Westwood1 ThumbThis real estate investment company uses experience, technology, and a hands-on approach to bring success to the properties in its portfolio. What began as an operating company focused on Los Angeles apartment real estate in the 1970s has evolved into a private real estate investment company with 105 retail properties in 23 metropolitan markets across 15 states. Westwood Financial’s evolution, said EVP Randy Banchik, stems from a series of events in Los Angeles that caused the company to shift its portfolio from apartments into smaller, convenience-oriented shopping centers in the early ’80s. 

Bedrin1 ThumbFrom retailer to real estate developer to asset manager, this family-owned company continues to grow and succeed due to its colorful history. It’s not often you find a family-owned real estate developer and landlord with a history in retail. But that’s exactly where New Jersey-based Bedrin Organization first planted its seeds. Garret Bedrin’s grandfather, Murray Bedrin, founded the company when he opened a small stationary and office supply company in the Jersey City/Rutherford area of the state. His two sons, Paul and Jerry, joined the business in ’69 and ’72, respectively. Initially called Allied Office Supplies, the company grew into one of the largest privately owned office products companies in the country. 

Combinedproperties1 ThumbAttention to detail and a conservative approach to growth have helped this real estate firm steer through rough waters. The real estate industry climate is still a bit challenging for Washington, DC-based real estate firm Combined Properties, but it’s not as bad as it’s been in the past. And although the company sees a light at the end of the tunnel for 2011 as lenders and partners start contacting it to work on new properties, it is still taking a conservative approach when looking at ways to grow. 

Lamarcompanies1 ThumbStrength in asset management, property management, and leasing is how this real estate investment firm revives struggling retail properties. Even during a time when retail and real estate markets have seen their share of strife, Lamar Companies has demonstrated its propensity for success. A principal investor in retail real estate projects, the company continues to turn around underperforming properties for the benefit of investors, retailers, and local communities. 

Thfreality1 ThumbLong-term goals and an altruistic set of corporate philosophies have given this real estate development firm decades of success. It might seem odd that realty companies would build something for short-term ownership, but for many in the real estate development industry, the idea is to be what Michael Staenberg calls a hamburger flipper, where a property is built and then promptly sold.

Cedarshopping1 ThumbThis real estate investment trust prides itself on investing in properties with little risk and strong ROI. Cedar Shopping Centers’s approach to being a risk-averse REIT starts with having a market-leading supermarket in almost all of its properties, but it goes further than that. The company looks for stable road patterns, stable community residential patterns, relatively stable employment, and demographics that generally reflect $50,000 family incomes and 50,000 people within a three- to five-mile range of the shopping center. 

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