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NEWPORT BEACH, CA-The Koll Co. is expanding its market focus to Northern California and the Pacific Northwest as it plans to acquire $500 million in assets over the next two years through its Koll/PER LLC, an affiliate that is a partnership between the Newport Beach-based company and the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho. According to Koll senior vice president John Woo, who directs acquisition activities for the company, Koll is aggressively pursuing acquisitions despite the slowdown in the real estate market.

Besides increasing its acquisition staff, Woo says, the company has stepped up its efforts to acquire multi-tenant industrial and office properties in its existing markets in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Utah as well as its expansion into the Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Koll/PER LLC already owns approximately 5.9 million sf of multi-tenant space, mostly light industrial business parks and suburban/garden-style office buildings.

“While some commercial real estate investors are choosing to sit on the sidelines waiting for the bottom of the market, the Koll Co. is actively looking for deals,” Woo says. Woo says that Koll is looking for well-located, small-tenant incubator properties in the price range of $10 million and up. He notes that these types of value-added and core-plus properties have been a staple of the Koll Co. since it was founded in 1962 by Donald M. Koll, one of the firm’s three managing principals.

Funding for the Koll/PER LLC acquisitions is provided by the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (Persi), which is advised by CS Capital Management. Persi provides Koll/PER with discretionary approval on acquisitions,” Woo notes, so the Newport Beach firm has the capability to close deals quickly.

Woo joined Koll in September from McMorgan & Co., a diversified $12-billion pension fund manager, where he handled acquisitions of both income and development properties in the Western US. He also spent 15 years with Prudential Real Estate Investors, where he was involved in asset management, the acquisition of income properties and the structuring of joint ventures for development and value-add opportunities.

To strengthen the Koll Co.’s acquisition capabilities, early this year Woo beefed up his staff by adding two experienced acquisition managers, Eric Andris and Armando Enriquez, who previously worked with him at Prudential. They joined Woo and Bill Larkin, acquisition manager who joined the Koll Co. in 2005, in continuing and expanding Koll’s acquisition strategy.

Larkin is responsible for acquisitions in Orange County, San Diego, the mid-county area of Orange and Los Angeles counties, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver; Andris focuses on the San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Los Angeles, and Texas; and Enriquez concentrates on Riverside/San Bernardino counties, the San Gabriel Valley, the tri-city area of Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank, Northern California, Portland and Seattle.In addition to its 5.9 million sf of existing properties, Koll has 1.1 million sf under development. The company also is developing Hacienda, an oceanfront community of 239 full-ownership homes in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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