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DENVER-In a move that surprised many people in the industry, a well-known and respected commercial real estate executive from the city has taken a job in Loveland in northern Colorado.

Peter Coakley, 52, is a 22-year commercial real estate veteran in the city. He resigned from the local office of Transwestern and on Oct. 31 will take a job as VP of real estate services for the family-owned McWhinney Enterprises in Loveland.

Transwestern owns and developed several office buildings in the metro area and manages about five million sf. McWhinney is one of the largest private landowners in northern Colorado. It owns more than 4,600 acres that will take 15 to 20 years to build out.

McWhinney is currently negotiating to bring a huge “lifestyle” regional shopping center on part of its property. Construction of a hospital center, that ultimately will have 1.2 million sf, is now under way as well. In addition, more than 1,000 acres is earmarked for residential construction.

Coakley tells GlobeSt.com that this is a perfect time to take a new job. “My daughter is a senior at Boston College (his alma mater) and my son is about to be a freshman at Boston College, so we’re about to become empty nesters,” Coakley goes on to tell GlobeSt.com. “If this offer had come before, I don’t know whether I could have taken it. I wasn’t looking for another job. But the opportunity seemed too good to pass up.”

He notes that John O’Meara, president of Inverness Properties, recommended him for the job. O’Meara gave him his first job in the city in 1981, when Inverness was being developed by a company then called Central Development Group.

During his career, Coakley also has worked for Trizec, Prudential Premisys and he managed the Denver office of Grubb & Ellis for 2.5 years.

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