Pres Kabacoff, the cofounder of New Orleans-based real estate developer HRI Properties, is turning his chief executive officer title over to Tom Leonhard, the firm’s president.

Kabacoff will continue as chairman of HRI’s board, the company said Wednesday. Leonhard also will retain his title as president. Eddie Boettner will continue as HRI’s chief administrative officer.

HRI, which has nearly 2,000 employees, operates in 16 states and has finished more than 70 large-scale projects that totaled more than $2.5 billion, Kabacoff said. The company started in 1982 as a small company revitalizing vacant historic buildings in the New Orleans Warehouse District.

Kabacoff said Leonhard has earned national respect for his executive ability and financial acumen and attracting top managerial talent. He said the company is poised to become a key player in the national real estate market.

Leonhard said Kabacoff will continue leading HRI’s expansion efforts and new projects in top metropolitan areas around the country, including Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Dallas, Nashville, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Miami and Chicago.