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ALBUQUERQUE-With $500 million of projects in New Mexico, Hunt Development Group LP is setting up a permanent regional shop in August in Albuquerque Plaza in the Downtown. The El Paso-based company has been operating from temporary quarters in the city.

Gary Sapp, president of the Southwest division for Hunt Development, says the office presence in New Mexico will help the company to better focus on projects in the three principal cities: Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. “When we began expansion of our development activities in the early 1990s, we’d defined the market scope in terms of available opportunities in the Southwest,” adds Sapp, a long-time Hunt executive who will head up the New Mexico operations. “We’ve done business in New Mexico and Albuquerque so we had familiarity with market dynamics, physical layout and some of the business and political communities in the state.”

Sapp tells GlobeSt.com that, while New Mexico is a smaller market than markets in Texas, California and Hawaii where Hunt Development has regional offices, Albuquerque represents the business and commerce center of the state. “Albuquerque has a long history of business,” he says. “Some would argue it has the oldest business legacy in the US.”

Sapp says his company doesn’t have a volume mandate. The company’s goal is to “see every significant real estate project in the state,” he says. “We pursue both public and private development opportunities. We have a long history of partnering in public and private ventures. State projects, city projects, university projects, they’re all right up our alley.”

Joining Sapp in the launching the regional office is long-time Albuquerque resident Jim Dobbie, who previously was senior vice president of Goodman Realty Group. Also in the mix is Trenton Stafford, who was named vice president. He was senior vice president and Colorado market manager for BOK Financial Corp. in Denver and also vice president of commercial real estate for the Bank of Albuquerque, a BOK subsidiary.

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