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Jim Dillavou

Principal and Co-Founder

Jim is co-founder and principal of Paragon Commercial Group where he focuses on corporate strategy, capital structuring and acquisitions. Jim also serves as National Head of Retail Investments and Retail Capital Markets for Lincoln Property Company, Paragon’s west coast joint venture investment partner.  


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 throughout the United States.


Jim co-founded Paragon in 2009 to capitalize on retail real estate investment opportunities resulting from the GFC market dislocation. Since that time, Jim has been honored by the Urban Land Institute as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” land use and real estate professionals in the United States, by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 5 retail real estate professionals in Los Angeles, and twice recognized by the Los Angeles Times as a Commercial Real Estate Visionary.


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


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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