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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Baldwin joins Walker & Dunlop, Herrick, Feinstein LLP promote Michael A. Smith

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced that it has hired Matthew Baldwin to join its Capital Markets group, which brokers commercial real estate loans to life insurance companies, banks and CMBS conduits.

Mr. Baldwin will be based out of Walker & Dunlop’s Tampa, Florida office and will be responsible for structuring and placing debt on office buildings, retail centers, hotels, and industrial and multifamily properties.

The acquisition of Johnson Capital in November 2014 and strategic new hires like Matthew Baldwin have contributed to significant growth in the Capital Markets group and an increase in the Company’s brokered loan origination from 14% of its total originations in 2010, to 25% of total originations in the first nine months of 2015. During that period, Walker & Dunlop also invested in an on-balance sheet lending program and CMBS conduit to further increase its debt placement options.

Mr. Baldwin has over 13 years of banking and commercial real estate experience. Prior to joining Walker & Dunlop, Mr. Baldwin served as associate director at Berkadia Commercial Mortgage where he arranged debt and equity placement on all commercial real estate property types. He previously held positions as senior investment analyst and associate at Northmarq Capital, LLC and CB Richard Ellis, respectively.

Maxwell Breed, age 34, an attorney with Warshaw Burstein, LLP, has been promoted to partner as of January 1, 2016. Over the course of his career, Mr. Breed has developed a diverse practice that concentrates on real estate, commercial matters and litigation. As a litigator, Mr. Breed has excelled in representing businesses and individuals in all types of real estate and business disputes, including “business divorces” and novel or complex landlord-tenant matters.

Mr. Breed, who joined Warshaw Burstein in November 2012 following affiliations with two other firms, also serves as outside counsel for property owners, operators and developers, acting as a day-to-day advisor and strategist, and handling such tasks as acquisitions and dispositions, due diligence, asset repositioning, commercial leasing, and rent regulatory compliance. As an offshoot of those representations, Mr. Breed advises on matters less directly connected to real property, with recent engagements including the formation of a securities hedge fund and real estate debt fund, and the reorganization of a company’s employment structure. Mr. Breed intends to continue and expand his practice as a Warshaw Burstein partner.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP announced the promotion of Michael A. Smith to partner in the firm’s 50-attorney real estate department. The promotion was effective January 1, 2016.

Michael is based in Herrick’s New York City office, and his practice has a particular focus on development projects across the city. He represents developers throughout a project’s life cycle, including land acquisition and assemblage, transfers of development rights, joint ventures, construction and other mortgage and mezzanine financing, access agreements, easements, restrictive declarations and development agreements, and zoning lot development agreements.

In 2014, Real Estate Forum featured Michael as one of its “Tomorrow’s Leaders,” a list of two dozen professionals age 35 and under who are making a noticeable impact on New York City’s real estate market. He has also served as a board member of the Young Mortgage Bankers Association since 2013.

Orrick announced that real estate lawyer Andrew Berman has joined the firm as a partner in New York. The firm also announced that Michael Haworth, an Orrick partner previously based in Tokyo, has relocated to New York and will serve as the Deputy Leader of the Real Estate Group. Together, these moves further bolster the firm’s global real estate capabilities.

Andrew’s practice focuses on real estate sales and acquisitions, equity investments and debt financing, development and construction projects, as well as commercial leasing. He acts for large public and private companies, institutional investors, REITS, investment banks and real estate funds. A thought leader in the real estate industry and an alum of some of New York’s leading real estate law practices, Andrew left private practice from 2002 to 2014 to serve as a Professor at New York Law School, where he founded the Center for Real Estate Studies. He also directed its Institute for In-House Counsel.

Andrew joins Orrick from Akerman LLP, where he was a partner. He previously practiced with Davis Polk, Wachtell Lipton, and Sidley. He is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. He received an AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1984 and a JD from New York University School of Law in 1988. At NYU, Andrew was a member of the editorial staff of the Journal of International Law and Politics, and graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif.

In addition to serving as Deputy Practice Group Leader for Orrick’s global Real Estate practice, Michael will continue to focus on advising international investors on real estate investments in Japan and throughout Asia, as well as advising international investors in the US market. He recently led the firm’s representation of the US real estate subsidiary of Tokyu Land Corporation, one of the largest Japanese conglomerates, on its significant equity investment in and financing of the 425 Park Avenue development project, notably the first full-block office development on Manhattan’s Park Avenue in three decades.

He earned a JD from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1999, and a BA from University of California, Los Angeles, in 1994. Michael is admitted to practice in California; he is not admitted in New York.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. is expanding its New York office with the addition of Patricia L. Kantor and Anthony J. Viola, who join the firm’s Real Estate and Litigation practices, respectively. Both attorneys will serve as Members.

Ms. Kantor started her legal career representing developers and hundreds of tenant associations during the cooperative and condominium housing conversion boom of the 1980’s. She specializes in acquisitions and sales, retail and office leasing, financing (representing both lenders and borrowers), restructurings, workouts and development.

Ms. Kantor is co-author of Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, a four-volume series published by West Publishing and the Cooperative Conversion Handbook distributed by the New York State Office of the Attorney General. She has been a featured speaker on various real estate topics for the Bar Association of the City of New York and the Council of New York Cooperatives. In 2014, Ms Kantor was featured by NYCREW in its Leading Ladies in Real Estate Breakfast Series.

Ms. Kantor holds a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University.

Mr. Viola focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, contract disputes, distribution arrangements, shareholder and investor lawsuits, antitrust and business dissolutions. His clients have included global electronics manufacturers; pharmaceutical/beauty product manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers; surgical equipment manufacturers; accounting firms; and Fortune 500 media companies and their individual directors.

Mr. Viola has been honored by a wide range of notable organizations. These include World Trademark Review, which has named him among its WTR 1000 Leading Trademark Practitioners since the ranking’s inception; BTI Consulting Group, which designated him one of its Client Service All-Stars for 2014; Corporate Counsel, which included him in an elite group of attorneys nominated by Fortune 1000 and billion dollar organizations; Managing Intellectual Property magazine, which recognized him as an

“IP Star” in 2014; and Law360, which featured him in a 2011 Prominent Litigator Series.
Mr. Viola holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif. In addition, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, where he also graduated magna cum laude.

Stonehenge NYC announced that Patrick Freydberg has been appointed Senior Vice President, Acquisitions.

As a Senior Vice President, Acquisitions, Patrick’s primary focus is to originate investment opportunities in multifamily assets primarily located in Manhattan. Patrick’s proven expertise in this field will allow Stonehenge to continue its growth as an important player in the market.

From 2004-2011, Patrick was the president and CEO of Northbrook Partners. At Northbrook, Patrick acquired and managed over $1 billion of New York City value-add multi-family investments with institutional investors such as BlackRock and RREEF. Following his tenure at Northbrook, Patrick was the COO at Silver Bay Realty Trust Corporation, the first publically traded REIT focused exclusively on the acquisition, renovation, leasing and management of single-family properties. Prior to joining Stonehenge NYC, Patrick founded and served as the principal of Atlantic Urban, a real estate consulting firm focused on residential rental properties in New York City.

Patrick received a B.S. in Engineering and a M.B.A. in Finance from Cornell University. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and National Mutlifamily Housing Council.

Metropolitan Realty Associates LLC (MRA) announced that Todd Bassen has joined the firm as Managing Principal, Chief Investment Officer and partner of the firm to spearhead the company’s growing enterprise in the New York metropolitan real estate market and build on its 15-year highly successful track record of value investing. With more than $11 billion in completed acquisitions, Mr. Bassen brings 30 years of extensive experience in purchasing office, retail and multifamily properties in this competitive market.

Mr. Bassen’s impressive resume includes five years as senior director of acquisitions in the New York City office of Invesco Real Estate, where he was responsible for the purchase of office, retail and multifamily properties in some of New York City’s hottest markets; among them were significant stakes in Brooklyn’s Watchtower portfolio, which has been transformed into the veritable tech mecca Dumbo Heights office complex; Long Island City’s The Factory, a one-million-square-foot conversion of Macy’s former furniture warehouse into modern collaborative workspace; the retail condominium at The Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square; and the 400-unit residential property formerly known as Madison Belvedere.

Earlier, he was a senior vice president of acquisitions for 12 years at Vornado Realty Trust, one of the largest owners of New York City commercial property. He also spent five years as a managing director at Deutsche Bank-RREEF.

Mr. Bassen joins shortly after MRA’s noteworthy $133 million sale of Riverdale Crossing to The Vanbarton Group. With longtime equity partner Angelo, Gordon & Co., MRA revived the former Stella D’oro site into a 165,000-square-foot outdoor shopping center that brought new retailers to the area, employs more than 500 workers and provides an economic boost to the northwest Bronx.
With Mr. Bassen’s appointment, MRA has opened an office at 555 Madison Avenue, in addition to its Long Island office, to focus on its growing business in the five boroughs.

Mr. Bassen graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration (B.B.A). He has been a frequent guest speaker at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Columbia University, New York University, Baruch College and numerous industry events.
He is a director on the New York City Police Reserve Association’s board and serves on the Real Estate Board of the Brooklyn Diocese. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Real Estate Board of New York, the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York and the Urban Land Institute.

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