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CHICAGO-UGL Equis, based here, has formed a development services group to assist clients with build-to-suit and other development projects. Chris Reutershan, SVP of UGL Equis, will head the group, which has more than 10 projects now underway, and could include up to 70 people in three years.

The firm created the group to offer more options for its clients. “We are essentially a tenant representation company. We focus only on the users of space,” Reutershan says. “Historically, we started out doing transaction services (and) brokerage services.” The development services group will conduct feasibility analyses; help with site selection, zoning and permitting; and assist with financing and deal structure support. The new group will also provide development management and construction management services in addition to project reporting.

The majority of the projects will likely be “ground-up developments,” where the firm will act as the developer and the client will own the property; build-to-suit projects where they firm will work with developer in overseeing the project ; and studies such as feasibility studies and master plans, Reutershan says. “We are not going to become developers. We are not going to own the land,” he says.

The group will initially have between 30 and 35 people, Reutershan tells GlobeSt.com. “We are looking over the next two to three years of probably doubling the staff,” he says. Jeff Abramsky and Marc Schwartz, both SVPs with UGL Equis, will also assist in leading the group. Reutershan has more than 30 years experience with finance and project development. Abramsky and Schwartz each have more than 25 years of experience with managing facilities and construction projects, and in the development and evaluation of real estate, respectively.

The firm’s new group currently has about 10 to 12 projects underway, he says. The People’s Republic of China is one of the group’s first clients. UGL Equis was hired to help redevelop the 200,000-sf embassy building in Washington, DC after the new building opens in the first quarter of 2009, he says. The firm’s development services group is also in discussions with a “West Coast city” to develop a training facility for the city’s sheriff’s department, Reutershan says.

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