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PORTLAND-ScanlanKemperBard Companies has hired Stephen Wong as a senior vice president of asset management. It is the third new hire in recent months for the locally based real estate merchant banking and development advisory firm, which has been ramping up its acquisitions pace.

Wong has spent the last two years as an acquisitions officer for locally based Harsch Investment Properties. Prior to that, he managed and acquired properties throughout the West for the pension fund clients of LaSalle Investment Management. At SKB, Wong’s primary responsibilities will focus on asset management, though he will also assist in acquisitions and dispositions, says company principal Robert Scanlan.

“Stephen has an excellent track record in the field of real estate asset management, property acquisitions and dispositions in the western US and will be a great asset… .,” says Scanlan. “We continue to be very aggressive throughout the western United States, and Stephen’s experience in various markets working on a variety of real estate product types will be very beneficial.”

In September, SKB added Jay Fetherston, the former director of acquisitions & development for National Retail Partners. Also a senior vice president, Fetherston is focusing on real estate acquisitions in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states.

Fetherston did not replace anyone, but rather will complement SKB principal Todd Gooding, who has been and will continue to be the company’s director of acquisitions. “Jay adds an acquisition department to the one we’ve already got,” says Scanlan. “We’re trying to double our acquisitions pace.”

The reason for the ramp up, says Scanlan, is that after 10 successful years in the business the company now has 375 investors, so that “there is more money available to the firm more readily.”

Prior to adding Fetherston, SKB bolstered its disposition department with the addition of Michele Frank, most recently an associate investment manager with Schnitzer Northwest. “If you’re going to start accelerating your acquisition program, presumably that means selling more than you were,” says Scanlan. “That’s where Michele comes in.”

Last month, SKB picked up two Southern California assets in separate deals. In the larger of the two transactions, SKB paid $17.1 million for a 93,646-sf suburban office facility in San Diego. Known as Chesapeake Park Plaza, the property is located at Chesapeake Drive and Clairmont Mesa Boulevard in the Kearny Mesa area of the city. SKB also paid $11.7 million for the 81,722-sf Palms to Pines retail complex in Palm Desert, CA.

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