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DALLAS-Moody D. Younger is making a return play to Grubb and Ellis Co. as managing director of Texas. He follows David Richards, who after two yeas in the slot has shifted to Jones Lang LaSalle, where he will be forming an industrial division, also as a managing director.

The first of the ricochet moves went into play this week with Richards turning on lights in his new office. Last night, Grubb & Ellis leaders were in Dallas to announce internally Younger’s return to lead the four-office, 79-broker Texas team. The highly respected Younger, an 18-year industry veteran, was previously managing director of brokerage in Dallas/Ft. Worth at CB Richard Ellis, joining the company as part of the merger with Trammell Crow Co. Younger shifted to TCC in August 2006, leaving his initial Grubb & Ellis post as executive vice president. Richards, a former NFL lineman, had back-filled Younger’s position at Grubb in November 2006.

Younger’s return is a local-market coup, particularly since several veterans have exited the ranks for greener fields since he left the company. Younger couldn’t be reached by press time to comment, but Globest.com yesterday was told by a senior leader that the rank and file was hoping Younger would be the one to fill Richards’ opening. They got their wish last night. Younger has also held executive posts at Stream Realty LP, Transwestern and LaSalle Partners.

Richards tells Globest.com that he decided to change jobs after Grubb & Ellis was bought by Santa Ana, CA based Triple Net Properties. “Grubb & Ellis is a great brand. There’s a very large place in my heart for the people who work at the company,” says Richards, who came to Dallas to lead the office after a stint as head of Grubb’s Detroit office.

Richards says he will solo as he lays the ground work for JLL’s industrial division, but he plans to add an associate by year end. Although he will concentrate on developing a critical mass in Dallas/Ft. Worth, his territory includes Austin, San Antonio, West Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“It’s not going to be easy,” the 12-year brokerage veteran tells GlobeSt.com. “We can chip away at it and take our piece of the pie.”

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