Gene Ventura

Senior Managing Director

As Senior Managing Director at Faris Lee Investments, Mr. Ventura leads client development, provides senior housing / retail / office advisory and guides marketing and sales activity on disposition and acquisition assignments. He has extensive experience in forming development partnerships, sourcing debt and equity placements and negotiating with municipalities to complete entitlement/development transactions. With his long-term background in business development and transactions in the Midwest region, he is the broker of record for Faris Lee’s Chicago office.

His current senior housing efforts include evaluation and negotiation for acquisition-disposition of under-utilized retail, office and unentitled land parcels for conversion to senior housing developments to meet the ever-growing un-met bed demands throughout the Western Region. Mr. Ventura holds a Senior Living Executive Certificate from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Mr. Ventura has more than 30 years of commercial real estate development, advisory and transaction experience. He has developed, through his company Kirkwood Partners, Ltd., 100,000 square feet of speculative ground up retail, in southeast Wisconsin. Each project achieved 95%-100% occupancy prior to being sold through Faris Lee between 2007 through 2015. Concurrent with his retail development ventures, Mr. Ventura held a Vice President/Principal position with Chicago-based Development Resources, Inc. (DRI). DRI partnered in office development joint ventures with Oaktree Capital Management, Walton Street Capital, General Growth Properties and Howard Hughes Corporation to build on spec or redevelop 1.5 million square feet of office space in the Chicagoland market. Two of their office projects in Chicago’s West Loop, Union Tower (1998) and Congress Center (2000), received significant national attention for being high-risk, speculative development.  The Union Tower project was awarded the 1999 NAIOP Downtown Office Development of the Year Award.

Mr. Ventura started his real estate career in Chicago as a Vice President with Rubloff Inc. and Goldie B. Wolfe & Co., where he represented over 3 million square feet of Fortune 500 corporate office transactions, sales and build-to-suits for clients such as Packaging Corporation of America, Oracle, Xerox, Lehman Brothers, and Tenneco.

Collectively, Mr. Ventura has successfully provided development, advisory, marketing and transactional services for over $1 billion in retail and office commercial real estate. He was a preferred developer for Starbucks, Best Buy, AT&T, and Verizon, and has close relationships with national development companies, capital groups and private wealth investors.

Mr. Ventura holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He is an active member of ICSC. He lives in Irvine, CA with his daughter Julia, a student at Santa Clara University. He is also an active and former board member of the Rancho Riding Club, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and supporter of San Pasqual Academy-a residential high school for foster teens in Escondido, CA.


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