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About Us

A Local Expert Committed to Excellence

Principal Properties, LLC was founded in 2002 for the purpose of developing, investing, and managing commercial real estate. In addition, Principal Properties provides real estate consulting services for retail, multi-family, and mixed-use properties.

Tirus (T.J.) Fontenette was the founding member and continues to be the managing principal of the firm.  Mr. Fontenette’s core belief is that commercial real estate is about creating value and solving problems.  To achieve these objectives requires attention to detail, creativity, commitment, and vision.  Principal Properties recognizes that each site and project is unique and should be carefully analyzed to determine the maximum potential for the property. While there are guiding principles and best practices, there is no one size fits all approach to our projects.  Each project has its own unique qualities including site-specific needs, characteristics, challenges, and opportunities. Principal Properties’ approach is to explore all of these variables to determine the highest and best use for the project while providing the most value to the stakeholders involved—investors, community members, neighbors, and users. Most often, in order to create and maximize value, one must solve numerous problems and overcome many challenges.  


Principal Properties takes an active, hands-on management role in the projects it is involved with; we are invested in all aspects of our projects including land acquisition, feasibility analysis, conceptual design, due diligence, entitlement, planning, construction, engineering, finance, marketing, leasing, asset management, and disposition.  Mr. Fontenette usually has an equity position in projects he is involved with believing that ownership provides a unique perspective and commitment.  This commitment is what drives the vision and sustains the effort to see a project through to successful completion. 

Tirus (T.J.) Fontenette

T.J. Fontenette has been working full time in commercial real estate since 1993. During that time, he has been involved in all aspects of real estate including leasing, marketing, property management, brokerage, construction, financing, development and property acquisitions. T.J. has formed numerous entities for the purpose of developing and investing in commercial real estate.  He has completed over $150 million in commercial property financing and successfully negotiated over 425 lease and property sale transactions with a combined value in excess of $225 million.  Since 2004, he has focused his attention on investment and development of retail and multi-family projects.  These have involved ground-up developments of raw land with the goal being to create stabilized income-producing assets.  Development and investor responsibilities include: 

o    Site selection
o    Feasibility and highest/best use analysis
o    Conceptual design
o    Securing all entitlement and land use approvals
o    Securing debt and equity capital
o    Site planning and building design
o    Infrastructure design and development
o    Construction management and budgeting
o    Management of all marketing and leasing activities
o    Negotiating leases and sales agreement
o    Operating and capital budgets
o    Asset management

T.J. received his Bachelor of Science in Business and Communications from Concordia University; his M.B.A from the University of Washington and his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Designation from the CCIM Institute. He is also a licensed Designated Broker in the state of Washington. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, T.J. now makes his home in Vancouver, WA.  He is happily married and has two children. He enjoys cycling, snow skiing, hiking and traveling. 

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