Dowdle, 2019 NTCAR Hall of Fame event committee member. “He is a brilliant leader who surrounds himself with talented people to create high-energy, signature developments embraced by the community.” 

Lunsford is founder and chief executive officer of Holt Lunsford Commercial (HLC), a commercial real estate service and investment company founded in 1993. They manage and lease a 70 million-square-foot portfolio of buildings in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston for private and institutional owners, and have developed or acquired more than 10 million square feet through their investment company, Frontier Equity.

In addition to his commercial real estate business, Lunsford is founder and chairman of Liberty Capital Bank, a Texas-based banking institution founded in 2007; Global Fulfillment Solutions, an integrated third-party logistics and fulfillment company; and City Park Construction.

“Holt Lunsford has a stellar reputation in the industry. He’s known as a great leader who has strong values, a passion for the work and a deep commitment to excellence. That’s why his clients are loyal to him, and his powerhouse firm has grown into one of the region’s largest,” said Greg Cannon, a 2019 NTCAR Hall of Fame event committee member. “He’s also a creative, big thinker looking to do things in a new way. How many other real estate developers have founded their own banks, logistics firms and construction companies?” 

Recipient of the Michael McAuley Award, Dannis is not only a respected industry leader but also a highly regarded educator and community servant. A member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI, SRA), Dannis has served in various roles with the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciary and is the current chair-elect of the board. In addition to creating and teaching several NCREIF educational courses, Dannis has also taught classes for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America School of Mortgage Banking.

Doing his part to inspire future leaders in real estate, the SMU graduate returned to his alma mater 22 years ago as an award-winning Adjunct Professor of Practice in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics in the Cox School of Business. He also is an in-demand guest lecturer for the MBA programs at various universities including Harvard, DePaul, UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-Arlington and Texas A&M.

His community service includes being named chairman emeritus of the Dallas Marathon benefitting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and serving on the boards of The Friends of Katy Trail and The June Shelton School.

His numerous awards include being the first recipient of SMU’s Folsom Institute For Real Estate’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the prestigious Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps Quality Citizen Award and the Appraisal Institute Education Trust’s Dr. William N. Kinnard, Jr. Award.

“Chuck is a rare personality – a dynamic, knowledgeable leader who cares enough to share his expertise and talents with others. His passion is demonstrated by his record of giving back to his industry through his teachings, his inspirational lessons to college students, his service to his city, and the monies raised to support children’s health and educational programs,” said Robert Grunnah, a 2019 NTCAR Hall of Fame event committee member.

These and other recent Hall of Fame recipients will be featured in the third edition of THE BOOK – Dallas/Fort Worth Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame – scheduled for release this spring. Created in 2008 and updated in 2013 by NTCAR Hall of Fame co-chairs Robert Grunnah, Chris Teesdale, Darrell Hurmis, Kathy Permenter and Greg Cannon, THE BOOKcaptures the stories of the past Hall of Fame honorees and Michael F. McAuley Award recipients – all legendary figures whose extraordinary vision and real estate prowess played a major role in North Texas’ development over the past 100 years

The coffee table book, filled with historical photos, is available for $150.

Aayushi Pramanik
Aayushi Pramanik is a sophomore at Williams College. When not working or studying economics and math, she enjoys dancing, singing, and taking countless photos with her camera.

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