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WASHINGTON, DC-Local developer Akridge is increasing its emphasis on mixed use development–and is using a newly formed venture to handle the multifamily component. The change in strategy is significant for Akridge: At one time strictly a builder of office product, the company currently has 10 million square feet of mixed-use projects in the pipeline.

The new venture, called Jefferson Apartment Group, will focus on acquisitions and development as well as construction and property management in markets with a high barrier to entry. It will be headed by Jim Butz, former president of JPI East and now an owner and the managing partner of the new venture. Greg Lamb, former EVP of JPI East, will be an owner and EVP of Jefferson Apartment Group. The Jefferson Apartment Group team will be initially headquartered in Tysons Corner, VA.

“Our development pipeline is approaching 10 million square feet of mixed use projects,” Brian Connolly, SVP of Akridge tells GlobeSt.com. “By participating in this venture we now have a multifamily arm with people that have an impressive track record.”

While at JPI Butz and Lamb acquired, developed or managed more than 15,000 units, valued at $3 billion, in fifteen cities on the East Coast. The Irvine, TX-based JPI parent is not a participant in the new company.

In recent years Akridge has begun to include multifamily development in its operations, namely the Gallery Place development in DC’s Chinatown. Now, the company is embracing residential building more fully, with such projects planned as Akridge at Half Street, a 704,000-square-foot project with 280 residential units. Also in the works is 5220 Wisconsin Ave., a 65,000-square-foot to 70,000-square-foot retail residential project. The project at 100 V St., SW–which Connolly says is still in the embryonic stages–could be as large as 2.7 million square feet. Closer to fruition, though, is Falls Church Gateway, which will have a residential component.

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