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DALLAS-First Industrial Realty Trust, with $500 million set aside for acquisitions, has put a man on the streets in Dallas to lead a scouting expedition in the Gulf/Mountain Region for a likely $160-million spending spree in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Ron Carey, a 20-year veteran, has been named senior investment officer for the region. Carey, who hails from Texas, spent the last eight years in Florida, five of which were with Opus South in Tampa as a vice president of dispositions. Opus South could not be reached by publication time for comment on the exit.

Carey and four other senior investment officers will be scouting the US for acquisitions to recycle capital from a $500-million pool, fueled primarily by the Kuwait Financial House. Prior to Carey’s hire, First Industrial used its Chicago homeport to steer acquisitions for the target cities. “It puts somebody on the ground floor for the Gulf/Mountain Region,” Carey tells GlobeSt.com. Carey says he has stepped into the job as deals brew.

Although the regional headquarters is in Denver, Carey says “it makes sense to have me located here” since there’s such a hard focus to buy in Dallas, which lags the other Gulf/Mountain cities in terms of portfolio size. He says First Industrial is looking to spend about $160 million for acquisitions in the five cities.

In the last 1.5 years, Carey sold more than $500 million of assets for Opus South. But, he explains, he was looking to “get back on the acquisitions side” and Texas too. “It’s good to be back in Texas,” he emphasizes.

Prior to the Florida move, Carey worked with L&B Group/Lehndorff USA and Vantage Cos. Prior to joining Opus South, he was investment manager for the State Board Administration of Florida, where he played a strategic role in doubling the annual real estate investment volume to $600 million.

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