Great American launching NY division

Great American Group, a California-based asset management and liquidation firm, said it will launch a New York-based division that focuses on acquiring and selling off distressed real estate.

The new division, called Great American Group Real Estate, will offer a wide range of services, including appraisal, renegotiating leases, raising capital and providing expert testimony. The unit will also explore buying stakes in undervalued and leased locations.

“We will be working with corporations — distressed or healthy — that need to come up with some solutions to maximize the value of their real estate or mitigate their liabilities,” said Richard Hauer, who was named president of the new division.

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Hauer was head of the restructuring and bankruptcy group at Schonbraun McCann Group, a New York-based real estate consulting group that was acquired in March by FTI Consulting Inc. for $125 million.

Hauer previously co-founded Gemini Realty Advisors, a firm that consulted with clients that needed to sell distressed assets.

The firm expects to open new offices in Midtown Manhattan within the next two months, Hauer said.

Great American Group, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., has managed liquidation sales for major industrial firms and retailers, including Bombardier Inc., Tower Records and Lord & Taylor.

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