Our Team

The TLP team has 75 years of combined experience in managing over 100 MSF of properties and two public REITs.

TradeLane Properties

John S. Gates, Jr.

Executive Chairman

Mr. Gates is the Executive Chairman of TradeLane Properties LLC.

In 1984, Mr. Gates co-founded CenterPoint Properties Trust and served as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the next 22 years. During that period, CenterPoint became the Nation's first publicly traded Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: CNT) as well as the largest private property owner/developer in the Metropolitan Chicago Region. In 2006, the Company was acquired by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CaLPERS) for approximately $3.4 billion in cash and assumption of debt, resulting in a 23% compounded annual return to shareholders (dividends reinvested) over 12 years as a public company, at which time Mr. Gates retired from the company.

From 2007-2018, Mr. Gates served as a Director and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance committee of DCT Industrial Trust (NYSE: DCT), a leading publicly traded warehouse/industrial property REIT which owns, develops and internally manages over 73 million square feet of bulk-distribution and light-industrial properties in high demand U.S. distribution markets. DCT Industrial was acquired by Prologis (NYSE: PLD) on August 22, 2018 for $8.4 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction.

He began his career as an Assistant to Governor James R. Thompson of Illinois. In 1979, he joined CB/Richard Ellis, and in 1981, co-founded the Chicago office of Jones Lang Wootton (now Jones Lang LaSalle), a global commercial property investment firm. Mr. Gates graduated from Groton School in 1972 and from Trinity College in 1976 with a BSc in Economics and Philosophy.

Mr. Gates has also received numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Land Institute and the Lifetime Award for Excellence from the NAIOP. In addition, he was named "Outstanding REIT CEO" for the six consecutive years prior to the sale of CenterPoint by Realty Stock Review in their annual survey of institutional investors. In addition, Mr. Gates is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, World President's Organization (WPO) and the Urban Land Institute - Board of Governors

In addition, Mr. Gates has been a board member and committee chairman of six publicly traded corporations and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PortaeCo, LLC a multisector private investment company.


From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Gates was Chairman of the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which oversees all rail, bus, subway, elevated and other forms of public transit in the six-county metropolitan Chicago region. RTA owns, controls funding and integrates the Chicago Transit Authority (Urban Subway, Elevated, Bus), Metra (Commuter Rail) and Pace (Suburban Bus). This system provides 2.2 million rides per day and has annual operating revenue and capital expenditures in excess of $5 billion.

From 2007-2010, Mr. Gates served as Chairman of the Reform Board and Chairman of Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (McPier), which owns and operates Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center and Navy Pier. These facilities anchor Chicago's convention and tourism business and host over 50 million visitors per year. Mr. Gates oversaw the operational, financial and legislative restructuring of the Authority, increasing Chicago's attractiveness as a convention and tourism destination.

Current For-Profit Company Boards

  • Davis Funds (NYSE: NYVTX): Chairman of the Brokerage Committee. $30+ Billion group of retail and institutional mutual funds in a variety of asset classes. Founded in 1969.
  • Miami Corporation: A large, diversified investment company with substantial interests in securities, timber, oil, gas, and agriculture Established in 1906.

Current Not-For-Profit Boards

Former Boards in addition to CenterPoint Properties and DCT Industrial

TradeLane Properties

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