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SAN FRANCISCO-Grubb & Ellis Co. has hired a former senior executive with TimeWarner/Turner Broadcasting to grow its retail leasing business in San Francisco. Ross Portugeis joins the firm as a vice president in the company’s Retail Group.

Before deciding to enter the commercial real estate industry in 2001, Portugeis spent 20 years growing and managing TimeWarner/Turner Broadcasting’s news and entertainment network assets around the globe. Prior to that, he was with Virgin Records, where he helped established Virgin’s flagship retail store in Notting Hill Gate in London.

In 2001, the fourth generation San Franciscan decided to return to his home town. He became active in the community and eventually launched a new career as a commercial real estate broker with TRI Commercial/Corfac International. He joins G&E from TRI and will report directly to Daniel Cressman, executive vice president and managing director of Grubb & Ellis’ San Francisco office.

Portugeis, a member of the Union Square Association and the San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association, tells GlobeSt.com that G&E represents an opportunity to get into retail leasing. At TRI, he was an office broker.

“The way I see things is retail has turned into such an entertainment business,” he says. “In the television business, we were all about attracting eyeballs and retail is the same thing; it just clicks with me.”

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