ATLANTA-Oak Brook, IL-based the Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc. has formed Inland Atlantic Development Corp. which will focus on developing retail centers in Southeast. The new company will specialize in new construction and redevelopment projects with a focus on neighborhood retail centers and mixed-use centers. The company will develop projects on its own or as part of joint ventures.

The new company will be led by executives that oversaw the development division of the former Inland Retail Real Estate Trust Inc., a REIT that was sold in February in a $6.2-billion merger with Developers Diversified Realty, as previously reported. Inland Atlantic has retained the Atlanta office that was the home base of that division.

The COO is Barry Lazarus, who was CEO of Inland Retail. The president is John DiGiovanni, who headed Inland Retail. Other former Inland Retail personnel joining Inland Atlantic include executive vice president Randy Josepher, vice president Christi Karp, vice president Joel Murovitz and executive administrative assistant Tina Luttrell.

“Our game plan is to focus on the Southeast that being our backyard,” DiGiovanni tells “But that doesn’t preclude us from looking at other areas.”

DiGiovanni adds that, while the company will focus on retail development, it will also consider other asset classes. The company is currently in predevelopment stages of two retail projects, Seminole Commons, a 100,000-sf junior anchored shopping center in Sanford, FL and Old National Marketplace, a 297,000-sf shopping center with seven outparcels in College Park, GA.

While there isn’t a specific formula for how Inland Atlantic determines which projects to pursue, there are criteria that is considered. For example, the company considers projects in high-growth areas where retailers want to be located. “We look for areas where there is critical mass,” he says.

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