Paul Kreckman, leader of Highwoods Properties Richmond office, is retiring

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Paul W. Kreckman, Richmond Division vice president for Highwoods Properties Inc. and a well-known leader at Innsbrook Corporate Center, is retiring at the end of August.

Highwoods, a Raleigh, N.C.-based real estate investment trust that is a major property owner at Innsbrook, announced his retirement and Kreckman’s successor.

When Kreckman, 65, retires at the end of August, he will be replaced by Walton Makepeace. Makepeace is joining Highwoods from CBRE/Richmond, where he has served as a senior vice president focused on national tenant representation, investment sales and business development.

Kreckman began his tenure with Highwoods in 1995 when Highwoods merged with Ross-Kreckman. Ross-Kreckman was one of the earliest players at Innsbrook, an office park near Short Pump in Henrico County developed by Sidney Gunst Jr., that grew to be the region’s largest second-largest employment center behind downtown, with 22,000 workers. 

Ed Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods Properties, said in a statement that Kreckman “has been integral in the formation, oversight and growth of Innsbrook, Richmond’s best business district. In addition, he has played a key role in establishing our brand and growing our Richmond portfolio. Paul has been tremendously loyal to Highwoods and will continue to be a resource for our company … between canoe trips. We are grateful for his dedication to Highwoods.”

In recent years, Kreckman has been visible as a proponent for Innsbrook Next – a new phase of development for the corporate center that would transform the suburban office park known in the past for its lakes and trails to more of an urban mixed-use center.

In December 2012, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning of 40 acres in the office park for mixed use. At that time, Highwoods was proposing more than 2.3 million square feet of new development that could include residential, office and retail space.

Kreckman also has been front and center as Highwoods’ representative for a plan in Richmond to put a new minor-league baseball stadium and adjacent development in Shockoe Bottom.  Recently, Highwoods had been in discussions to develop an office complex north of the proposed ballpark on East Broad Street, but only if Richmond proceeds with the project, which is stalled at this time due to concerns from the Richmond City Council about the location and financing of the overall project.

Before joining CBRE/Richmond in 2004, Makepeace was with Trammel Crow Co. in Richmond for eight years where he facilitated development of office buildings, leasing and sales transactions as well as tenant representation.

Makepeace began his real estate career in 1984 with Hank Dickerson & Co. in Dallas. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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