NEWSMAKERS

Casden President Starts Anew on Projects

Robert Hildebrand, who was named president of Casden Properties LLC, has an interesting marching order: start from scratch.

During his 21-year tenure with the Beverly Hills-based firm, he oversaw construction of 90,000-Casden residential units in 30 states, only to see those assets sold to Apartment Investment & Management Co. last December for $1.5 billion.

Now Casden has formed a new partnership with the Denver-based real estate investment trust and New York-based Blackacre Capital Management to develop high-end apartments in the Los Angeles area.

"We're starting over," said Hildebrand, who was formerly Casden's executive vice president for development. "We'll still have the same challenges finding land in our target market areas and taking the land through development. (But) we believe we are one of the few organizations in the country that has the capital to move quickly to close transactions."

The three entities have invested a combined $250 million to purchase mostly 10- to 12-acre parcels in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, on which they will construct 500- to 600-unit apartments for high-end renters.

Hildebrand was originally hired by Casden as a property manager in 1977. He had risen to executive vice president of development when he left in 1995.

After three years with Security Capital Group, an Atlanta REIT that built moderately-price apartments, he returned to his old position with Casden.

"I left with the understanding with Alan that if he ever got busy to call me," said Hildebrand, of Alan Casden, the company's chairman and chief executive. "We've been busy for five years."

Hildebrand, 59, began his career in 1968 as a project manager with MDC Systems Corp., a New York-based management consulting firm, working his way up to vice president.

He graduated from Temple University with a bachelor of science degree in management in 1968. Hildebrand and his wife Maggie live in Bell Canyon with four of their six children.

David Greenberg



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