About Us


Company Overview

We are a boutique, retail real estate consulting company that provides a client-driven approach to real estate strategy, development, and deployment.  In the consulting process, we typically work with owners, municipalities, demographers, financial analysts, architects, retailers, merchant's associations, and community groups to develop a realistic plan for expansion. We seek opportunities to positively impact the growth and profitability of well-regarded organizations by contributing to the location decision process, thereby creating and maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Company History

After years of experience working in-house for Williams-Sonoma and J. Crew, John Auber established The Auber Group in 2004.  After the events of September 11, 2001, John decided it was time for a quality of life change and to start his own company, outsourcing his real estate experience. The Auber Group is particularly proud to have worked with Nike and its subsidiaries as their first client.

Mission Statement

Simply put, client first!

The Auber Group is dedicated to providing personalized specialty real estate services for both tenants and landlords.

About John Auber

John Auber has worked in the retail real estate and finance fields for over eighteen years and has established a solid reputation as a top-quality, specialty leasing real estate professional.  After a few years in commercial banking, he joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. where he spent nine years playing a key role at a corporate-wide level in their real estate group. John was instrumental in the repositioning of Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, and the company's namesake into their respective expanded formats.  He gained national experience, first covering the western half of the country while living in San Francisco and was then promoted and asked to open a Boston office where he led the company's expansion in the eastern U.S. During his tenure with Williams-Sonoma, he identified and finalized more than 200 transactions and evaluated many more opportunities to determine whether they met Williams-Sonoma's industry leading standards. 

Initially recruited by J.Crew to head their real estate department, John's responsibilities expanded to encompass all aspects of their stores' lifecycle: site selection, negotiation, store design, construction, lease management, repairs and maintenance, and deposition of underperforming assets.  John has extensive experience in various retail venues— regional malls, lifestyle, street front, entertainment centers, and outlet centers.  His core strengths are strategic planning, problem solving, negotiation, and relationship building/development.

John has successfully partnered with colleagues on a variety of retail concepts in vertical, multi-channel, high-growth companies.  Most notably, he has successfully represented his clients in both expanding and contracting markets. Through his many business transactions, he has established a wide network of contacts and built relationships with developers, landlords, and tenants throughout the United States and Canada. 

John is a proud member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.  He serves on the Client Advisory Board for Emerson Investment Management, Inc. and is currently involved with his local YMCA and their effort to raise money to renovate its facility; he is on the executive committee as well as heads the building subcommittee.

About Brad Downs

Brad Downs has worked in the retail real estate field for over thirteen years, establishing himself within the industry as a successful specialty retail real estate professional. Brad's prior corporate employment experience includes: Urban Shopping Centers, Inc., the Finish Line, Inc., Chico's FAS, Inc., and the Wet Seal, Inc. Brad played key roles within corporate real estate organizations. He provided deployment of national market strategies for rapid growth of less mature brands; brand repositioning strategies for more mature brands; and portfolio management to maximize returns on capital, market strength, and position for the overall brand portfolio.

While initially focused on transactional retail real estate, Brad's career path has become specialized into a more comprehensive, analytical, and strategically thought out, real estate approach. His expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of the retail life-cycle: understanding the target guest; developing a market by market strategy; sourcing and negotiating the location; interfacing with legal, design and construction.

Brad is a current member of the ICSC, past retail chair for the State of Texas, and enjoys a strong affiliation with The Ohio State University Alumni Foundation. When Brad is not busy working within the retail real estate industry, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.