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DAYTON, OH-Grubb & Ellis/West Shell Commercial recently opened a new office here, in part because the city’s southern office market has been doing well, but primarily to handle a six-property office and medical portfolio that needed in-house management. The local properties were acquired in the past six months by Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors. John Herrmann, who’s been with the Cincinnati-based West Shell company since 2003, was recently appointed as assistant property manager for the portfolio, while principals Richard Meder and John Schenk will oversee leasing for the properties.

Paul Plattner, SVP with the company, tells GlobeSt.com that it’s true that the northern Cincinnati market and the southern Dayton market have been growing together in the past decade. However, the Downtown Dayton office market has struggled, he says. “It’s been brutal, but the suburban market has been good, especially around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There have been a lot of very solid office users,” Plattner says. Grubb officials said in a statement that plans call for additional expansion of the Cincinnati-based firm’s services into the Dayton market.

However, the five person office will mostly focus for now on the portfolio, which includes the 154,000-sf Washington Park Office Center, two buildings that were purchased by Triple Net Properties LLC (now Grubb & Ellis) on behalf of tenant-in-common investors earlier this year. The two three-story, multi-tenant buildings in the park are 92% occupied, mostly by financial firms that include Merrill Lynch, UBS, Citigroup and Wachovia.

Other portfolio parcels include Park Place Office Park, which consists of three multi-tenant medical office buildings totaling about 133,000-sf on nine acres. Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT Inc. purchased the 11-year-old complex as part of another portfolio acquisition in January for more than $71 million. The property was 87% occupied at the time of acquisition, to tenants such as Premier Integrated Medical Association, Lincoln Park Surgery Center and Kettering Breast Evaluation.

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