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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

TAMPA, FL-Michael Larsen has joined DeBartolo Development LLC as director of acquisitions and will also serve as a member of the firm’s investment committee. Larsen a 20-year commercial real estate professional, most recently served as vice president of sales with GE Capital.

Larsen says his new role with Tampa-based DeBartolo Development will focus initially on the company’s Community Retail Fund, which seeks to raise up to $400 million of equity to buy, renovate and reposition shopping centers in communities with low to moderate incomes. He will be responsible for the sourcing, financial review and procurement of retail assets nationwide.

While with GE Capital, Larsen worked in the franchise finance division, specializing in restaurant real estate financing for many of the country’s top chains. His previous experience in commercial real estate ranges from real estate sales for Marcus & Millichap to VP of real estate and development for Phoenix Restaurant Group Inc., during which he was in charge of construction, development and property management for nearly 400 restaurants and was involved in the merger of two large Denny’s franchisees.

Larsen says his total experience over the last two decades will help him in his new position at DeBartolo Development. The company is part of the much-larger DeBartolo Group, founded by Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., whose diversified holdings also include auto parts manufacturing and professional sports representation.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the larger company because the brand name does help you get through a lot of doors,” Larsen tells GlobeSt.com. He notes that he previously worked with Ed Kobel, president and COO of DeBartolo Development, during the mid-to-late 1980s when Kobel had his own acquisitions and development firm.

“Michael Larsen brings a wealth of commercial real estate expertise and a proven track record of success to DeBartolo,” Kobel said in a release. “The leadership and vision that Mr. Larsen provides will help shape the landscape of the CRF as we continue our corporate growth and nationwide real estate expansion initiatives.”

Larsen’s prior affiliations also include VP positions with the California Real Estate Investment Trust (CalREIT) and Del Webb Commercial. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University.

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