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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, 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 in California. 


Jim is a former 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 also 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 & Watkins LLP, Jim joined the Los Angeles office of Regency Centers where he managed ground-up development and repositioning of retail centers in Southern California. 


Jim also serves in various industry leadership capacities, including Chairman of the Urban Land Institute's Small Scale Development Council, 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, guest lecturer at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and UC Berkeley Masters of Real Estate programs, and serves as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Manhattan Beach, California. 


Jim has been recognized 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.

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