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Deals & Dealmakers

Who’s News: NKF hires Brad Needleman, Square Mile names Craig Solomon as CEO

Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) announced the hiring of Brad Needleman, a 14-year industry veteran, as an executive managing director working out of the firm’s New York headquarters.

As a tenant representation specialist with a focus on financial services firms as well as the TAMI sector, Needleman has completed transactions throughout New York City on behalf of investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, technology companies, advertising firms, and other clients.

Prior to joining NKF, Needleman was a senior vice president at CBRE. His clients include JCDecaux, H.I.G. Capital, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, BBR Partners, Permira, and British Airways.

Needleman is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), a member of the Young Professional Committee of the Corrine Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai, and a member of Juniors Undertaking Manhattan’s Possibilities! (JUMP!).


Square Mile Capital Management LLC announced leadership and organizational changes, effective July 1, 2017.

Craig Solomon will become Chief Executive Officer of the firm. Solomon, who co-founded Square Mile with Jeff Citrin in 2006, will be responsible for managing all aspects of the firm’s business and investment activities, with oversight by the Board of Directors.

Jeff Citrin will become Senior Advisor to the firm and Vice Chairman of the Board.

Along with Board responsibilities, he will continue to serve on the investment committees of the firm’s investment vehicles and is expected to continue to help source and shape investment opportunities.

Len O’Donnell, who is Chief Executive Officer of USAA Real Estate Company and who has served on Square Mile’s Board since 2012, will become Non-Executive Board Chairman.

USAA Realco holds a minority ownership interest in Square Mile, and shares several joint investment interests and operational efficiencies.

The announcement marks the next phase of Square Mile’s growth. The firm has undertaken a transformation from a single-strategy opportunity fund sponsor into a multi-strategy real estate platform in an integrated strategic partnership with USAA Realco.


Sean R. Kelly, Esq. has joined Ariel Property Advisors in its New York office as a Senior Director in the Investment Sales Division.

In addition to originating and executing exclusive sales listings, he is responsible for leading business development and networking initiatives in Brooklyn, with a particular focus on Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, and Williamsburg.

Kelly comes to Ariel from CPEX Real Estate where he was a Managing Director in the Investment Sales Division.

Since entering the New York City market, Kelly has brokered more than 100 transactions, consisting of more than 4.5 million square feet, with an aggregate value of over $600 million.

Kelly is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He received his Juris Doctorate from Saint John’s University School of Law, and his Bachelors of Science in Finance and Small Business Entrepreneurship from the University of South Carolina.

He also worked as a journey-man Ironworker on 4 Times Square, 383 Madison Avenue, and several of the New York City bridges.


The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International elected its 2017-2018 officers at the 2017 BOMA International Conference & Expo in Nashville.

The Board of Governors of BOMA International elected:

Robert M. Brierley, BOMA Fellow, Managing Director of Real Estate Management Services and Executive Vice President of Colliers Boston, Boston, as Chair and Chief Elected Officer for 2017-2018;

Brian D. Cappelli, BOMA Fellow, RPA, Vice President of Asset Management, Global X Properties, Cleveland, as Chair-Elect;

Scott O. Jones, Vice President, Jacobs, San Francisco, as Vice Chair; and

Keith Major, Executive Vice President, Real Estate Services, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP, Toronto, as Secretary/Treasurer.


HKS Capital Partners announced that Luke DeGrossi and Brian Barkley have joined the capital advisory firm as loan advisors in the origination department.

Luke DeGrossi is responsible for brokering commercial transactions by securing capital for clients through various forms of debt, equity and structured finance.

Prior to joining HKS Capital Partners, DeGrossi worked at RPM Development Group, where he oversaw the daily financial analysis and accounting for several properties within the firm’s $1 billion real estate portfolio.

DeGrossi has a bachelor of science degree in finance and international business from Villanova University. He studied Mathematics at Columbia University and he minored in Spanish at La Universidad de Cadiz. DeGrossi is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French..

Brian Barkley is responsible for commercial loan origination. Barkley, who started at HKS Capital as a summer intern in 2015 and 2016, has underwritten loan transactions, assisted in developing pro-forma analysis for underwriting construction loans and served on the construction team for SKF Ventures.

While still in college, Barkley originated a $7 million dollar transaction after only one summer of interning at HKS Capital.

In 2017, Barkley received a bachelor of science degree in management from Indiana University, where he was a member of the University’s Real Estate Club.


Anderson Kill P.C. announced that Karol S. Robinson has joined the firm as a shareholder in its New York headquarters.

Robinson practices in co-operative and condominium law with a focus on affordable housing, nonprofit organizations, real estate, financing and general transaction work.

Robinson has developed direct working relationships with the directors and agents for co-operative and condominium housing developments, including Mitchell-Lama developments and not-for-profit clients.

She represents clients in financing transactions, advising on day-to-day operational and corporate governance matters.

Robinson will be a member of Anderson Kill’s Co-operative and Condominium Law Group, which serves as general counsel to the boards of directors and managers of numerous cooperatives, condominiums, and homeowners associations (HOA) throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Robinson is co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Community and Economic Development Committee of the Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, and a member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Association of Black Women Attorneys.

She holds a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark and a B.A. from Vassar College.


Nixon Peabody is expanding its affordable housing practice with the arrival of new partner Erica F. Buckley.

As the former chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s office, Buckley brings experience in market-rate and affordable condominiums and cooperatives, Housing Development Fund Corporations and tax incentive programs such as 421-a.

She represents a wide range of clients in rental and for-sale housing including for-profit and not-for-profit developers. Buckley is also well-versed counseling clients with matters relating to the Private Housing Finance Law and New York Real Property Tax Law Section 421-a.

In her previous role as Chief Regulator of the Real Estate Finance Bureau, Buckley oversaw the offer and sale of real estate securities .

She joins Nixon Peabody LLP from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s real estate and government relations practice.

She graduated from City University of New York School of Law and earned a B.A. from Binghamton University.


Cullen and Dykman LLP announced that S. Jason Teele and Nicole Stefanelli have joined the firm as Partners in its Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Department.

Teele and Stefanelli have extensive experience representing creditors, debtors, and other parties in complex chapter 11 proceedings, out of court restructurings, and distressed transactions throughout the U.S.

Jason Teele has more than 15 years of experience representing clients in financial restructuring, distressed asset sales, creditors’ rights litigation, and corporate and commercial matters.

Prior to joining Cullen and Dykman, Teele was a partner in the Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Group of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

Nicole Stefanelli has extensive experience representing debtors and creditors in complex chapter 11 proceedings in a core group of industries.

Stefanelli currently serves as Co-Chair for the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) – New Jersey Network, where she has been a Board Member since 2012.

Prior to joining the firm, Stefanelli was counsel in the Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Group of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.


NAI James E. Hanson announced that Ken Fioretti has rejoined their Parsippany office as a sales associate.

Fioretti brings nearly 15 years of commercial real estate experience to his role and will focus on sales and leasing in the northern New Jersey retail market.

Fioretti was a sales associate with NAI James E. Hanson before taking a position as Director of Acquisitions & Development with PMG Retail in 2015.

At PMG Retail, he was responsible for overseeing the acquisition team and identifying target expansion markets for new developments.

In addition, Fioretti currently serves as Principal and Chief Technology Officer of MarkertView Solutions. He was previously a Vice President of Commercial Leasing at Edgewood Properties, Inc. and a Vice President of Marketing and Leasing at Crossroads Companies.

Fioretti brings experience working on leasing and sales for major retailers such as ShopRite, Mercedes Benz USA, Novartis, Pathmark, Foodtown and Domino’s as well numerous owners and operators of commercial properties to the position


ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York announced that Rockefeller Group Senior Vice President and Head of Design & Construction John H. Pierce will be the new chairman.

The Ace Mentor Program connects sponsor firms and professionals with aspiring high school students to expose them to careers in the architecture, engineering, design and construction industries.

Pierce has been with Rockefeller Group since April 2016 and has experience in real estate operations, construction and project management throughout the US and Latin America.

He has held senior construction and project management roles with Turner Construction, Morgan Stanley and Hines.

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