Former Griffin exec. joins firm

Kirk Demetrops, who was president of Sandy Springs-based The Griffin Cos., is partnering with the Forum Development Group co-founder Ron Pfohl to launch a new firm, MidCity Real Estate Partners Inc., which plans to acquire and reinvent office buildings and mixed-use projects.

MidCity opens its doors with a significant project under construction in Sandy Springs, the 90,000-square-foot JAS World Headquarters on Barfield Road. Construction began in August and the three-building corporate campus is expected to be ready for occupancy in the third quarter of 2010.

That project is one that Demetrops originally landed along with Joel Griffin, the former CEO of The Griffin Cos. who died unexpectedly early this year. Since Joel Griffin’s death, the Griffin Cos. have undergone a restructuring, as have many firms who have been pressured to restructure debt on many properties during the recent down market.

MidCity plans to buy buildings and developments that are struggling in the current market and reposition them for future growth. The firm plans to target acquisitions in Sandy Springs and the Central Perimeter market, along with Buckhead, Midtown and north Fulton submarkets.

RockBridge bank has new leader

David Coxon, who reputedly is a turnaround specialist, has been appointed acting president and CEO of Sandy Springs-based RockBridge Commercial Bank replacing Lauch McKinnon, who led the bank from its start in November 2006 until his recent retirement.

The retirement of McKinnon, a founder and the bank’s original president and CEO, was amicable and planned. He had previously indicated a desire to leave at the end of his original contract.

Coxon formerly was president and CEO of the Southwest region for United Community Banks Inc. and is a veteran of Columbus Bank & Trust and BankSouth. He was hired as the top office at Southern Community Bankshares Inc., after the Fayatteville-based lender was hit with regulatory sanctions. Regulators eventually shuttered Southern Community in June.

RockBridge, the $278.7 million-in-assets bank, focuses on lending to small to midsized commercial clients. But the bank has had problems with non-performing loans as the economy has had problems, with loans the bank does not reasonably expect to have repaid climbing to 18.6 percent of total loans, or $43.9 million.