Company

About Us

EpiCity is an Atlanta-based commercial real estate investment and services company founded in 1935. All of our clients are considered “partners” because our relationships are about more than assets. We care about your unique circumstances and provide the services and expertise required to help you achieve your objectives.

Based on our core strengths—investment and management—we offer a comprehensive menu of services designed to address our partners’ needs throughout the lifecycle of any asset. Our current portfolio (approximately one-quarter billion dollars) includes both commercial and residential assets, covering a risk range from core to opportunistic. With a focus on asset appreciation, we strive to obtain the highest value and best use for each property and partner.

Our Unique Value

EpiCity’s seasoned team of senior real estate professionals provides our partners with a one-of-a-kind “home field” advantage. With generations of experience in the Southeast that have taught us how to anticipate advantageous positions, we offer expertise in all areas of real estate investment and management based on first-hand knowledge of market conditions. We’ve built one of the most extensive relationship networks in the industry, giving our partners access to top professionals in sourcing, evaluating, underwriting and managing investments.

Combined with our portfolio and record of success, EpiCity provides a solid platform for leveraging new opportunities. As a principal-led, focused shop, we quickly adapt to the market, adjusting our approach as needed to take advantage of changing conditions while sidestepping future risks. This flexibility allows us to serve our partners with one-on-one attention, offering all the services of a national firm with the added benefits of a local market leader.

The EpiCity Promise

Because our business is guided by very clear values, we know our relationships and our success are directly related. As a partner, you’re part of the family; we care for your assets as if they’re our own. We take a personal interest in you and your investment, knowing we’ve only reached our goals when you’ve reached yours.

We have a very special way of working so that it is second nature to deliver on our promises. To read more about it, click here.

Tour Our Facilities

Ever wondered what it is like behind the scenes at EpiCity? Check out where all the hard work and creativity happens at 2215 Perimeter Park by clicking here.


Halloween at Epic Gardens Apartments

This Halloween Sandy, our property manager over at Epic Gardens Apartments in Brookhaven, and Kori, one of our leasing agents, … Read More »

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  • I still think of EpiCity as a family business. We’re built on the platform originally created by my grandfather. Though we’ve grown, welcomed other families into the organization, and expanded the company vision, we’re still a relationship-based firm. Our partners are like family. As an organization, we’re flat. When you work with EpiCity, you won’t get a junior associate or some mid-level manager. You’ll get us. The principals. I wouldn’t want it any other way.Tom Stokes, EpiCity's President & CEO
 

Our Team

Our History

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  • Firm Growth
  • Personal Growth
  • Client Growth / Special Projects
  • Atlanta Growth
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Supporting Operations

EpiCity's extraordinary operating results come for vertical integration and tight control of key service capabilities like construction, property management, human resources, and marketing. The following sites highlight construction and marketing.

 

Tom Stokes, CPM®, CCIM, CAPS, MPM

tom-stokes

Director for Property Management and Commercial Leasing

Mr. Stokes oversees the operation and management of several office, industrial, and self-storage properties, as well as a portfolio of multi-family properties and single-family homes.

He holds the Certified Property Manager® designation awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management; the Certified Apartment Property Supervisor designation from the National Apartment Association; the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation from the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute; and the Master Property Manager designation from the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Mr. Stokes is past president of the Atlanta Chapter of NARPM and he is a member of the Association’s National Board of Directors where he has served as Chairman of the Publications and Marketing Committees.

Mr. Stokes received a Masters in Business Administration from Georgia State University with a concentration in Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University with majors in Computer Science/Mathematics and English Literature. He has taught business and computer classes as adjunct professor of Oglethorpe University.

Tom and his wife, Helena, a native of Helsinki Finland, live in Chamblee with their two children. Together, the family stays busy with their passion for horseback riding and active participation with the Georgia Boys Choir, their church choir and various youth soccer affiliations.

Jim LaVallee, MAI

jim-lavallee

Director for Development and Strategic Planning

Jim LaVallee has a multi-faceted background in real estate development and operations. His aptitude is focusing on and analyzing new real estate investment opportunities and asset repositioning analysis. With a background in real estate valuation in addition to formal education in finance, Mr. LaVallee has participated in a variety of consulting, valuation, due diligence and underwriting activities.

Prior to joining EpiCity, he served seven years as a Vice President of Citicorp Real Estate, a division of Citicorp. His experience there was diverse, including loan workouts, loan portfolio purchases, and new loan originations. He has experience with both portfolio lending and real estate conduit financing. Before working with Citicorp, Mr. LaVallee worked in the Atlanta office of CB Commercial, a national real estate firm, where he was involved in consulting and valuation work.

Mr. LaVallee received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance from Georgia State University. He holds a MAI (Member of Appraisal Institute) designation and is a certified appraiser in the State of Georgia.

More than anything else, Jim loves spending time outdoors with his wife, Lyn, and their two kids. In the community, Jim is a parent volunteer for Atlanta Junior Rowing, a board member and former board chair for Georgia Avenue Community Ministry, and a support of Zoo Atlanta. Whether hiking, mountain biking or snow skiing, the family always enjoys quality time together.

John Mangham, CPA, MPM

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Director for Consulting and Special Asset Services

John Mangham began providing property management services for clients in 1982. Today he also provides consulting and education services to real estate investors. He consults primarily in the area of tax planning and specifically with respect to “tax deferred” exchange strategies, such as those contained in the Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. In addition, Mr. Mangham coordinates EpiCIty’s Special Asset services for clients with unique needs. He has a solid background in accounting and finance, combined with two decades of real estate investment experience. Prior to his current position, he was President/Owner of Georgia 1031 Exchange Services, Inc. Mr. Mangham also owned Excalibur Group, Inc., a real estate investment, management and maintenance company working with clients in acquisition, operations and disposition of performing real estate assets.

Mr. Mangham is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Real Estate Exchangors, the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, the Real Estate Educators Association, the Federation of Exchange Accomodators, and the Atlanta Board of Realtors.

He is past president of both the Georgia Chapter of the Real Estate Educators Association and the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). He also served five years as a Director for NARPM, as well as serving as editor of Residential Resource, its national newsletter, chair of the Publications and Education Committees, and three years as Treasurer. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Auburn University.

John is a passionate wine enthusiast. When he’s not busy filling his wine cellar, you can find him enjoying long bike rides around his home in Buckhead.

Velinda Bowman

Velinda Bowman

Director for Accounting and Human Resources

Velinda Bowman has more than 20 years of property management experience and 10 years of accounting experience. She is a member of the senior management staff of EpiCity and responsible for overseeing accounting operations, financial reporting, human resource development, and is a key member of the acquisitions and redevelopment team.

 

Prior to EpiCity, Ms. Bowman worked with MFI, an Atlanta-based property management group,. There, she was property coordinator, serving as the liaison between 40 properties and the accounting department. Ms. Bowman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Don Walter

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Director for Investor Relations

Prior to partnering with EpiCity, Don Walter was founder and Managing Member of the Walter-Shefer Group, an investment shop with commercial investments in the multi-family and residential construction. Concurrently, Mr. Walter served as of President of Legacy Homes of Georgia, an independent residential building investment shop., Mr. Walter transitioned to commercial real estate on a full time basis in 2005 as an investor, developer, manager, and renovation partner in the multi-family arena. Mr. Walter has worked with numerous municipalities on complex entitlements for both commercial and residential properties. As Director for Investor Relations, Mr. Walter is responsible for the interface between investor partners and the company including acquisition of growth and operating capital, compliance, reporting and investor satisfaction. He also underwrites potential commercial deals for the company and represents partners overseeing commercial and residential construction projects.

Prior to his involvement in real estate, Mr. Walter was employed by Delta Air Lines in the cockpit as a captain and held various flight operations management roles. He served the industry as an expert in flight training and airline risk management as well. Mr. Walter carries his aviation risk management perspective with him to the business projects he works on. He is licensed by the Georgia Real Estate Commission and is an active member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, GREFPAC, ACG, and the Urban Land Institute. He has experience in loan originations, workouts, deal structuring, and analysis.

Mr. Walter received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and earned his pilot’s designation from Wings West. . An avid runner, chef and wine collector, he and his wife Abby reside in Atlanta with and their children, Jordan and Megan.

Trevious Walker

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Director for Residential Leasing and Multi-family Operations

As a lifelong native of Atlanta, Ms. Walker developed an early interest in real estate while helping her father in his construction business. During an internship with Dekalb County Department of Human Services, she discovered her passion and aptitude for providing assistance to those in need. Today, EpiCity’s partners appreciate her warm and caring demeanor, as well as her ability to get timely, effective results.

Since joining EpiCity in 2002, Ms. Walker has held a variety of management and leasing positions. She played an integral role in the success of projects at Park District in Atlantic Station, City Plaza downtown, and the Lindmont Apartments repositioning. She is particularly skilled at handling the complexities of new construction as well as navigating intricate governmental paperwork, processes and procedures. Her established rapport with various community leaders and groups has been an important asset for EpiCity and our partners.

Prior to her work with us, Ms. Walker attended Grambling State University in Louisiana where she studied business management while working as a pharmacy technician. She also spent several years utilizing her people skills in customer care at GE Card Services. She now holds a license from the Georgia Real Estate Commission.

When she’s not hard at work, Ms. Walker patronizes the Alliance Theatre and enjoys spending time with her husband Charles and their two children. Together, the family loves attending performances at the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts, traveling and visiting neighborhood attractions like Six Flags Over Georgia.

Cheryl Waddell

Cheryl Waddell

Director of Customer Service

A natural problem solver and people person, Cheryl Waddell joined EpiCity in a temporary position. She quickly became an integral part of the team and was welcomed as Director of Customer Service. In her role, Ms. Waddell acts as a customer advocate, ensuring every tenant receives timely communication, superior service and the highest quality of care. Ms. Waddell is a native of Atlanta with a background in the construction industry. With 20+ years in customer service and accounting, she is a skilled coordinator capable of managing the wide variety of tasks that come her way with a spirit of service and a friendly smile. In her time outside the office, you can find Ms. Waddell camping with her family, making jewelry, or practicing Taekwondo with her grandson.

Dwayne Bowman

Dwayne Bowman

Director for Field Services

Dwayne Bowman oversees the facility operations at all managed properties. Mr. Bowman began working with EpiCity in the maintenance division initially as a procurement specialist. He quickly demonstrated his aptitude for organizing and streamlining the procurement, scheduling and dispatching components of real property maintenance. On his own initiative, Mr. Bowman began to study the elements of mechanical systems design and maintenance. He quickly practiced and later demonstrated his mastery of the plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and electrical systems required to operate investment-grade real property. Mr. Bowman is skilled in all areas of maintenance and has the people skills necessary for recruiting, training and motivating technical personnel.

EpiCity is a licensed general contractor and Mr. Bowman is licensed as a Master Plumber and Conditioned Air Contractor. Prior to joining EpiCity he worked with Atlanta-based MK Construction. He previously served in the Army from which he was honorably discharged with four years of active duty.

Rick Bennett

Rick Bennett

Director for Design and Construction Services

Richard Bennett has experience in the real estate and construction field. He is the founder of Precision Development Group, which focuses on construction and development projects in metropolitan Atlanta. Mr. Bennett has led the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of numerous properties, including a single family portfolio, a full-service hotel, over 200,000 square feet of retail/office space, several mixed-use complexes, and over 150,000 square feet of multi- and single-family residential. Precision Development benefits from his diverse capabilities, including knowledge of construction, business management skills, and real estate expertise.

Previously, as Director of Development for Blackstone Capital Group in Los Angeles, California, Mr. Bennett was responsible for the development of projects in excess of $200 million. His primary focus was overseeing the acquisition and construction activity in all markets related to the Blackstone portfolio, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, and Houston. He managed all aspects of project execution, including planning, budgeting, zoning, permitting, marketing, design, construction, and leasing.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Bennett worked as Development Manager for EpiCity. He was involved in analyzing, preparing due diligence materials, acquiring and operating new development opportunities and construction management. Before re-joining EpiCity, he worked with IBM as a Senior Consultant on development projects across the Southeastern United States. During his consulting career, he assisted several companies with operations, customer service, and information technology projects.

Mr. Bennett is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Information Technology. He and his wife Meg currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia, and Los Angeles, California.

Scott Tomlinson

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Financial Analyst

Scott Tomlinson serves as a financial analyst for EpiCity.  With more than 20 years of experience, Tomlinson brings expertise in all aspects of accounting, budgeting, finance, and strategic planning to the real estate company. Prior to joining EpiCity, Tomlinson was the controller at Atlanta Perinatal Associates in Atlanta.  He previously worked in accounting for Your Extra Attic, Inc. and Wakefield Beasley & Associates; Architects, Inc., both also in Atlanta. Tomlinson received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oglethorpe University.  He enjoys ice hockey and is an avid golfer.  He and his wife live in Duluth, GA. with their Siberian Huskies.

Robert Pond

robert thumb 131Robert Pond has joined EpiCity Real Estate Services as a member of the brokerage services and property management team. Mr. Pond’s specialty is in Commercial Brokerage. He is incredibly talented at helping businesses of all sizes find and lease the space they need to efficiently and successfully operate their company. He also works with property owners find quality tenants to fill their commercial space. In his position, Mr. Pond also continues to grow the property and asset management services of the business. A licensed real estate professional, Mr. Pond has a background in marketing, account services and advertising. Pond is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, with a BBA in marketing and BA in economics. An Atlanta native, he currently lives in Chamblee.

Allen Morrow

allen thumbnailAllen Morrow is EpiCity’s Customer Satisfaction Specialist and his responsibility is to make everyone happy! Allen walks the grounds of The Lumberyard and Powers Ferry Business Park, two commercial communities managed by EpiCity, and makes sure everything is clean, taken care of, and ready for business. He is the first line of communication with the tenants and also takes prospective tenants for tours around the properties. Allen joined EpiCity three years ago, and he has been in the construction field all his life.  Previously he owned a roofing company, and before that he installed and ran a company for cultured marble bathrooms. He formerly served in the Navy. When he’s not working, you’ll find him riding his Harley-Davidson. He is the proud father of twin daughters, and two grandchildren.

Kori Stokes

kori thumbnailKori Stokes is a portfolio property manager for the company. Her responsibilities include portfolio management and optimization, customer service, customer relations, human resources, marketing, and acquisitions. Prior to this position, Kori served in various capacities including most recently special assistant to the Senior Property Manager and property manager for Epic Gardens, a residential community managed by EpiCity. Stokes is a graduate of Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater.  She is the niece, by marriage, to EpiCity President Tom Stokes, making her a fourth generation staff member of EpiCity.
“I am honored to be part of the legacy of what EpiCity has built,” said Stokes. “It is great to be part of a team where everyone enjoys the work they are doing and like being with each other.”
Prior to this position, Stokes served as property manager for Epic Gardens, a residential community managed by EpiCity.  She and her husband, Chris, and infant son, Kristian, are members of Clairmont Baptist Church, where Chris serves as worship leader.

Morgan Carswell

Morgan Epic Gardens ApartmentsEpic Gardens Apartments in Brookhaven has named Morgan Carswell as property manager for the community.  The community is managed by EpiCity. Carswell, originally from Blackshear, Ga., is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, where she received her degree in human resource management.  She served as leasing manager for student housing for four years in Statesboro, Ga. before recently moving to Atlanta. An avid fan of everything Sci-Fi, Carswell also plans to pursue a dream of getting her small plane pilot license in the near future.