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IRVINE, CA-Robert Manarino, formerly of Cousins Properties, has established a new company to develop and renovate retail centers, with backing from former Arden Realty executives Dick Ziman and Victor Coleman. The new company, called Manarino Realty, also starts with financial backing from two other Los Angeles-based commercial real estate execs, John Long and Jack Mahoney, CEO of Highridge Partners and Summit Commercial Properties respectively.

Manarino, who has spent 27 years in the development business and was involved in the development of more than 10 million sf of commercial real estate nationwide, plans to focus on the Western US. For the past 10 years he spearheaded Western retail developments for Cousins.

Manarino says the company will develop in “urban and suburban infill” sites in primary markets in Southern California and the rest of the West. One part of the business plan will be to “target challenged properties in great neighborhoods.”

Although the company has set no specific size requirements for its projects, Manarino says that he likes hybrid center concepts that could include a combination of one or two larger format tenants like a Target, a local grocer, a theater with adjoining restaurants and other lifestyle components. He is also looking at a mix of uses with the retail that could include either office or residential or both, and he says that all of the company’s developments will aim to provide “strong pedestrian connections and public spaces.”

Ziman and Coleman built Arden Realty into Southern California’s largest office landlord, a REIT with 20 million sf of space. Arden sold out to GE Real Estate for $4.8 billion in May.

Long built a portfolio of office, industrial retail and housing properties with a value of more than $6 billion over 20 years, and Mahoney is a long-time partner of Long at Highridge Partners who acted as a catalyst to bring the partners together to create Manarino Realty. Last year, Long formed Golden Boy Partners with Oscar de la Hoya to establish housing and mixed-use developments in Latino communities in Southern California and throughout the country.

Long and Ziman partnered in 2003 to establish the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate. The center is a joint effort with the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA School of Law.

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