James "Pat" Thornton Founder and Principal

Mr. Thornton has been actively involved in a variety of real estate endeavors for the past 50 years. In addition to his involvement with Thornton & Associates, where he serves as the company's chairman to the board of advisors, Mr. Thornton is co-founder and Chairman of The Development Group, Inc., a development company with an emphasis on rental apartments. He has developed, owned and managed:

  • Approximately 3,500 apartment units in North Florida
  • Approximately 500,000 square feet of retail space
  • Approximately 250,000 square feet of office and industrial properties

Prior to forming The Development Group, Inc., Mr. Thornton was President, Director and Chief Executive Officer of TRECO, Inc., formerly the Barnett Mortgage Trust. TRECO, Inc. was a publicly-held, diversified real estate company on the New York Stock Exchange engaged in the construction, development and sale of primary and resort housing, commercial property and land. It was also involved in the management and leasing of income-producing properties, the sale and syndication of real estate and the arrangement of real estate financing.

Before joining Barnett Mortgage Trust, Mr. Thornton was Executive Vice President of the Charter Company where he was responsible for all commercial real estate operations and mortgage banking activities.


  • University of Florida, with a degree in Real Estate and Finance
  • University of Georgia, advanced studies in appraisal technology
  • Northwestern University, advanced studies in finance and real estate
  • Michigan State University, advanced studies in mortgage banking
  • Licensed real estate broker
  • Licensed mortgage broker