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DALLAS-Atlanta-based Place Properties LP, marking its seventh year, has tapped two student housing executives from JPI to launch its first office outside its homeport.

Brent Little was named vice president and development partner while Jon Clayton picked up a senior development manager’s title with the job change. The office has been set up in an executive suite at 5605 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving.

“Dallas is midpoint for us to be able to cover the rest of the country,” says Edward Wolff, vice president of Place Properties’ human resources department. He tells GlobeSt.com that talks are under way for two developments in Texas and one each in Illinois and Indiana in an expansion strategy to add “seven or eight” properties per year–from ground-up construction to third-party management pacts. This year already has brought four additions to the 30-property portfolio of owned and managed assets totaling 14,374 beds. Wolff says the goal is to have as many as 55 properties in hand within two years. The company targets properties with 400 or more beds.

The expansion to Texas marks the second strategy move in two months. Place Properties recently bought its first traditional multifamily property in Dunwoody, GA–and is scouting for more in other markets. Wolff says there are no plans to convert the 532-unit Dunwoody Club into its specialty niche. Meanwhile, Place Properties is readying to break ground in Starkville, MS on a student housing project beside Mississippi State University.

Until now, Misissippi is farthest west that the company’s gone. Wolff says the Texas scouts will be focusing on development and management opportunities in California, Nevada, Colorado and of course, Texas. He says talks were under way for six months before the Dallas office got the green light.

Little, a 20-year professional, was part of JPI’s luxury and student living groups. He also worked for Echelon Residential, the Related Group, Trammell Crow Residential and FirstWorthing. Clayton, with 10 years’ experience, worked the West Coast market for JPI, but previously was employed by Echelon and Carbon Development.

“Our experience in markets from Florida to California will expand Place Properties’ as the preeminent provider of housing and mixed-use solutions for college and university communities on a national scale,” Little says in a press release.

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