Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jon Altschuler to open his own real estate services firm

After working for big Dallas real estate firms for nearly 15 years, well-known executive Jon Altschuler is striking out on his own.

He plans to leave Stream Realty Partners, where he's the Dallas president, at the end of the month to start his own real estate services firm here. It will be called Altschuler and Co., but so far it's just him.

"I'm going to build on the strengths I have developed – closing high-profile, office leasing transactions and building the careers of those who work alongside me," said Altschuler, 37. "I'm following an example that's been set for me."

Altschuler was hired by Stream founders Lee Belland and Mike McVean in 2001. Belland and McVean also gave Altschuler his first real estate job, with Trammell Crow Co. in 1995. He left that job in 1999 to earn a master's in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

"We have an unusual mix of being heartbroken and proud," McVean said. "We hired him almost straight out of college. Jon's striking out on his own, and we feel like he's ready for that as much as we hate to see him go."

This year has spawned other real estate firms aiming to profit from the property market downturn. Altschuler also sees opportunity in the recession and beyond.

"My goal is for this company to become a powerhouse, but that won't happen tomorrow or next week or in a year," he said. The Dallas native plans to finance his startup with savings and seek outside capital to expand and for investment deals.

At Stream, Altschuler began as a leasing agent and rose through the ranks. He increased Stream's Class A office portfolio six-fold to more than 11 million square feet in the last five years.

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By SHERYL JEAN / The Dallas Morning News