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ROSEMONT, IL-Thomas D’Alesandro has been named president of McShane Development Co., the investment arm of McShane Cos. The 25-year real estate veteran joined the company after working as SVP at General Growth Properties, where he had been since 2004. D’Alesandro, who will oversee operations, finances, acquisitions, leasing and dispositions at the company, says McShane looks at the economic downturn as an opportunity to increase market share and is eyeing expansion in several key markets.

“Across the board, McShane has a very professional team of people looking to grow,” D’Alesandro says. “The company also has a good capital structure for these times. McShane is looking to expand its geographic base into new markets and product types and classes, which I have experience in, so I can guide them on that.”

D’Alesandro will be based out of the company’s Chicago-area office in Rosemont, IL, but is currently traveling to McShane’s other locations across the country – including Phoenix, AZ, Austin, TX, and Irvine, CA – to meet the team and tour properties.

“I’ll be coming to an assessment of the capabilities of the firm and what the best opportunities for growth are,” D’Alesandro tells GlobeSt.com. “Right now is such an expansive downturn that it’s hard to be talking about growth, but when we do pull out of the downturn, certain areas might be growing quicker than others and present opportunities for us.”

McShane specifically is considering expansion within the southeast and northwest. “McShane is run fairly conservatively on a fiscal basis and that’s going to be much more important today than it’s been in many years,” D’Alesandro says. “That financial strength combined with the talents of the organization makes us an ideal partner for capital sources and taking advantage of some great opportunities in real estate as assets are repriced. There’s a really good niche for McShane.”

D’Alesandro says he expects to see an overall recovery in 2010, but expects to see increased activity in some asset classes by later this year.

“One of the important things to recognize is that not all asset classes are equally hurt,” he says. “Residential is devastated, hospitality was hard hit, but medical offices are still seeing some growth, and multifamily will rebound before condos or for sale product. Certain markets and asset classes will pull out of this downturn sooner than others.”

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