(Read more on the multifamily market.)

CHARLOTTE, NC-The Lane Co. already owns and manages some multifamily properties in the Carolinas and Southern Virginia, but the Atlanta-based company is now expanding its presence in the region to the development arena. The move coincides with the hiring of Wyatt Dixon as Carolinas development partner; he will be based here.

“We own several properties in the region and manage, as third party, several other communities, but we have not had a development presence in the market,” Dixon tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that the company created the position as part of the strategic expansion. “I am excited to be part of a great team.”

The move into multifamily development in the Carolinas and Southern Virginia follows the company’s push outside its home base, with expansion into the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Gulf Coast, Southwest and Florida. “This move is an important step in Lane Co.’s continues strategic expansion,” John Bell, Southeast regional partner, says in a statement. “Wyatt’s abilities, and his recognition in the market, give Lane Co. a significant and immediate on-the-ground presence in one of the fastest growing regions of the South.”

The Lane Co. is still finalizing a development plan for the region and no dollar figure has been attached to that plan yet, Dixon explains, adding the company aims to become a major multifamily player in the market. He says Lane is looking at all areas of the region, with a heavy focus on Charlotte and the Triangle, as well as coastal areas such as Charleston, SC and Wilmington.

“One step at a time,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “We have identified several development opportunities but it is premature to discuss them.”

Lane’s target is market-rate, suburban–and urban–apartment communities, as well as some mixed use. Dixon adds the company will also “selectively examine condominium development when the opportunities present themselves.” As for mixed use, the type will vary by opportunity, he says. “Any multifamily project we become involved with will be designed through the market.”

Dixon also tells GlobeSt.com Lane will entertain joint venture opportunities “to the extent we could bring an expertise to groups with strategic land holdings or join with companies with expertise in other segments of the market,” such as office or retail.

His background will serve him well in the pursuit of new mixed-use development projects in the region. Dixon explains that he began is mixed-use career with Summit Properties (and worked with its successor Camden Property Trust) in Charlotte in the mid-90s where he was vice president of development. He comes to Lane from Faison Enterprises, Inc. where he was managing director of development and was responsible for the firm’s multifamily projects in the Carolinas.

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