Real Estate Weekly
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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Commercial hires and promotions

Cushman & Wakefield announced that the firm has appointed Senior Managing Director Joseph Caridi as the Long Island Market Leader.

With over 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, Cairdi was brought into Cushman & Wakefield for his expertise in strategizing and driving growth and recruitment in the New York Tri-State region.

In addition to his role as Senior Managing Director in New York, as Long Island’s Market Leader, Caridi’s responsibilities will expand to include overseeing the brokerage and operations of the market, while recruiting talent and growing Cushman & Wakefield’s market share. Additionally, Caridi will focus on streamlining the office’s referral system.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2014, Caridi worked at Colliers International where he was promoted to the Tri-State region’s chief operating offer in 2011.

Before Colliers, he served as executive director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and SVP, Co-Managing Director at Reckson Associates Realty Corp.

He previously received his JD with a specialty in real estate in 2004 from City University New York (CUNY) School of Law.


Morrison Cohen LLP has announced the launch of its new Valuation Disputes Practice Group, which will focus on real estate valuation disputes, particularly “rent reset” arbitrations.

Chaired by Brett Dockwell, the Valuation Disputes Practice Group brings together attorneys from the firm’s real estate and business litigation departments who have negotiated, arbitrated and litigated valuation disputes involving all types of commercial real estate, including land, retail space, office space, hotels and multi-family residential buildings.

“This new group will help solidify the firm as a market leader in this specialized area of practice at a time when surging property values have led to an increasing number of disputes between landlords and tenants of significant commercial leases,” said Mary E. Flynn, co-chair of business litigation and deputy managing partner – operations.


Hunt Mortgage Group has opened a production office in Buffalo, New York and has hired Zach Casale to oversee the local effort.

Casale was named Director, Mortgage Banking. He is responsible for sourcing and closing deals of all kinds and will spearhead originations across upstate New York. He will report to Steven Cox, Managing Director at Hunt Mortgage Group.

Prior to joining Hunt Mortgage Group, Casale spent six years as a mortgage banker serving as Managing Director for Originations for Largo Real Estate Advisors, Inc.

Casale is a 2009 graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program.


Mayer Brown announced that Robert Bressman has rejoined the firm in New York as a partner in the global Real Estate practice.

Previously, he was a partner with Goulston & Storrs and earlier he was a partner with Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York. Bressman was a partner at Mayer Brown from 1992 to 2006.

Bressman advises national insurance companies and financial institutions in negotiating, documenting and closing acquisition, construction and permanent financing; represents investment banks on mezzanine financing and preferred equity transactions; counsels institutional owners and public and private companies in development and ownership of Class A office buildings; advises private equity funds and pension fund advisors in development and ownership of hotels, office buildings and luxury condominiums; represents landlords in leasing; and counsels institutional users on leasing of major corporate headquarters.

Bressman earned his JD from Rutgers Law School and a BA from Columbia University.


Tax lawyer Alan S. Cohen has joined Holland & Knight as a partner in the firm’s New York office.
Cohen represents syndicators and corporate investors in structuring tax-advantaged real estate investments with an emphasis on low-income housing and historic rehabilitation tax credits. Previously he was a partner at Nixon Peabody.

During his more than 30 years of practice, Cohen has advised clients in making over $20 billion of real estate investments that provide tax advantages.

Cohen received a J.D. degree from New York Law School and a B.A. degree from George Washington University.


Brennan Keating has been promoted to Administrative Vice President of Specialty Commercial Real Estate for M&T Bank’s New York Metro Area Region.

He manages a group of professionals overseeing a $1.8 billion commercial portfolio.

Keating has 13 years of experience with M&T Bank. He joined the company’s Executive Associate Program in 2004. He was assigned to the New York City commercial team in 2005 and most recently served as a Group Manager.

Keating has worked with many of M&T’s long-standing clients to arrange financing for various asset classes with a focus on hotel and other real estate with operating businesses.

Keating received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University, and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with concentrations in Finance and Corporate Accounting from the University of Rochester Simon Business School.


Brooke Cianfichi has been promoted to Group Vice President of Commercial Real Estate for M&T Bank’s New York Metro Area Region.

She manages a group of 19 professionals overseeing a commercial real estate portfolio with a commitment level near $5 billion.

Cianfichi has 13 years of experience with M&T Bank. She joined the company’s Management Development Program in 2004 and was assigned to the New York City commercial real estate team in 2006. Most recently she was an Administrative Vice President and Operations Manager for the department.

Cianfichi has worked with some of M&T’s long-standing clients to arrange financing for large office, retail and multi-family housing developments.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in economics from New York University.


Steve Jacobs has been named general manager of Ten-X Commercial.

He will be responsible for expanding offerings and services to brokers, sellers and buyers.
Prior to joining Ten-X in 2016, Jacobs was managing director at CWCapital. He also served as senior managing director and partner at Rockwood Real Estate Advisors, and was a vice president of real estate investment management at The MONY Group.

Jacobs holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia and a Bachelor of Architecture from Boston Architectural College.

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