The Real Deal New York

Tawan Davis jumps to RE investment firm after messy break with Peebles

Former CIO is new chief executive of Steinbridge Group

April 27, 2016 06:14PM
By Katherine Clarke

From left: Tawan Davis and Don Peebles

From left: Tawan Davis and Don Peebles

Tawan Davis, the former Peebles Corporation executive accused of misusing company information to land another job, found a new gig, two months after leaving the Miami-based development firm.

Davis is the new CEO of Steinbridge Group, a real estate investment firm that deploys capital for a group of unnamed private family and international investors, he told The Real Deal.

The firm is focused on acquiring income-producing properties in gateway markets such as Washington, D.C., Boston and New York City and is in the midst of finalizing the acquisition of $500 million in assets, he said.

The company is focused on bridging the gap between the mid-market deals scooped up by small private developers and the giant deals eyed by large institutions.

“We’re looking at orphan deals,” he said. “The vast majority of capital for core plus deals is raised by a handful of mega-funds that have to write very large checks and, on the other hand, there are smaller local investors that top out at around $50 million to $100 million. We’re interested in the mid-range, $100 million to around $400 million, where there aren’t as many bidders.”

In New York City, the firm is looking to invest in areas such as NoMad, the Penn Plaza district and Long Island City, he said.

Davis, a former executive vice president at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, jumped to Steinbridge after a messy break from Peebles.

The Peebles Corporation, led by developer Don Peebles, filed a lawsuit against the former chief investment officer earlier this year, claiming he misused inside information to score a job with a competitor of Peebles, ScanlanKemperBard (SKB). The suit also charged that Davis violated an exclusivity agreement with Peebles by purposefully getting in the way of the company’s planned purchase of property at 733 10th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.

Davis said the suit was “entirely without merit” and called Peebles “a friend and mentor.” The litigation is still pending.

Another lawsuit, filed in 2015 and later dismissed, alleged that while Davis was working at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, he favored the Peebles Corporation and tipped off the developer on other corporations’ bids for a major Tribeca site.

Davis apparently plans to make a splash at his new firm.

“These investors have been investing together for decades,” Davis said. “Unlike so many RE players that are shout from the rooftops kind of funds, they’ve been very private. But, going forward, we’ll be much more visible in the markets.”

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