Biggs says he began talks with Kellie DeVilbiss, president ofJupiter Communities, to take on this role about a year ago. "Theplan was to grow this company nationwide, and this scenario came tofruition when RAIT Financial Trust, out of Philadelphia, boughtcontrolling interest in Jupiter Communities in May of this year,"Biggs tells "Once that was accomplished, the platformwas prepared to grow, so I came on to expand into the areas Jupiterwas already in and seek out additional opportunities."

Chicago-based Jupiter already has offices in Florida, Georgia,Nevada, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona, and will initially focus ongrowing its roots there. The firm expects to take over sevenproperties in those areas in the next month. Biggs says one of themost substantial expansions Jupiter will undertake next is movinginto the Texas market by opening a Dallas office, where he will bebased.

"Having been through the crash of the 1980s in the southwest inTexas, this is a more difficult recession this time around from areal estate standpoint," Biggs says. "Any time there's a situationlike this there's great opportunity, and it's a perfect opportunityto jump into distressed markets because we have the years ofexperience to see how we get out of this scenario. We have greataccess to capital and can look at these distressed situations andsee opportunities for us and our clients, and come up withsolutions for people and grow the company."

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