DALLAS-United Commercial Realty has added UCR Investment Sales to its services roster. The new division is being led by veterans David Disney and Adam Howells, who are gearing up to sell quality, core retail assets.

“One thing that Mickey (Ashmore, UCR’s CEO) shared with us was that, in the past, whenever a property would be listed and go to market, the typical investment sales broker would call UCR to get information,” Disney tells GlobeSt.com. “Now Adam and I have direct access to that key information with which we can provide owners and sellers who are in the position of having to sell their properties.”

In other words, instead of having to send sellers elsewhere, UCR can now help those sellers in-house, providing a one-stop shop with management and leasing to help boost the assets’ value, Howells notes. Assisting in the new endeavor is Kevin Catalani, a retail analyst who came with Howells from HFF.

Howells says he and the others are working with owners and sellers who never thought they’d be in that position. “We’re now valuing assets from special servicers to institutions,” Howells explains. “Distressed assets sales will be the most prevalent during the next 12-24 months, and UCR is set up better than any other platform to catch that business, because of the line between management, leasing and sales.”

But the investment team isn’t looking for just any old asset. Grocery anchored, with some stability is preferable. “We’re both core brokers by trade, but a lot of those larger core deals are difficult to get done because of lack of financing,” Disney acknowledges. “We want deals that can trade, and those smaller deals are the order of the day.” Smaller, he continues, means $30 million maximum.

Though Howells and Disney had known each other casually over the years, Howells, in his job at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP’s Dallas office and Disney, who ran his own company, had little reason to work together. However, when Ashmore and Disney hammered out a deal to launch an investment sales division, Disney says Howells was a logical choice for a partner.

“I wanted to bring someone in who is strong and experience on the sell side, and Adam was it,” Disney explains.

Howells, in the meantime, wasn’t looking to leave HFF, but when Disney broached the prospect, Howells saw some great possibilities. “It would have taken a tremendous opportunity for me to have left HFF,” he remarks. “But when this came along, what came to mind was how great it would be to be part of an unbelievably dynamic retail organization.”

At this time, the new division is valuing property and potential assets, and Disney says he’s hopeful those valuations can be converted into assignments. He adds that the primary geographic focus for the new division is the southwest.

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