Continental Realty Corp. Adds CRE Vet Hunter Rief to Retail Acquisitions Team

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Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), a Baltimore-based, real estate investment and management company, has hired former Newmark executive Hunter Rief to work as part of the firm’s retail acquisitions team, Commercial Observer has learned.

“Continental Realty Corporation offers a tremendous combination of dry powder and an appetite for acquiring value-add retail properties currently, so this opportunity perfectly matches my skill set and interests,” Rief told CO. “I intend to leverage the strong national relationships formed over the past eight years with retailers and brokers to support the growth of the company.”

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Formerly a director with Newmark in New York City, Rief will work in his new role in the organization’s Baltimore and New York offices, supporting finance, acquisitions, investor relations and retail operations. He’ll also be involved in purchasing, leasing and managing shopping center assets in the company’s Continental Realty Fund V. 

While at Newmark, Rief handled tenant representation and retail leasing on a national scale. He worked with retailers, such as Amazon, Peloton, and luxury brand Kering with site-selection strategy, LOI (letter of intent) negotiations and final lease execution.

CRC is focused on acquiring value-add retail and multifamily properties throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. It currently has a portfolio of more than $2 billion and is planning a big boost to its shopping center segment in 2021, despite the challenges that physical retail has faced in recent years.

Rief said he thinks the pandemic’s acceleration of these challenges, including speeding up a massive shift toward online shopping, actually presents opportunities for investors.

“We consider the coming year as a tremendous buying opportunity — likely a once in a decade situation — with prices somewhat depressed and less competition,” Rief said. “With change comes opportunity, and we expect a shifting landscape as retailers reposition and re-think their brick-and-mortar footprint to supplement an omnichannel experience. CRC believes in the long-term success and value of shopping centers.” 

He added that his goal is for CRC to acquire three to five shopping centers this year.

CRC established a New York City office last year, hiring Josh Dinstein, formerly of Garrison Investment Group, to oversee and manage retail acquisition activities.

“Josh has been successfully acquiring retail projects for a long time, and I can definitely learn a great deal from him,” Rief said.