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WASHINGTON, DC-International property and fund manager company Grosvenor began eyeing the urban and inner suburban mixed-use retail asset class a few years ago. At that time it identified Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, DC as key markets in which to develop and/or invest. New hires in the local office are attempting to kick that strategy into high gear here.

D.J. Sworobuk was appointed senior asset manager to oversee the expansion of the firm’s DC retail and mixed-use portfolio. Dale Nelson, senior development director, joined in July and Mark Darley, senior vice president of development, transferred from the firm’s San Francisco office to head operations here.

Specifically, Grosvenor is looking for opportunities in development and investment of class A mixed-use retail and residential, with an emphasis on multifamily as opposed to condo development, Sworobuk tells GlobeSt.com. Right now the firm has one project in the pipeline which Sworobuk will not discuss other than to say it is a local project of a substantial amount that will be announced no later than Q1, possibly sooner.

Generally speaking, he says, the company is looking for development and investment opportunities either of class A or projects that can be repositioned as class A in the range of $30 million on up. Deals in the $60 million to $100 million range are the firm’s sweet spot. Sworobuk will not give a precise or projected budget in part because, he says, the main challenge in completing these deals is the relative scarce supply of class A opportunities in the DC market.

“It is something into which we will put a lot of energy and effort. We know it won’t be easy. There has been a run up of investment in quality urban retail and mixed use and a lot of people are looking at it right now.”

Grosvenor currently owns approximately 579,000 sf of retail space in the metro area due to a portfolio acquisition in late 2004 from subsidiaries of Starwood Urban LLC, and additional acquisitions made this past May.

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