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January 6, 2011 
 
 
Harrison Street Acquires Transwestern REIT Team

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Harrison Street Capital CEO Chris Merrill confirmed to us he's branching out into a new line of business: His firm acquired Transwestern Securities Management, a six-person team that contols $350M in REIT securities. The buy brings Harrison Street to a whopping $2.7B in assets under management.
 

Chris, left, isn't hiring a pack of strangers, either. He's worked with many of them before, including principal and co-portfolio manager Reagan Pratt, right, and client services/marketing head Chris Zollo at Heitman. Chris Merrill says nothing except the name (to become Harrison Street Securities) will change for the Transwestern team, formerly part of Transwestern Investment Corp. We weren't certain what REIT securities were, so we called up NAREITs Ron Kuykendall to clarify: They're the stock—common shares and perferred shares—of ownership in real estate. Just yesterday at a YREP luncheon (see below) Transwestern's Steven Quazzo said now is the time to focus on his business's core competencies, so he chose to sell the division for an undisclosed price.


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Magellan Circumnavigates to New Director
 
Carmen Caringella
For the last decade, Carmen Caringella has been working to make and restructure loans. As the new director of Magellan project services, he'll be helping banks and receivers develop distressed properties. Magellan project services is a new division for the residential and mixed-use developer, which will offer consulting services to holders of distressed assets to get properties back into the marketplace rather than sitting vacant or partially finished waiting on the market's return. In some cases, this will mean finishing the construction of a stalled building on a smaller-than-planned scale or as apartments instead of condos.
Carmen Caringella
Many banks and receivers have opted to hold distressed properties for three to five years, bringing down the value of other properties in the community, says Carmen, a former mortgage lender and sales officer for Prime Lending, Wachovia, and Countrywide. While he's based in Chicago, Carmen plans to relocate development pros to other locales (like Florida and Las Vegas) as needed.

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Steve Speaks
 
Steve Quazzo
Transwestern Investment Corp co-founder Steve Quazzo avoided speaking in public for a while last year until the sale of Transwestern Securities was finalized last week. He started the company in conjunction with Transwestern Property Co in the '90s, using the backing of the fee management company to build a name and raise a $100M fund in his first year after working with Sam Zell. Steve, who has spent much of the last two years de-levering the $4B in gross assets he bought from 2005 to 2007, encouraged YREPers to network well and focus on finding a niche they're good at.
Entrust IRA Administration's Daniel Hanlon and Greenfield Partners' Sarah Broderick
We snapped Entrust IRA Administration's Daniel Hanlon and Greenfield Partners' Sarah Broderick at the luncheon. Sarah's firm is working on investing a fund with a deadline at the end of 2011. They're looking at all different kinds of properties nationwide.

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French Consulate Renews
 
Michigan Plaza
This'll combat the winter ennui. MB Real Estate's Mark Buth and Kathleen Bertand repped ownership for the Consulate General of France's 19k SF lease at 220/225 N. Michigan, while Studley's Robert Sevim repped the Consulate. The new lease in the 1.9M SF building (owned by Loeb Partners Realty) runs through 2023. MB Real Estate has managed and leased the building since 2005.
 
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