Primewest is one of Australia’s most active and successful private real estate investment and development fund managers with a long and established record exceeding 20 years.

Protea Properties is a successful San Diego-based privately held property investment, development and management group with over 20 years of experience in retail, office and residential markets.

Protea-Primewest brings together these leading property investment groups with 50 years of combined experience and $3 billion in property assets under management.

This joint venture will provide an effective investment vehicle for those individual investors wishing to participate in a selectively sourced and diverse range of retail, office, and industrial properties located throughout the United States, strategically managed and leased to maintain capital appreciation and optimize returns.



John Bond, Director


John is a founding Director of Primewest and has been instrumental in its growth and development. His background spans law and investment banking as well as property investment and development. 

As a professional property investor, he has over 20 years’ experience in negotiating acquisitions, overseeing the development of properties and asset management. 

He is a qualified solicitor, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and is a Corporate Member of the Property Council. He is Chairman of The Fathering Project and a member of the Art Gallery of Western Australian Foundation Council.


David Schwartz, Director


David is a founding Director of Primewest and has been instrumental in its growth and development.

David is a professional property investor with 25 years’ experience in negotiating acquisitions and overseeing the development of properties. 

He is a Non-Executive Director of Schaffer Corporation Ltd. Over the past 40 years David has been involved in many different businesses including: retail, manufacturing and distribution.
His property investments have been strongly focused on retail and commercial developments.


Jim Litis, Director


Jim is a founding Director of Primewest and has been instrumental in its growth and development.

Jim qualified from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy).  However, not long after obtaining his degree, Jim decided to venture into retail and opened Douglas Hi Fi followed shortly thereafter with a Sony Central store.

The business was a great success and eventually it was sold in late 1988 to a large public company.

It was in the early 80’s when Jim’s interest in commercial property investments began with the acquisition of several CBD properties and a small shopping centre.


Julian Lodge, CEO


Julian has over 23 years experience in the property industry with particular capabilities in property development and asset management of property investments. 

His focus lies with the management of Primewest and the optimum performance of each of its assets. He is a Senior Associate Member of FINSIA and also a qualified Real Estate Agent. He is a Board member on the Property Council of Western Australian Divisional Council and the Property Education Foundation of WA. 


Adam O’Donoghue, Head of Asset Management


Adam has over 12 years’ experience in the property industry and oversees the Asset Management department. 

Adam and the asset management team seek to maximize the property value and investor returns by improving a properties’ cash flow, closely managing and monitoring property expenditure, and maintaining close relationships with existing and potential tenants as well as other stakeholders associated with the Primewest portfolio. 

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and in previous roles has worked as a taxation accountant.


Jeffrey Essakow, Partner

Protea Properties

Jeff provides the leadership and direction for the retail and financial strategies of each Protea project.

Jeff has been a resident of San Diego since 1983 and has been instrumental in the success of a number of entrepreneurial ventures.

He cofounded an athletic apparel company, which was acquired by Reebok in 1992. In 1996 he joined forces with Gaf to found Protea Holdings and currently manages all day-to-day operations of the company. Protea Holdings has developed over US$300M of commercial projects.


Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Partner

Protea Properties

Gaf has more than 40 years of development, construction, and program management experience. 

He has been involved in San Diego real estate development since 1979, starting with Sunroad Enterprises. In 1987, he and his wife founded Gafcon, Inc. Under his leadership as CEO, it has grown into a globally respected program and construction management consulting firm. 

Gafcon has been responsible for the success of high profile projects such as: the City of San Diego North Embarcadero Visionary Plan; the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront and Promenade; the Redevelopment of the Los Angeles Forum; and many others.


Howard Schachat, Partner

Protea Properties

Howard has over 35 years’ experience in real estate investment, design, development, law and management. He oversees Protea’s operational, asset management, leasing, refinancing, legal and certain construction and design matters.  He has been with Protea for 18 years and currently serves as Protea’s Vice President and In-House Counsel.  

Howard has resided in San Diego since 1997. He holds both commerce and law degrees and is an attorney admitted to the Supreme Court in South Africa.  


Paul Gherini, Chief Investment Officer

Protea Properties

Paul assists the Protea team with acquisitions, financial analysis, and development. He was a critical part of securing the Seaport redevelopment project, having been in charge of the financial analysis.

Paul has been directly involved in the acquisition and financing of over US$1.60B in commercial projects. He has a deep understanding of financial analysis and has underwriten billions of dollars of complex developments, public private partnerships, and joint ventures in all product types.

Paul has been a member of the NAIOP real estate organization for eight years, and now serves on the University Challenge and Developing Leader Steering Committees.



Selecting the right property at the right time has been the cornerstone of PrimeWest’s and Protea’s successful performance. Both groups acquire assets across various sectors that will grow in value and provide strong cash flows. A sample of the portfolios is depicted below.


Exchange Tower

Asset Size: 34,374sqm
Asset Value: $143m
(50% interest)


308 Queen Street

Asset Size: 4,579sqm
Asset Value: $37.4m


The Quadrant

Asset Size: 23,338sqm
Asset Value: $175m


Auburn Megamall

Asset Size: 32,663sqm
Asset Value: $126m


Fairview Green Shopping Centre

Asset Size: 6,637sqm
Asset Value: $30m


607 Bourke Street

Asset Size: 13,336sqm
Asset Value: $62m


Lisarow Plaza Shopping Centre

Asset Size: 5,250sqm
Asset Value: $29.1m


Prime House

Asset Size: 9,600sqm
Asset Value: $85m on completion


616 St Kilda Road

Asset Size: 13,387sqm
Asset Value: $52m


8825 Aero Drive

Asset Size: 36,000 sq ft
Asset Value: $10m


Clairemont Drive Development

Asset Size: 3.55 acres
Project Cost: $60m


8875 Aero Drive Redevelopment

Asset Size: 103,000 sq ft
Project Cost: $70m


Flowerhill Promenade

Asset Size: 167,985 sq ft
Asset Value: $175M


Pangaea 24 Hour

Asset Size: 42,481 sq ft
Asset Value: $18m


La Jolla Corporate Center

Asset Size: 86,000 sq ft  
Asset Value: $35m