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HOUSTON-Local company Hartman Management LP has brought in Bob MacAlister for its just-created position of national director of real estate development. With the position, MacAlister plans to boost the company’s portfolio value by an additional $150 million within the next year and a half through ground-up developments and joint ventures with developers nationwide.

According to company president Allen Hartman, the personnel move will help the company move from value-add opportunities through acquisition to boosting equity through direct ground-up developments and financing of joint venture projects. The main product type under consideration will be free-standing, single-tenant buildings. The company will also continue its acquisition and upgrade assets.

The developments and partnerships will be financed through Hartman Short-Term Income Property 19, a $50-million fund with potential leverage to $100 million. The fund will be ready for launch by early next year. In the meantime, MacAlister, who will officially begin his job in October, is working on a joint venture involving an investment-grade tenant build-to-suit in Florida, and says the deal should close within the next month. “The exciting prospect about all of this is, based on discussions with tenant and development partners within the past week, is that we anticipate being able to develop 10 to 15 similar deals annually,” MacAlister says.

Hartman tells GlobeSt.com MacAlister was hired because of his outstanding track record. In his previous position as director of development for Winstar Development in Rexford, NY, the 23-year real-estate veteran spearheaded $166 million worth of developments within a two-year period. “He has the knack and contacts and knows how to get it done,” Hartman adds.

Though involvement in ground-up developments is a different direction for the company, Hartman sees it as the next logical step. “The way cap rates have compressed, it’s harder to buy existing properties with a good yield,” he explains. “It’s smarter to develop new properties, because we can develop the yield. Then we can either hold for the long term or sell at retail value.”

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