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.


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 well over 100 properties with a total development / acquisition cost of US$ 2 billion over the years.  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 over 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$ 500 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, 
Managing Director, Mar-Gulf Management 

Mr. Shabshab has been active in the real estate and construction field for over 35 years. His experience ranges from engineering, general contracting and construction management, to real estate acquisition and development. Mr. Shabshab began his career in real estate when he found his consulting firm, Shabcon, in 1987. While at Shabcon, he provided services such as market analysis and research for real estate appraisers and investors. 
In 1993, Mr. Shabshab joined Mar-Gulf Management, Inc. and was initially responsible for operations, with special focus on turnaround situations and under-performing assets. He later became President and spearheaded Mar-Gulf’s acquisition, development, and distressed debt activities which, over his 25 plus years at the firm, has exceeded $2 billion of industrial, office, multi-family and retail properties across the U.S.

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,LLC

Mr. Ceithaml has been active in the real estate industry for nearly 50 years, initially as a real estate lending officer with both the First National Bank of Chicago and Wells Fargo Bank at offices located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Newport Beach, California. He subsequently joined a large diversified real estate development and management company in 1977, ultimately becoming responsible for all financing, development, and acquisition activities.

Mr. Ceithaml later joined another regional real estate company focused upon the acquisition of office and industrial properties. In 1985, he formed his own company active in real estate development, acquisitions, and consulting. He has been a partner or advisor to the Markaz group of companies for nearly 40 years.

During his career Mr. Ceithaml has overseen the acquisition, development, and asset/venture management of over 17,000,000 square feet of office, industrial, retail and self-storage projects as well as 5,500 apartment units and multiple large land holdings.  

Mr. Ceithaml holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.