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ATLANTA-Locally based Lane Co., primarily known as a multifamily developer, has opened a Washington, DC office and named Steven D. McCleaf, a former vice president at Boca Raton, FL-based Gables Residential Trust, to head the new unit as regional director of Lane Northeast.

Besides DC, McCleaf’s territory includes the suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia areas. Jeff Price and McLeaf are partners in Lane Northeast. Frank Griffin, a former senior manager at Chicago-based Mesirow Stein Real Estate Inc., is also a new vice president and regional development manager at Lane Northeast. Griffin reports to Price.

“What I think will really allow us to succeed in a competitive market like DC is our willingness and ability to tackle complex deals such as mixed-use, adaptive reuse, rehab” and similar projects, McCleaf says.

A 15-year professional in the Washington, DC-Northern Virginia market, McCleaf adds, “Are we primarily a multifamily developer? Yes, but it’s increasingly difficult to say, ‘I only do pure multifamily and be successful in a market like DC these days.”

He says, “I really see us keeping an open mind about deal location and size. We’re going to look at each deal on its own merits without a notion that we’ll only play in two or three upper-bracket submarkets. Some level of nimbleness and diversification makes good sense.”

McCleaf established a regional office for Gables Residential Trust in DC in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. McCleaf is a member of the Urban Land Institute and sits on its Multifamily Council.

Lane has already established a presence in the Northeast with its recently approved planned redevelopment of Dulaney Valley Apartments in Towson, MD into a luxury community with 900 high-end condominiums and apartments. Earlier this year, the firm completed entitlements for a 300-unit high rise on the Hudson River in New Jersey.

In metro Atlanta, Lane has six condominium and apartment projects under way in Atlantic Station, a $2-billion, 138-acre new live/work/play redevelopment in Midtown. The company is also building the Radius condominiums in Hollywood, FL where the 285-unit project is already sold out. Recent Lane acquisitions include the Broadway Station apartments in Myrtle Beach, SC which are being converted to condos.

Gables Residential Trust officials couldn’t be reached for comment on McCleaf’s departure.

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