International Real Estate

International Real Estate

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International Real Estate

U.S. Real Estate Overview​

Markaz’ international real estate investment program in the United States was established in 1978 with the launching of our first syndicated real estate investment.

Markaz subsequently expanded its operations by establishing a U.S. subsidiary, Mar-Gulf Management Inc., in Los Angeles, California.


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Mar-Gulf Management, Inc.

Mar-Gulf Management Inc. (MGM) acts as Markaz’s investment management arm in the United States.  It has a team of professionals that offers, on average, more than 30 years each of experience in acquisition, management, development, and disposition of real estate properties in the United States.

MGM has acquired / invested in over 113 properties with a total development / acquisition cost of US$ 1.4 billion over the years, and currently manages US$ 383 million of real estate assets.  The investments have included income-producing properties, land, distressed debt, value-add and development projects, representing multiple property types (industrial, office, multi-family, retail and self-storage) in markets throughout the U.S.

Since 2013, MGM, and its subsidiary MDI Capital, have sourced, negotiated, closed and managed 20 joint ventures representing the development, leasing, and ultimate sale of a variety of real estate projects located in key markets in the United States.  In addition to development ventures, MGM has successfully formed a venture with a major apartment owner-operator to purchase, renovate and sell multi-family properties located in major U.S. markets.  In total, these joint ventures have invested in assets valued in excess of US$ 519 million.

Over the years, MGM has managed successful joint venture relationships with top-tier national and regional sponsors and developer partners, including:


Key Personnel:

Sami Shabshab, 
President, Mar-Gulf Management 


Mr. Shabshab has been active in the real estate and construction field for over 30 years.  His experience ranges from engineering, general contracting and construction management, to real estate portfolio acquisitions and dispositions.  On the real estate side, his real estate consulting firm, Shabcon, established in 1987, provided services such as market analysis and research for real estate appraisers and investors.  Mr. Shabshab joined Mar-Gulf in 1993 and is now President.  During his 25 years at Mar-Gulf, he was initially responsible for operations, with special focus on turnaround situations and under-performing assets.  He later spearheaded Mar-Gulf's real estate portfolio acquisition activity, which has acquired over US$ 1.4 billion of industrial, office, multi-family and retail properties across the U.S.  Mr. Shabshab also expanded the development activity in multiple sectors across the US mostly focused on the industrial and office sectors. 

Mr. Shabshab graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1984, where he majored in civil and structural engineering.  In addition to his general contracting license and designation as a professional engineer (PE), Mr. Shabshab also holds a California real estate broker license.

Ani Soghomonian, 
Chief Financial Officer, Mar-Gulf Management


Ms. Soghomonian is the Treasurer of Mar-Gulf and responsible for investment structuring and all financial reporting.  She is in charge of corporate affairs, preparing financial statements, tax planning and compliance, investor relations and reporting, financial reporting of projects, review and analysis of all financial reports and projections of properties and cash management of portfolio assets.  Ms. Soghomonian has been working with Mar-Gulf since 1984.  She has a bachelor's degree in business administration and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the California Board of Accountancy.

George Ceithaml,
Managing Director, MDI Capital

George W. Ceithaml, commenced his career in real estate in 1974 as a real estate lending officer, initially with First National Bank of Chicago, where Mr. Ceithaml was responsible for the analysis and negotiation of real estate construction loans and the administration of a construction/interim loan portfolio in excess of $150 million. Mr. Ceithaml subsequently joined Wells Fargo Bank, specializing in real estate finance and the analysis of real estate investment trust property portfolios supported by bank financing.

Mr. Ceithaml then assumed a position as director of finance for a large diversified real estate development and management company located in Orange County, California. His duties grew to include responsibility for all development and acquisition efforts of the firm and he was later appointed managing general partner of an affiliated partnership, responsible for all aspects of the entity's real estate activities, which represented residential, commercial and industrial properties.

After acting as a principal in a local real estate company active in acquisitions of office and industrial properties, in 1985 Mr. Ceithaml established his own company active in development, acquisitions and project management consulting. He has been a partner or advisor to the Markaz group of companies for over 35 years and during his career has overseen the acquisition and development of over 4,500,000 square feet of non-residential projects and 3,300 apartment units.

Mr. Ceithaml holds a B.S and MBA from the University of Southern California (US)