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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Rudder Property Group announces the appointment of Matthew Werner as Director of Sales.

Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) announced that capital markets professionals Evan Layne, Brett Siegel and Jean Celestin have joined the firm as vice chairmen and co-heads of the New York Capital Markets Investment Sales division.

Joining from Eastdil Secured, Siegel, Layne and Celestin have more than 50 years in combined career experience and have successfully transacted more than $125 billion in investment sales throughout their careers.

Recent notable landmark New York transactions include the more than $2 billion recapitalization of the 245 Park Avenue skyscraper, the $1.2 billion sale of Disney’s NYC headquarters and the $300 million sale of the Upper West Side Stonehenge Village Apartments.

The three power brokers will be working in partnership with Vice Chairmen and Co-Heads of Capital Markets Debt & Structured Finance, Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly. Co-Heads of U.S. Capital Markets, Kevin Shannon and Rob Griffin, continue to lead and oversee Capital Markets at a national level.


RD Management LLC has promoted former internal auditor John Barna to controller.

As controller, Barna is responsible for Rcorporate finances, overseeing the day-to-day accounting functions of the entire real estate portfolio and managing the company’s benefits and administration.

Barna joined RD Management in 1997. He is a CPA in the state of New York.

Barna attended Hunter College and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.


Evan Petracca has been named COO of Triangle Equities.

Petracca was previously was an assistant project manager with the company. As COO, he will assume some of his father Lester’s responsibilities, so Lester can be more strategic.

This is the first time the company has had a COO.

Evan Petracca joined Triangle Equities in 2013, initially assisting with the firm’s development projects while simultaneously pursuing a graduate degree.

After completing graduate school, he switched focus to the firm’s operations, while also supporting project financing and asset management.

Prior to joining Triangle, Evan served in the United States Navy for six years as a Surface Warfare Officer and made three deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Naval Academy and a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia Business School.


Kendal Hand has joined Levin Management Corporation (LMC) as a leasing representative.

Hand’s responsibilities include leasing and marketing efforts at several properties within LMC’s New Jersey retail portfolio. This includes Chatham Plaza in Chatham, Eatontown Plaza in Eatontown, Bayshore Plaza in Barnegat, Oak Tree Center in Edison and Hartford Corners in Delran.

A relative industry newcomer with three years of post-college experience, Hand previously served as a leasing representative for DLC Management Corp. There she exclusively leased five open-air shopping centers totaling almost 900,000 s/f.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate from Monmouth University, and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).


RICS announced the results of the 2019 elections for the organization’s regional board in the Americas.

Led by Americas Chair Peter M. Smith FRICS, the regional board sets the strategic direction for RICS in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, the Caribbean and throughout Latin America, and works with other RICS world regions to ensure a global approach to the profession.

The new RICS Americas Board includes Alexandra Faciu MRICS, Executive Director, Asset Management, Cominar REIT, Montreal; Cate Agnew (pictured) FRICS, Head of Valuation, Natixis, New York; Charlotte Timms MRICS, Director, Workplace Strategy and Innovation, Colliers International, Chicago; Chris Smith MRICS, Senior Director, Cost Consultancy, CBRE, Phoenix; Darren Cash MRICS, Cost Management Leader, Turner & Townsend, Toronto; Georgia Bergers MRICS, Director, Revenue Enablement, HammerTech, Los Angeles; Dr. Robert Herman MRICS, Co-founder & CEO, Rescan, San Francisco; Maureen Ehrenberg FRICS, Global Head of Facility Management Services, WeWork, New York.


Avison Young announced the hiring of tenant representation specialist Drew Persson.

Persson has been named a principal of Avison Young in New Jersey.

He will continue to focus on representing office tenants throughout the state and the country. In addition, he will work closely with Avison Young’s New Jersey team to expand the company’s institutional tenant-representation advisory services and market share across the region.

Persson will also serve on Avison Young’s global enterprise solutions team, which comprises more than 225 members around the globe.

Persson brings 30 years of commercial real estate industry experience to Avison Young, most recently as a senior vice-president at Newmark Knight Frank in Rutherford, NJ, where he was a member of the company’s global corporate real estate group for nine years.

Prior to joining Newmark Knight Frank, Persson was a senior managing director with Colliers International for more than a decade and held other positions with CBRE and Atlantic Real Estate Services in New Jersey.

He has extensive experience in multiple specialty areas, including commercial real estate expansion and relocation feasibility; global location strategy and site-selection methodology; supply-chain and real-estate process improvement; property acquisitions and dispositions; economic development; ownership services and retention strategic planning.

Persson holds the CoreNet Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) professional designation and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Rider University.


Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced the arrival of partner Ingrid C. Manevitz to the Litigation department in New York.

Manevitz joins from Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP, where she was a partner in its Litigation and Real Estate groups in New York.

Manevitz represents clients in cooperative and condominium related disputes and handles mediations and arbitrations before the AAA and JAMS.

Manevitz earned her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and received her B.A. from Brandeis University, where she was a Presidential Scholar.


Hodges Ward Elliott (HWE) announced that Anthony Ledesma has joined the firm’s commercial investment advisory team as managing director.

He will be based in the firm’s New York City office and will further build upon the firm’s growing commercial investment sales brokerage platform.

Ledesma brings over a decade of investment advisory experience to HWE, with over $35 billion of transaction experience across all product types and risk profiles.

He most recently served as a managing director on the Investment Sales team at Jones Lang LaSalle, leading the sale, purchase and recapitalization of tristate real estate transactions.

Earlier in his career, Ledesma served on the principal side of the business at Wolf Realty where he managed a family office that encompassed in excess of 80 properties. He started his career as an analyst in CBRE’s Institutional Investment Sales group, and is a 2006 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ledesma is one of the most sought-after brokers for ground lease transactions, having recently executed more leasehold deals than any other broker in New York City.

Recent transactions include the $640 million sale of 5 Bryant Park from Blackstone to Savanna; the $92 million leasehold sale of 30 Flatbush Avenue from Angelo Gordon to Sun Realty; and the $163 million sale of 600 Washington Boulevard in Stamford, CT from Royal Bank of Scotland to Rubenstein Partners.


Hodges Ward Elliott (HWE) announced the hiring of ten new professionals to the firm’s growing Hotel Group, and the opening of new offices in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Washington DC.

These new hires continue the expansion of the company’s rapidly growing nationwide hotel practice group and also comes right on the heels of the June 2019 appointment of Daniel C. Peek as president of HWE’s hotel group, overseeing the firm’s comprehensive hospitality brokerage platform.

Each of these ten new additions joined HWE from HFF. The new team members include Carolina Bernal, Vice President in New York.


Construction veteran Timothy Flynn is joining the Rockefeller Group to help direct its northeast and mid-atlantic development piplelines.

The former Hines executive has been named Senior Vice President, Design & Construction for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, a new position.

Flynn was previously vice president of design & construction for Hines in New York. He will be based in Rockefeller Group’s New York headquarters.

Flynn has been in the business for over 30 years, working on everything from luxury residential and trophy-class office buildings, to hospitality and other alternative assets.

Most recently he served as the construction officer for 53W53rd, a 1,050 ft. luxury condo tower adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan.

Prior to his most recent previous position, from 2003 to 2007, Flynn was a Project Executive for Turner Construction. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Senior Construction Manager for Hines and he began his career with Turner in 1988.

Flynn, who holds bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering and physics from Clarkson University and SUNY Geneseo, respectively, will work with Rockefeller’s Meg Brod and Hilary Goldfarb covering the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

He will lead all design and construction aspects of Rockefeller Group’s planned projects and existing developments in the region, where the company has a project development pipeline totaling more than three million square feet and valued at more than $2 billion.


Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) announced the addition of two commercial real estate veterans to its Global Healthcare Services (GHS) practice group, Jay Miele and John Nero, joining as Senior Managing Director and Managing Director, respectively.

Miele and Nero will specialize in advising health systems, developers and institutions on portfolio optimization, capital needs, growth, and financial strategies.

With 35 years of combined experience, Miele and Nero join from Hammond Hanlon Camp, LLC (H2C), where they specialized in healthcare real estate advisory.


Rudder Property Group announced the appointment of Matthew Werner as Director of Sales.

Werner will be responsible for office condominium marketing and sales and he will maintain RPG’s position as New York’s office condominium market leader.

Prior to joining RPG, Werner worked on the sales and operations teams of PropTech companies CompStak and Rhino helping refine their product, build out their sales team and implement scalable business processes. He began his career at Retail Worx, a restaurant holding company, where he was instrumental in planning and launching three new restaurant locations.

Werner is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Sentient Buildings announced the appointment of Steven de Bara as Chief Financial Officer.

Previously, de Bara was Chief Financial Officer of Hunt Investment Management, a real estate investment company with more than $2.4 billion in assets managed.

He joined Hunt following its acquisition of The Tuckerman Group, a subsidiary of State Street Global Advisors.

de Bara served as senior vice president, CFO and chief compliance officer of Tuckerman, where he was responsible for overseeing the real estate investment advisory services firm’s accounting, treasury, reporting and administrative functions.

Earlier in his career, he was vice president of accounting at Starwood Ceruzzi LLC. He was also an assistant controller at Edward J. Minskoff Equities.


Heitman LLC announced that Walter “Tripp” Braillard has joined the firm as Senior Vice President, Defined Contribution Solutions

Braillard will be responsible for supporting the firm’s initiatives across its real estate investment strategies within the defined contribution channel including consulting firms, OCIO providers, and other financial intermediaries.

Prior to joining Heitman, Braillard was a Senior Vice President at PIMCO where he focused on the defined contribution investment only (DCIO) and insurance sub-advisory marketplaces.

Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Head of Retirement Strategic Accounts at BNY Mellon Investment Management. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of client service and marketing roles with Fidelity Investments.

Braillard received his Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and has an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.


Nuveen has appointed Wendy Pryce as real estate specialist for its US Advisory Services team.

In this newly created role, Pryce will focus on developing and enhancing client and consultant relationships across the real estate sector, working closely Nuveen’s broader sales team.

She reports to Bill Stout, Head of Alternative Investments Business Development..

Pryce joins Nuveen from Morgan Stanley Investment Management where over more than a decade she held a range of roles, most recently as Executive Director overseeing MSIM’s global sales operations.

Earlier at MSIM, Pryce served as Head of Alternative Product Development where she led the capital raising for numerous private real estate and other alternative funds. She also served as a real estate portfolio manager and acquisition associate.

Prior to joining MSIM, she advised large global financial services clients on business strategy for KPMG Consulting (Bearingpoint). She began her career as an analyst at BNP Paribas.

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