Lalani Ventures Appoints Jacob Vallo as Chief Investment Officer

Owner of Underground Atlanta prepares for World Cup 2026 and growth of his real estate platform with hire of real estate veteran Jacob Vallo

Lalani Ventures, owner of Underground Atlanta and 34 Peachtree, has hired Jacob Vallo as Chief Investment Officer.

Vallo is joining Lalani after serving five and a half years at MARTA as the Assistant General Manager for Real Estate Development and Asset Management, where he oversaw transit- oriented development, public private partnerships, land partnerships with governments and non-profits for positive community outcomes and its public art program. He previously spent two decades in the private sector and has worked for some of Atlanta’s top firms and organizations, including Jamestown, Hines, the Rockefeller Group and the Westside Future Fund.

“Ahead of World Cup 2026, and with our growing portfolio, I needed to round out my team and Jacob’s skills are incredible. He’s worked in development, investment and capital raising roles but also has public sector experience that allows him to bring empathy and understanding to complex problem solving and partnership structuring. We wanted someone of his caliber to help move us forward,” said Lalani Ventures CEO Shaneel Lalani.

Joining Shaneel is a “very personal decision. His entrepreneurial success and accomplishments achieved at an early age is impressive. There’s a lot of room to grow the firm together while making a significant contribution to the Atlanta region,” Vallo said.

Lalani Ventures is focused on its existing portfolio of assets that are predominantly adaptive reuse projects, as well as finding opportunistic investments. The firm’s downtown Atlanta assets include Underground Atlanta, the 31-story adaptive reuse project at 34 Peachtree and a spot on the Egbert Perry-led development team selected by Invest Atlanta to redevelop Two Peachtree.

Lalani added, “With a new ownership group in South Downtown, the investment at Centennial Yards and other investment coming to downtown – much of it to support a great downtown experience during the World Cup and beyond – our team offers a strong placemaking and placekeeping ethos.”

Lalani Ventures will be looking for partnerships to build affordable and market rate housing projects that will attract more residents downtown, what has long been a missing link to creating more vibrancy.

“We’ll have a blend between financial and social objectives consistent with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ goals,” Vallo said. “Having high density, mixed-income communities near MARTA stations and investing in the community for the long term will result in better outcomes for all.”

Lalani concluded, “When you look across the region, there’s no more exciting place to be than downtown Atlanta ahead of the World Cup. There’s so much energy to make it an exciting place. It’s an opportunity for state, county and city governments as well as the Metro Chamber, non-profits and property owners to accomplish something together for the world to witness. We all want to present our best self and there is a lot of work to do together. As the Mayor often says, this is a group project and we’re staffing up to play our part.”


Led by an immigrant who planted roots in Atlanta more than 20 years ago, Lalani Ventures is bringing financial strength and forward-thinking vision to the redevelopment of downtown Atlanta. The local investment firm’s CEO Shaneel Lalani has worked in retail his whole life, starting out as a store clerk. He bought his first real estate property in 2012. Shaneel has since grown Lalani Venture’s real estate portfolio to more than two million square feet of commercial space, with the vast majority of properties located in Georgia. On the heels of the Underground Atlanta acquisition, Lalani purchased 34 Peachtree, a 300,000-square-foot office building in downtown Atlanta, with plans to add affordable and workforce housing to the dated office tower. The core business strategy for Lalani Ventures is to buy underperforming assets and add value through innovative redevelopment and leasing strategies. Learn more at