Hines Opens Local Headquarters And Expands Into Asia

US real estate firm Hines had announced earlier this week its plans to open an office in Hong Kong. Mingtiandi reported that the Houston-based developer opened its Asia-Pacific office with Ray Lawler as co-CEO for the region. Lawler leads an executive team that will oversee operations for the Asia-Pacific.

Lawler is to take the reins of Hines' Asia-Pacific office operations. That includes interests in China and Australia, as well as other Asian cities in the future. For the moment, Hines' website places the Hong Kong office on the AIA Central building on Connaught road as the firm looks for its own building among others in Asia's most expensive property market.

According to Biz Journals, Hines' first presence in Asia was actually through a Beijing office in 1996. From that time on, it had gained a total of 12 million sq ft of land through development or acquisition. Its properties have been valued at an estimated $2.4 billion, according to a March 4 statement that also revealed Lawler's new position as the regional chief.

Joining Lawler in the new Hong Kong office is managing director Claire Thielke, previously COO of investment management, and Drew Huffman, previously a director in the firm. China country head Jim Morrison remained in his position as the senior managing director for Hines' Chinese office, while director David Warneford is responsible for the Australian region.

Hines also announced that it had acquired properties in the Salt Lake City region in the US. The firm is responsible for the development of 201 Mountain View Park. The said property is categorized as a Class A industrial/logistics park in West Valley City, Utah. It is also Hines' first development in the Salt Lake City area.

The Salt Lake City property, according to Hines associate Daniel Stephens, will be developed with Newmark Grubb Acres handling the leasing. Kyle Roberts will be the contact person for Newmark Grubb Acres. The property, furthermore, will be targeted towards logistics and industrial companies.

Hines other projects in the Asian region includes the One Museum Place, a recently-completed development in Shanghai. It is a 60-story class A tower located in the Jing'an District and designed by Gensler. This affirms the presence of the developer in the Asian region, where they also have offices in Tokyo and Seoul.

Hines also maintains an office in India, which it opened 13 years ago. It had tapped Amit Diwan as country head and managing director for the site.

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