Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Charlotte's Crescent Resources hires leader for Florida projects

Crescent Resources has hired John Classe Jr., a real estate industry veteran with almost three decades of experience, to lead its residential projects in Florida, the company said Wednesday.

Classe’s real estate development experience includes all aspects of planning, entitlements, design, permitting, government relations, project finance and community governance. He has overseen the development of a variety of large-scale, master-planned communities, retail centers and resorts - including master-planned communities Celebration and Baldwin Park in Central Florida.

“John knows Florida’s real estate market as well as anybody, and he brings a tremendous amount of residential development experience to this position,” said Margaret Jennesse, senior vice president of the Residential Division. “He will guide our efforts as we continue to expand our Sunshine State portfolio.”

More than three years ago, Crescent filed for bankruptcy protection in part because of the developer's aggressive move into Florida and Arizona, two markets hit hard in the real estate bust.

But Crescent has returned to Florida, where it recently purchased Oakland Park – a 258-acre community between the Town of Oakland and City of Winter Garden, Fla. Crescent’s other Florida communities include BridgeWater and Grand Hampton in Tampa, and Winding River in St. Marys, Ga., which is in the Jacksonville market.

“Crescent creates one-of-kind communities that people love to call home,” Classe said. “I’m excited to join the team and develop new communities in Florida that will serve as a model for responsible, high-quality residential development.”

Prior to joining Crescent, Classe worked in Orlando, Fla. as vice president of Atkins North America, formerly PBS&J; vice president and chief operating officer of New Broad Street Companies; and vice president of Pritzker Realty Group.

Founded in 1969 and based in Charlotte, Crescent Resources conducts business through four divisions in growing markets in the Southeast and Texas and develops high-quality residential communities and commercial assets. Currently, Crescent has more than 20 master-planned communities and seven multifamily communities with 2,200 units under development and an additional 2,900 multifamily units in predevelopment. Crescent owns more than 75,000 acres of land across its four divisions, including 1,400 acres zoned for a variety of commercial uses.