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Jim Dillavou 

Co-founder, Principal
Paragon Commercial Group

Jim is co-founder and principal of Paragon Commercial Group where he focuses on corporate strategy, acquisitions and capital structuring. Jim’s background in development, law and capital markets has powered Paragon’s steady growth and reputation as one of the preeminent retail development firms on the West Coast. 

Jim began his career as a real estate and finance attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP where he represented developers, equity investors and lenders in capital structuring, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and entitlements. Jim’s practice included the representation of institutional clients including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Deutche Bank in the acquisition, financing and development of real estate projects throughout the United States. Upon leaving Latham to focus on grocery-anchored retail investment, Jim joined the Los Angeles office of Regency Centers (NYSE: REG) quarterbacking development and repositioning of West Coast grocery-anchored neighborhood centers.

Since the founding of Paragon 2009, Jim has been honored by the Urban Land Institute with the prestigious distinction of being one of the “Top 40 Under 40” land use and real estate professionals in the United States as well as being selected as one of the top 5 retail real estate professionals in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who In Real Estate” rankings. 

Jim currently serves in various industry leadership capacities including Executive Committee Board member of the Southern Methodist University Folsom Institute for Real Estate, Executive Committee Board Member of the USC Gould School of Law Real Estate Law and Business Forum, Urban Land Institute Leadership Council, guest lecturer at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and the UC Berkeley Masters of Real Estate programs, and the immediate past Chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Small Scale Development Council.

Jim’s civic involvements include his current service as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Manhattan Beach, California, as well as a founding donor and advisor to the SMU Real Estate Impact Fund, a student-driven investment vehicle focused on impact investing in underserved communities.

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