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SAN FRANCISCO-Westcore Properties, a San Diego-based real estate investment firm has opened an office here as it searches for $150 million worth of Northern California properties to buy over the next 12 months. Already, the firm has placed under contract some $50 million worth of properties in the region.

“Over the next 12 months we plan to aggressively invest approximately $150 million in office, industrial, retail and land in this region,” says Westcore president Marc Brutten, who has tapped Neil Johnson to run the office and direct acquisitions. Prior to Westcore, Johnson was a vice president of acquisitions and development with Legacy Partners Commercial LLC in Foster City, CA, responsible for sourcing new office and industrial acquisitions in the Bay Area and Seattle regions.

“The Bay Area market … is now clearly in the early stages of recovery,” says Johnson. “In order to build a significant portfolio in a market of this size it was necessary to have a physical presence to grow relationships with the local real estate community.”

Over the past 18 months, Westcore has acquired approximately $193 million in commercial real estate, primarily in the Southern California region. In addition, over the last six months Westcore has sold more than $31 million in property.

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