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LOS ANGELES-Longtime broker Lane M. Schwartz has been named the new regional manager for the Downtown Los Angeles office of Marcus & Millichap, according to Harvey E. Green, president and CEO of the firm.

Schwartz, who steps into the new job from his position as the sales manager at the Encino office of Marcus & Millichap, a post he was named to in February, takes over in LA from Steve Stein, who returns to brokerage with M&M. Stein remains based at the Los Angeles office and is now specializing in single- and multi-tenant retail properties in the Western United States.

Schwartz joined Marcus & Millichap in 1989 as a sales assistant in the Los Angeles office, and in 1991 he became a sales associate specializing in apartment properties. He was promoted to senior investment associate in 1999 and was later named a director of the firm’s National Multi Housing Group.

The new chief of the M&M Los Angeles office tells GlobeSt.com that he chose to switch from brokerage to management because, “I get a real enjoyment out of helping the younger people solve their problems, move forward, and grow in the business. What better time to do that than now, in a market where they have lots of opportunities.” Schwartz adds that he also has an affinity for the L.A. office, where he spent 12 years as a broker.

Schwartz, who worked on transactions throughout the country as an apartment specialist, says investor demand for apartments remains strong for a number of reasons. Uncertainties about the stock market and other competing investments continue to draw buyers to apartment properties, he says, and the depreciation and tax advantages of real estate remain attractive versus other investments. In Southern California in particular, he adds, high home prices ensure a continued tenant base for apartments.

At the same time, Schwartz says, “We’re seeing a tremendous amount of activity among investors who have owned their apartments for a long time and are moving their capital to product types that are less management intensive, like single-tenant retail.”

Schwartz heads a Downtown L.A. office that includes 39 agents, about 10 agent assistants and a support staff of seven. It is one of 34 Marcus & Millichap offices nationwide, with more than 700 investment professionals, focusing exclusively on real estate investments.

Former L.A. manager Stein, who held that post for four years, tells GlobeSt.com that single-tenant and multi tenant retail properties are always in demand, but he sees increased investor interest in retail properties today as investors seek solid, dependable returns. Stein adds that many investors are turning to retail properties as an alternative to the relatively higher-priced apartment deals. Stein, whose Marcus & Millichap career includes eight years as a broker in Phoenix and three as manager in Long Beach before he moved to the L.A. office, will focus on properties on the West Coast and in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

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