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Did You Hear? Crescent Names Key Mixed-Use Executive

A Daily Look at the Movers and Shakers in Commercial Real Estate
October 11, 2018

Sagar Rathie, who has worked the past two years as Crescent Communities’ director of finance and investor relations, is jumping to the company’s active commercial development business.

The Charlotte-based firm that has developments across the Southeast and Southwest this week named Rathie to vice president of development in its commercial and mixed-use division. In his new role, Rathie will identify, pursue and execute new mixed-use opportunities. He will report to and work closely with Brian Leary, who has launched several major developments as president of the company's mixed-use division.

Rathie worked on the recent sale by Crescent of three of its main businesses – single-family, multifamily and commercial / mixed-use operations – to Sumitomo Forestry America, part of Sumitomo Forestry Co. of Japan. The sale has enabled Crescent, previously owned by private equity firms, to aggressively pursue new development opportunities.

Crescent has seized on the multifamily boom over the past five years by developing and selling apartments under the Novel brand across the Sun Belt while expanding to Washington, D.C. But as demand for mixed-use developments increased, Crescent has launched several major projects along this front.

In Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville, Crescent is developing Bigby, a large mixed-use project that will comprise 350,000 square feet of office and retail space, 330 luxury apartments, 15 townhomes and a 200-key hotel. Crescent is working on landing an anchor tenant and attracting the right mix of retail and hotel partners for the signature project, Rathie said.

Crescent, which spearheaded the creation of the Cool Springs office market in Franklin, wants to make sure it gets Bigby right because it’s the company’s last major piece of property in the area, Rathie said. “It’s somewhat of a statement project for us,” he added. “We want to create something very special there.”

In Charlotte, Crescent is developing Ally Charlotte Center in the city’s Uptown district. Ally Bank will anchor the 26-story, 742,000-square-foot tower that will be part of a mixed-use community with a hotel and more than 25,000 square feet of retail and chef-driven restaurants at Tryon and Stonewall streets.

“We’re moving up and out of the ground at Ally Charlotte Center,” Rathie noted. “A ton of concrete is being poured out there, and we’ve added a second crane.” The tower is expected to open in spring 2021.

In west Charlotte, Crescent has partnered with fellow hometown developer Lincoln Harris to create the River District, a 1,300-acre, master-planned community that will have a multitude of uses centered on a town center. In August, Crescent said it will donate 4.5 acres, valued at $2 million, to the Foundation for the Carolinas for the construction of affordable housing at The River District. Mixed-income developer Laurel Street plans to build a multifamily community with 124 affordable housing units in the site.

Crescent plans to start grading work and the creation of a community farm at The Rover District later this fall.

“Every new development, in effect, has a mixed-use component,” Rathie said. “We look for opportunities to capture this in all of those developments.”

Did you know?  Rathie has “a huge passion for scuba diving” and has gone on scuba trips since he was 16. When he and his wife Devanshi married in May 2017, they honeymooned in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean off of Sri Lanka. “My biggest challenge is getting my wife to scuba dive. She’ll snorkel all day long,” he said.

Matter Taps Top Broker for Development Role

San Diego real estate developer Matter Real Estate Group just hired a tenant representative from Cushman & Wakefield as vice president of development.

Tom van Batten, a well-known commercial real estate pro around San Diego, spent the past 12 years as executive director of tenant representation at Cushman & Wakefield, where he was a Top 10 producer focused on lease renewal tenant relocations, building purchases and headquarters deals.

In his 25 years in the business, van Batten has worked both sides of lease and sales transactions as a tenant rep and broker representing landlords and developers. This experience, Matter said, will benefit his new firm as it develops “transformative real estate projects based on opportunities and changing trends.”

Van Batten has helped shepherd top companies including Qualcomm, Viasat and Mission Federal Credit Union into new facilities. Prior to Cushman & Wakefield, van Batten served as a vice president at Burnham Real Estate and a senior vice president in Colliers International’s Las Vegas office. There, he represented owners of high-profile properties in their leasing and investment sales efforts.

Van Batten, who earned a bachelor of finance degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, serves on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County.

more moves

SJP Properties Hires Top NYC Landlord Rep

SJP Properties, a New York City-based development, investment and asset management firm, has snagged a top landlord representative from Blackstone Group’s Equity Office Properties.

SJP hired Zachary Freeman as a senior vice president to oversee marketing and leasing for the firm’s New York City commercial real estate portfolio, which includes SJP’s flagship holding, 11 Times Square, a 40-story, 1.1 million-square-foot office and retail tower at 640 Eighth Ave.

Freeman also will work with SJP’s executive team to identify additional investment, acquisition and development opportunities in New York’s five boroughs. He joined SJP last month after working nearly four years as head of leasing and asset management at Equity Office. Prior to that, Freeman was a top landlord representative at global services firm CBRE, where he was responsible for the lease-up and asset management of 9.5 million of commercial space and helped fill trophy properties with tenants.

The 30-year-old firm has been responsible for the development of more than 25 million square feet of Class A commercial and luxury residential buildings in the Tri-State area covering New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

A 20-year industry veteran, Freeman and his team won the Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Robert T. Lawrence Award for Ingenuity in association with his work at 11 Madison Ave., also known as Metropolitan Life Insurance Plaza.

The Shopping Center Group Promotes Jenkins

The Shopping Center Group, an Atlanta-based retail real estate services firm, promoted Dustin Jenkins to senior property manager in its Nashville, Tennessee, office.

In his new role, Jenkins will be responsible for managing 2.5 million square feet of retail space in power centers and grocery-anchored shopping centers across central and eastern Tennessee.

Jenkins, who has 10 years of experience in the industry, will also supervise and train property managers in the region.

The 30-year-old, retail-only real estate platform offers an assortment of advisory services to tenants, landlords, developers, investors and financial institutions across the country.

Did You Hear? is a new column focusing on real estate's movers and shakers. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to  |  Check out yesterday's issue of Did You Hear? and follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @TWilbert.

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