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SAN DIEGO-On the heels of a $440 million merger, the CEO of retail REIT Pan Pacific Retail Properties has won Ernst & Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in San Diego.

Just last month, Stuart Tanz, CEO of the real estate investment trust–the largest neighborhood shopping center REIT on the West Coast–announced strong results for its first quarter following the completion of a major merger.

Pan Pacific Retail last year bought Northern California-based Western Properties Trust in a deal worth $440 million.

The company announced a 10% increase in funds from operations per share to 66 cents and a 64.7% increase in total funds from operations to $22 million.

“Our double-digit (funds from operations) growth was driven by our record leasing activity which was accelerated as a result of our increased market position with the Western Properties’ portfolio.”

Tanz received the award at a banquet held at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. The program recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

San Diego’s winners are now eligible to participate in the National Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program in Palm Springs on Nov. 17.

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