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Exclusive Q&A: Pacific Eagle's Hans Galland Talks Mid-Market, Foreign Investment And Food

Based in San Francisco for more than 20 years, Pacific Eagle Holdings has several active projects in the area, including launching a new lifestyle hospitality concept in S.F.'s Mid-Market. We caught up with Pacific Eagle SVP Hans Galland, who is one of our speakers at Bisnow's The Future of Mid-Market event April 12 at Argonaut Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf.


We talked with Hans about Pacific Eagle, the dynamics of San Francisco real estate, Mid-Market, foreign investment and his favorite food. 

Bisnow: Where does Pacific Eagle Holdings focus?

Hans Galland: Pacific Eagle is a San Francisco-based real estate manager with a more than 20-year track record investing in hotels, offices and condominiums in the United States. Pacific Eagle is vertically integrated with experience in acquisition, disposition, asset management, leasing, property management and construction management. We leverage local expertise and global insight to invest in markets throughout the US, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle.

The company funds its investments through one of three sources. First, strategic principal investments backed by the balance sheet of its parent, Great Eagle Holdings Limited, a leading public global real estate company. Second, through its value-add real estate fund. Third, by leveraging its institutional relationships with sovereign, insurance and other financial institutions.

Bisnow: What do you see as the dominant theme that’s going to drive S.F. real estate?

Hans Galland: On the demand side of things, the technology sector has become the driving force of US economic growth. San Francisco has been able to maintain its leading position in the new economy—not only nationally, but also globally. In addition, the increasing maturity of Asian economies, in particular China, combines with San Francisco’s locational advantage on the Pacific Rim and its Asian cultural heritage to create a strong advantage in attracting human and financial resources to further propel growth.

On the supply side of things, the constraints imposed by planning code, land use and housing policy is unlikely to make real estate prices any cheaper.


Bisnow: How did your interest in Mid-Market start? 

Hans: In 2015, we purchased 1125 Market St (pictured above) as a location for our new lifestyle hospitality concept owned by Great Eagle. The concept is targeting the Millennial consumer and is all about local connection, focusing on social good, the arts and entrepreneurship.

Mid-Market has the city’s most vibrant art and cultural scene, is home to new and established technology businesses, is attracting new residential projects of various sizes, and has a social environment where hospitality can make a valuable contribution by creating jobs and attracting outside spending to an area that otherwise would be severely challenged. Despite all of the activity, Mid-Market remains a Severely Distressed Census Tract.

Our hospitality concept focuses exactly on these attributes, so we feel it’s a great match.


Bisnow: What role do foreign investors have to play in S.F. real estate?

Hans: Throughout history, San Francisco’s cultural and economic wealth has relied on national and international resources—human and financial. Its openness is what defines this city’s identity, its diversity and its beauty. We have been located in and committed to San Francisco for more than 20 years and are in many ways as local as any other “local” player.

Bisnow: What do you see as the way forward in developing Mid-Market?

Hans: The continued high level of activity and excitement surrounding Mid-Market can allow us to position the neighborhood as a new destination. For this to happen, all the members of the neighborhood—businesses, individuals, cultural institutions, officials and the administration—will need to define new ways to cooperate in favor of a highly energized environment.

Bisnow: Finally, what is your favorite food?

Hans: Laksa

Hear more from Hans at our The Future of Mid-Market event April 12 at Argonaut Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf. Sign up here!