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Close Up with Ed Hanley

Orange County

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In the late ’80s, when Ed Hanley was on the UC Irvine rowing team, he saw the palatial homes visible from Back Bay, where the team practiced. He knew many of the residents were in the real estate business and had an inkling that a career in real estate might be for him.

Close Up with Ed Hanley

Ed's commercial real estate career, mainly as a retail investment specialist, has spanned over 20 years. Since forming Irvine-based Hanley Investment Group nearly a decade ago, the company track record includes over 500 retail property transactions valued at over $4B. (Which means now he's the envy of all the rowers in the land.) Ed, who had lived in Taiwan and Hawaii and Southern California while growing up in an Air Force family, came to call SoCal home after taking a job with Grubb & Ellis in Orange County, where he interned. "I was fortunate to start work in one of the top Grubb & Ellis offices in the country in those days," he tells us. Pictured is Ed with his Movember 'stache.

Close Up with Ed Hanley

He was "lucky" in other ways, too. Ed cut his teeth in the industry during the days of the savings and loan debacle, the early '90s recession, and the RTC. "It was quite an education in real estate," he says. He found himself brokering a lot of retail properties for the RTC in the Inland Empire, and eventually moved to the Ontario area to help Sperry Van Ness open its office in that part of SoCal. He sold distressed shopping centers right and left, forged valuable relationships with some of the buyers, and made a name for himself as a retail investment broker. (And more recently, he takes some time to tool around in a '68 Shelby Mustang.)

Close Up with Ed Hanley

In 1998, Ed returned to OC to work for Marcus & Millichap. By that time the market had stabilized and he was a well-known SoCal retail broker. During his stint at Marcus & Millichap, he recruited and trained top talent, and by 2004 he and his team struck out their own--"and we haven't looked back." Getting through the most recent recession was a struggle, he says, but the company adapted to the vastly changed investment landscape, partly by focusing on single-tenant properties, which rebounded sooner than the rest of retail. Also, Ed says, "we had to do more with less during the recession." (The guy on the left looks kinda familiar.)

Close Up with Ed Hanley

Though Hanley Investments is still working on selling properties owned by special servicers, on the whole the retail market has revived, and investors are eager to own SoCal properties again. Ed's particularly proud of his company's involvement in brokering Mann's Chinese Theater (now TCL Chinese Theater) with Eastdil Secured not long ago, a deal overseen by the HI Urban Division's Carlos Lopez. When he isn't brokering retail properties, Ed spends most of his time with his family-- two boys, aged 12 and 8, and a girl, 10. "We go as many places as we can [Kauai in this pic], I coach the kids in different sports, and still surf occasionally."