Jim Ackerman, who currently serves as general counsel and vice president of leasing in The Sembler Co.’s Atlanta office, will join Hartman Simons as a partner on April 21. Ackerman has been with the retail development and services firm since 2000.

In today’s Four on Friday, we talk with Ackerman about his history with Hartman Simons, why he’s excited about joining the firm and his take on the current real estate market.

JimAckermanWhat is your history with Hartman Simons?

Ackerman: Well, I started working with Bob (Simons) in the late 90s when I was a part of the Eckerd Corp. located in Florida. From there, I was picked up by Sembler, the commercial retail development firm, and I’ve continued to work closely with Hartman Simons since 2000. Over the course of that period of time, I’ve come to know a bunch of folks at the firm and think very highly of everyone that I’ve worked with so far.

What do you think of the current state of real estate?

Ackerman: It’s seen some ups and downs for this year. Ultimately, though, real estate is back, and new developments are being established at a breakneck pace. Tenants are moving once again, and overall, it’s a great environment for them. We’re really returning to a growing, vibrant real estate economy.

What are you looking forward to the most about joining Hartman Simons?

Ackerman: I’m really looking forward to the camaraderie of the firm the most, to be honest. The environment that has been put together at Hartman Simons in terms of hard-working, friendly individuals is second to none. I’m really anticipating having the ability to learn and work with the attorneys/paralegals/admins there, as I have in the past, only on a much closer level.

Are you attending ICSC Recon this year?

Ackerman: Yes, and I’m greatly looking forward to it. I’d imagine this year will be a vastly different experience for me, as this will be the first time I won’t be representing a development company, but its always very exciting, and this year should be no different. I’ve been attending the event since 1994/1995, so around 20 years.