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DP’s new direction

John Seelmeyer

No one knows what the recapitalization of Dermody Properties/DP Partners will look like, but the company’s top executive says it’s almost certain to see the company’s reach extending beyond its industrial base.

And Michael Dermody, president and chief executive officer of the big Reno-based development company, says the strategy shift one of the biggest moments in the history of the 47-year-old company is likely to deepen the ownership stake of the company’s employees.

Dermody Property/DP Partners is one of the 10 biggest privately-held industrial development companies in the nation, working with institutional investors such as pension funds to build about 3 million square feet a year.

The company’s build-and-hold strategy allowed it to become the biggest owner of industrial property in the Reno area, and it also has developed industrial centers in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Las Vegas and Southern California.

Nationwide, the company owns more than 22 million square feet of real estate.

The company didn’t provide many details about its plans last week, and Dermody said the new direction is expected to be in place by this summer.

But some of the key points include:

* Dermody Properties will continue as the parent company headed by Dermody, with DP Partners continuing to handle industrial development.

* Other types of development such as office and retail projects are likely to become part of Dermody Properties’ portfolio a change from the previous industrial-only strategy.

* The company will look at new markets.

* Dermody Properties will be open to new types of development deals and employees are likely to be taking a bigger stake in the company’s projects.

And that, Dermody said, will allow the company to get back to its roots as an entrepreneurial development company with greater flexibility and faster decision-making than the current organization.

Staff in the company’s five regional offices Chicago, Savannah, Las Vegas, Reno and Harrisburg, Pa. probably will be playing a more aggressive entrepreneurial role in the refocused company.

Most of the company’s employees currently own stock, and Dermody expects that program will be expanded.

Dermody said he hopes the recapitalization also will allow expansion of the work of the Dermody Properties Foundation, which supports non-profits in the markets in which the company is active.