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CONSHOHOCKEN, PA-Preferred Real Estate Investments Inc. has promoted Michael Balitsaris to president of the firm, which specializes in brownfields redevelopment. He takes the place of Erik Kolar, who recently left the company to set up his own firm, Balitsaris says.

The move comes at a time when Preferred is expanding beyond the mid-Atlantic. Balitsaris tells GlobeSt.com, “we’re in the process of finalizing deals in Chicago and Atlanta that involve substantial acreage and several million sf, and we’re also working on other deals in those markets.” The planned acquisitions are brownfields sites, he says. “We look forward to extending our footprint and track record of creative, adaptive re-use redevelopment across the nation.

“My other responsibilities include marketing our properties with local groups,” he says. Among those current efforts are meetings with residents at the company’s Budd site in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Trump Resorts recently obtained a ground lease there in order to enter the competition for one of the city’s two casino licenses. Saying “mostly nay-sayers come to the meetings in which we discuss the potential for a casino,” Balitsaris adds, “we also encounter many area residents who want a job and welcome the upgrading a property like this would bring to the area. We work with the surrounding communities in all of our redevelopment projects.”

Balitsaris joined Preferred as a sales associate in 1998 and was promoted to head of sales and marketing in 2002. Prior to joining the company he worked in Malvern-based Liberty Property Trust’s South Florida office and, before that, was with CB Richard Ellis in Philadelphia. He joins a management team that includes Michael O’Neill, Preferred’s founder and CEO; Nimish Sanghrajka, chairman, and Kevin Traynor and Lawrence A. Doyle who were recently promoted to principals.

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