New Firm Gears Up to Make Investments

By Susanna Porter, Commercial Real Estate Direct Staff Writer
August 12, 2002

A new real estate investment firm in Dallas will seek to buy as much as $250 million worth of properties in the United States over the next three years.

PRG Realty Partners is named after the firm’s three principals, all of whom are real estate veterans: Drew Peterson, Mark Robertson and Gerardo Garcia-Bartning.

“We are deeply experienced partners who have long-standing financial relationships that enable us to move rapidly to close deals,” said Robertson, who resigned in March from Insignia Capital Advisors, to start the firm. Before his four-plus years at Insignia as senior marketing director of the firm’s southwest region, he had worked for nearly 20 years at Cushman & Wakefield.

Peterson specialized in representing mid-cap firms in the United States, especially those that need build-to-suits, and will head that area at the firm. Peterson has worked at Cushman & Wakefield, but most recently has been heading up his own firm, Peterson Realty Group.

Garcia-Bartning, based in Mexico City, is a developer that specializes in corporate industrial development. The firm will make most of its investments in the United States, and will avoid development projects in this country, but it will look to invest in corporate build-to-suit projects south of the border.

The opportunistic real estate firm is primarily looking to invest in suburbs of cities where it sees a good deal of opportunity – Austin and Dallas, in Texas, as well as Miami, Boston, Northern Virginia, Denver and San Jose, Calif. PRG is not raising a pool of equity, but will instead buy on a property-by-property basis. The firm will mainly focus on B-plus suburban offices and perhaps retail that’s attached to office space. It will also invest in apartments and industrial properties.

PRG will invest alongside its equity partners, mainly opportunity funds and high-net worth individuals. PRG will target for its equity investors a threshold return of 20 percent to 30 percent.

The firm has not made investment yet but is looking at several opportunities and expects to close its first deal by year’s end. Generally, PRG will look to invest an average $20 million in buildings of about 100,000 sf to 250,000 sf.

The firm has a targeted holding period of about three to four years. The goal, said Robertson, is to take advantage of what he and his partners see as a “short and shallow dip” in the market. “We’ll leverage into the dip and sell coming out of it”, he said.

PRG will likely source a lot of its investment properties from funds that are liquidating and that are looking to get the assets off their books.