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DALLAS-With this year’s pipeline pushing above two million sf, the power players behind the eight-year-old Direct Development have added their first senior vice president of development.

Settling into his new role is Don Bouvier, who spent five of his eight years at Hunt Properties Inc. as a vice president and development partner. “Don’s the needed cornerstone,” Syd Hurley, co-founder of the Dallas-based firm, tells GlobeSt.com. “He shores up the whole evolution of our growth.”

Bouvier, a civil engineer by degree with 13 years’ experience in commercial real estate, will be leading the developers’ roll-out of the 300,000-sf Liberty Grove Plaza, a Super Target-anchored project set to break ground by June at the corner of Texas 66 and the expanded George Bush Tollway in Rowlett; a possible 450,000-sf retail project in Flower Mound; Tom Thumb-anchored center with 100,000 sf to 125,000 sf of shop space at the intersection of FM 1171 and Bruton-Orand Road, also in Flower Mound; and 350,000-sf Frisco Trails at the junction of Dallas North Tollway and Eldorado Parkway in Frisco, which also should start rising by June.

Bouvier’s projects, though, are just a portion of Direct Development’s dance card for this year. Mark Henderson, vice president of development and registered architect, has oversight duties for the 175,000-sf Sierra Vista Plaza in South Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood; 13,400-sf Midway Commons, a high-end retail component for a $125-million-plus residential and retail plan in North Dallas; and the 61,122-sf redevelopment of Preston Valley View. Also on the drawing board is a Northeast Tarrant County development that Hurley promises “will surprise everyone.” Meanwhile, two ground-up projects and two acquisitions are pending for its five-month-old team in Austin, led by Jon Andrus, formerly with Trammell Crow Co. The Austin group, now at three, will soon be getting a fourth teammate.

“We’re not trying to divorce ourselves,” Hurley stresses, “but every time we brought somebody on, we got busier.” The hiring strategy has been aimed at letting Hurley and Watson get back to their first love: building relationships and doing deals. “Our greatest value-add is on the deal creation side,” Hurley says.

Hurley and Watson started to beef up the team about 18 months ago after years of trying to cover all bases and outsource where needed. Matthew Noack stepped into the CFO’s role while Trevor Ives came on board as general counsel. Derek Ferem joined to direct marketing and project leasing plus liaison with third-party leasing teams. Aiding Ferem is Bobby Dillard on the property management side.

“We’ve got a really strong, solid person playing every area,” Hurley says. “I think we’ve completed the model. We’re happy with our platform now. There’s not an area of expertise that we want to have in house that’s not in house.”

Bouvier says he wasn’t looking to change jobs when Direct Development’s headhunter came knocking on his door. “It was a great opportunity,” he says. “I like the values and mission outlined for the company and where they’re going. There’s a lot of energy there that appeals to me.”

Bouvier assisted in developing more than two million sf of retail and office during his tenure at Hunt, where he’s still wrapping up projects to close the book on the amicable split. Hunt’s executives couldn’t be reached by publication time to comment on Bouvier’s departure.

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