It’s official: Tom Banta — Bill Butler’s right arm at Corporex, and the firm’s go-to guy for big projects and a national profile — was promoted to president and COO. The 23-year employee of the Covington development firm has been heavily involved in major local Corporex projects including the Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, the Ovation riverfront project and the redevelopment of the Baldwin Professional Complex. He’s also one of Northern Kentucky’s biggest community champions.

Meanwhile, Huff Realty has named one of Cincinnati’s savviest real estate development experts as its general manager. In his new role, Bill Heckman, owner of the Blue Ash firm Builder Resources, will lead Huff’s sales and marketing initiatives. Heckman said he was convinced it was the right job because of Huff’s national profile and operations scope through its affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway. He will remain president of Builder Resources, the development sales and marketing firm.
 
Dr. Mousa Gargari was appointed interim department head of the Construction Science Department in University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science. Gargari teaches courses in structures, civil engineering and construction; his expertise is in computer-based structural design and material handling structures. Last year, he was honored with a UC Distinguished Faculty Member award. Gargari earlier worked for Cogan Wire, Metal Manufacturing Co. and the Interlake Corp.
 
A veteran Cincinnati construction expert has joined Equity as its new North Central region director of construction operations. Frank S. Messer, a partner at Frank Messer & Sons Construction for 30 years, will take the lead on Equity projects such as the Middletown Regional Hospital and Westside Surgery Center.
 
The hourglass is half-full: Forbes magazine ranked the Cincinnati area sixth on its America’s Most Stable Housing Markets list this fall, projecting a 2.65 percent price change for 2008. The good news came with this sour caveat: “The (Cincinnati) market has been feeling subprime fallout over the past year, but as it didn’t grow much during the boom, it doesn’t have too far to fall.” Seattle topped the list, with Columbus landing at No. 3.
CB Richard Ellis nabbed the job of handling leasing of Neyer Properties’ new $3.5 million office/warehouse complex called Interstate Corporate Center, located at 1365 Glendale-Milford Road. The 34,600-square-foot facility is slated for completion in April 2008. Clarisey-Frank Architecture is the architect and FTC&H Engineering is the engineer on the project.
Mario San Marco, president of Eagle Realty Group, was re-elected as chairman of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. Eagle Realty is the real estate investment and property management subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group.
Gargi Sarkar is a new investment specialist with NAI Bergman in Cincinnati, handling hotel properties and investment sales. She is part of the firm’s global investment expansion effort, and is a member of the Cincinnati Board of Realtors and the Asian Indian American Business Group.