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CHARLOTTE-Going against a national hiring trend, locally-based Crosland Group is adding five staffers to its 25-person retail division to keep pace with its growing acquisition, management and leasing portfolios.

Two of the five new hires, senior leasing associate Garland Hughes and property manager Holly Hess, are returning Crosland employees. The other three include development manager Dan Wendover, formerly with Little & Associates Architects; leasing associate Charles Thrift, formerly with Aston Properties; and finance manager Traci Gilbert, formerly with Bank of America.

Crosland has 1.6 million sf of retail under development in six Charlotte-area projects. One of them, Birkdale Village, will total $75 million, twice the value of the division’s previous highest value project. Birkdale Village is a mixed-use project consisting of retail, residential, and office, off Interstate 77 near Lake Norman in Huntersville. Crosland Retail, which is developing it in a joint venture with Pappas Properties, expects most of the retail shops will be leased and operating by next fall.

The retail division is currently focused on three major Charlotte-area projects in south Mecklenburg County. Rea Village is a $10-million, 70,000-sf neighborhood shopping center. A second neighborhood center totaling 70,000 sf is at US 521 and old US 521. The third retail project is a 515,000-sf project on 59 acres within a 275-acre site that Crosland will develop as a mixed use-community.

Crosland sees a lot of opportunity ahead in the Carolinas and is putting people and resources in place at both the Charlotte office and the recently opened Raleigh office.

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