Did You Hear? Branch Brothers Officially Join Forces After Four Decades.
A Daily Look at the Movers and Shakers in Commercial Real Estate.
February 25, 2019 / TONY WILBERT
Brothers Barry Branch and David Branch, who separately have worked on tens of billions of dollars in real estate transactions globally over the past 40 years, finally decided it was time to officially form a company of their own.
The two brothers said this week that they have launched SSG Realty Partners, an investment sales firm that markets land and prime development sites in addition to raising equity for development on those parcels. The new entity combines David Branch’s land marketing company, Site Services Group, with Barry Branch’s Branch Real Estate Advisors, a capital markets firm. The company is based in Atlanta.
David Branch said he and his brother have worked together on specific projects in the past, such as the Terminus International Tennis Club in Atlanta’s northwest suburbs and Vineyard Park in Bartow County, Georgia, where SSGC Realty, Pope & Land Enterprises and Mason Capital Partners are planning a $300 million, mixed-use project. The brothers decided the time was right to formalize their business relationship because their complimentary skill sets and industry experience could create a platform for a full-service land company, David Branch said.
“We are cautiously optimistic that the current real estate cycle has another couple of years of strong market demand ahead, but we are intentionally building a land company designed to prosper in both up markets and down markets,” David Branch told CoStar News. “The best land buys are often facilitated during market downturns.”
The Branch brothers have worked on some of Atlanta’s iconic real estate developments, David Branch helped negotiate the ground lease for the 50-story One Atlantic Center, formerly know as IBM Tower, in Midtown, as well as the sale of the Peachtree Portal property in downtown Atlanta that now is home to the Allen Plaza mixed-use development. In 2012, David Branch assembled 1,300 acres for the LakePoint Sporting Community and Town Center mixed-use project in Bartow County, about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta.
A professor of real estate development at Georgia Tech, Barry Branch has led financing efforts for more than $12 billion of commercial real estate projects since 1971. For more than 13 years, he served as a senior executive for legendary architect/developer John C. Portman, Jr., where Barry Branch secured funding for the Atlanta Apparel Mart, Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles and the Brussels International Trade Mart in Belgium. Later, as chief executive officer of the Dutch Institutional Holding Co., the U.S. real estate subsidiary of pension fund PGGM, Barry Branch teamed with developers Hines, Cousins Properties and Trammell Crow Co. on several major projects including the office tower at 191 Peachtree St. in Atlanta and Washington D.C.’s Market Square development on Pennsylvania Avenue.
SSG’s next major project could be at 3920-3930 Peachtree Road in Brookhaven, just northeast of Atlanta’s city limits. David Branch and broker John Speros took the property to market last year on behalf of IG3 Real Estate of Miami and SDS Realty Property Holdings, Ltd. The group received 10 offers for the property from multifamily and mixed-use developers, David Branch said.
“We have been tweaking the final project design and expect to finalize a contract within the next couple of weeks and move forward to a closing in the third or fourth quarter of 2019,” he said.