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DALLAS-A private developer and investor has bested a handful of Dallas-Fort Worth’s top executives jockeying to be Phoenix-based Opus West Corp.’s senior vice president in charge of Texas.

The Opus decision went to Eric Langford, a 20-year, award-winning professional whose achievements include being the founding president in 1994 of the 2,500-member North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors. Langford, who started yesterday, tells GlobeSt.com that he is hitting the ground running to “hunt out those pockets” of opportunity in Texas’ Big Four to satisfy the equity that Opus West plans to invest in the state.

“Bringing Eric on board to direct the region’s operations for Opus West further solidifies our commitment to Texas,” Thomas W. Roberts, Opus West president and CEO, said in a press release. Last July, Opus West moved into Texas as Opus South shifted to the east.

Texas is home to more than 6.5 million sf of Opus-developed projects, but that will be changing soon as construction crews move onto sites ticketed for a combined one million sf plus in first phases in Lewisville and Grand Prairie.

Langford, who says there were several DFW’s leading professionals in the running, says the plan is for the team to find and sign development opportunities of all type so that Opus is well positioned for the economic turnaround when it arrives. The scouting expeditions are being handled by a team of eight in Dallas-Fort Worth and two in Austin, with executives commuting to and from Houston to steer its two under-construction projects, the 223-unit, class A Broadstone Lofts at Uptown and 100,000-sf DeVry Institutes campus.

Opus is a relatively new multifamily player on the Texas field, but Houston and Austin definitely are at the top of the company’s go-to list. The team also admits to being in hot pursuit of several retail development sites in the state. “The transition has started,” Roberts said. “There are many more good things to come for Opus West in Texas.”

In recent years, Langford has worn a private investor’s hat, but prior to that he was senior vice president for seven years at the now Dallas-based Koll Development Co., where he was on the lead team to develop Associate First Capital’s 450,000-sf credit card operations center, the 1,300-acre CentrePort, Nokia’s Americas headquarters and the 250,000-sf Royal Ridge office development. With the new responsibilities, Langford is now making plans with a third party to oversee his 500,000-sf Dallas-Fort Worth portfolio.

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