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WASHINGTON, DC-Local firms GVA Advantis and Urban Realty Advisors have formed a partnership in which GVA will leverage URA’s development services and project management expertise–areas into which it would like to expand, but as of yet have not to any great degree.

Under this arrangement URA will provide development services for third parties for deals that the companies source together or have already sourced separately. These services include development, project and construction management from conceptual planning through final occupancy, as well as advisory and consulting services such as due diligence, feasibility analysis, asset valuation and asset management.

This deal is not an acquisition, URA principal Eric May tells GlobeSt.com. May, along with principal William Herman, have joined GVA Advantis. URA had tried to form a similar arrangement with Monument Realty, he says, but was unable to because of the economy. A tie-up with GVA Advantis was seen as an equally good fit, he says. “GVA has a strong foothold in the Southeast but has a gap on the development services side.”

May says URA is bringing to the partnership about six or seven development services deals–two hotel transactions in Miami, one in Virginia, one office project in Rockville, MD, and a few consulting deals around the country. He declined to provide the monetary value of these transactions.

Broadly speaking, the partnership structure is an income sharing arrangement with the profits divvied up according to who brought the deal to the table, May says. The majority of the profits from the six or seven development deals on which URA is currently working will stay with URA. Ditto for deals that GVA has sourced.

GVA Advantis’ ownership and market strategy has taken a number of turns since its inception. In its first incarnation it was a Virginia-based firm called Goodman, Segar, Hogan, specializing in commercial brokerage services. Over time it began to focus on the southeastern markets, opening offices in Atlanta; Jacksonville, FL; Richmond, Newport News, and Roanoke, VA; Raleigh, NC; and Orlando and Tampa, FL. It also expanded its services to include development, construction and property management.

Last June a private equity group headed by Monument Realty executive Jeffrey Neal recapitalized GVA Advantis, bringing it under his control. Its headquarters then moved from Atlanta to Washington, DC, and Neal became its chairman.

At the time the company said it was moving into a new area–development or co-development–as well as target such secondary and tertiary markets, as Nashville; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Savannah, GA; and Birmingham, AL, for expansion. Since then, of course, the markets have imploded.

GVA has not done any development, a spokesperson for the company tells GlobeSt.com. Hopefully the new partnership with URA will change that, May says. “There are a couple of deals in the southeast that GVA Advantis have sourced that require an equity lay and to the extent that these deals go forward they will require development services that we will manage,” he says.

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