Nyal Leslie

PacTen Partners

Age: 51

Specialty: Commercial Development

Recent Deal: Purchasing the land and entitlements for what will be Glendale Plaza, a 500,000-square-foot office tower.

Through college, Nyal Leslie’s mind was more focused on baseballs and basketballs rather than playing hard ball in L.A.’s real estate market.

Leslie played both sports while attending the University of Arizona. As a third baseman, he did well enough to break into the minors with the New York Mets organization.

“I never really thought about real estate. I was there to play ball,” said Leslie, co-founder of PacTen Partners. “But I’ve become just as passionate about development.”

After leaving professional baseball in 1969, Leslie took a turn as a broker for Coldwell Banker (now CB Commercial). He specialized primarily in office building investment sales, representing buyers on such projects as the One Wilshire building in downtown L.A.

But he had a further calling. “I wanted to build,” said Leslie, who lives in Santa Monica. “I didn’t want to be a broker because I enjoyed the development side. I enjoyed the creativity of it designing a building and seeing it through.”

He joined Murdoch Development in 1981, then moved to Metropolitan Structures in 1984. At MetStructures, Leslie ran the West Coast operations until 1993.

Among his biggest development projects were One California Plaza, Two California Plaza, the Inter-Continental Hotel and the Museum Tower Residential Building.

In 1994, Leslie and two other former college athletes formed PacTen. He said the firm will only handle a handful of projects each year; he wants the firm to remain small and focused.

The firm’s biggest project is the 500,000-square-foot Glendale Plaza. Construction is slated to begin in August, and be completed by 1999.

Joe Bel Bruno

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