Real Estate Chanukah Social
David L. Picket is President of Gotham Organization, a vertically integrated real estate development company providing services throughout concept, financing, design, building, lease-up and ongoing management phases. Since joining the company in 1991, David has led Gotham’s new project development business through a period of unprecedented growth. He became responsible for Gotham’s development and property operations businesses in 1998, and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Gotham Development. David represents the fourth generation of Picket leadership in Gotham’s 100-year history, continuing the firm’s dedication to multifamily housing in New York City.
Under David’s direction, Gotham has developed over 5,000 housing units and over 1.7 million square feet of urban retail. The majority of the firm’s developments have utilized public/private partnerships, combining public funds, tax benefits and/or reduced land prices in exchange for the creation of affordable housing, schools, community facilities, job programs and other public benefits.
David was one of the first developers to capitalize on the resurgence of the multi-family housing market in New York in the mid-1990s and to recognize the untapped potential of the Midtown West neighborhood. In addition to Gotham West, which transformed an entire block in Hell’s Kitchen and includes the celebrated Gotham West Market, he is responsible for the development of several award-winning properties, including The Nicole, Atlas New York, The Foundry, New Gotham and The Corner, and retail projects that include Harlem USA and DC USA. Harlem USA was the first development to utilize funds generated by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and, at the time, represented the largest private investment ever made in Harlem. Prior to joining Gotham, David was a banker in the real estate division of Citicorp and a real estate attorney for what is now Bryan Cave LLP.
David holds a law degree from Columbia and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. David is a member of or affiliated with a number of boards and organizations, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Member, Board of Trustees), Breaking Ground (Member, Board of Directors), Cornell University (Member, College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Board), the Real Estate Board of New York (Member, Board of Governors; Member, Housing Committee; Director, Owners and Builders Division), Realty Foundation of New York (Member, Board of Directors), The Fashion Center BID (Member, Board of Directors), Jewish National Fund (Tree of Life Award, 2007) and UJA- Federation of New York (Honoree, 2011).
Jeff oversees Greystone's real estate development team and projects. He is responsible for sourcing and structuring new acquisitions and joint ventures, while also managing the capitalization, entitlements, design, construction and sale & leasing of the properties. Additionally, Jeff sources debt and equity for opportunistic real estate transactions.
Prior to joining Greystone, Jeff was an integral member of the Equity Office Properties team. He held a significant role in the repositioning of their iconic New York City office building portfolio. Prior to EOP, he oversaw redevelopment projects in various sectors for Jones Lang LaSalle's Project and Development Services team. Throughout his career, Jeff has held roles in real estate investment, construction, and engineering, and has managed the major redevelopment and repositioning of property in all sectors of commercial and residential real estate.
Jeff holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Delaware, as well as a M.S. in Real Estate Development and an Advanced Degree in Finance, both from NYU’s Schack Institute.
Russ Bernard is the Managing Principal at Westport Capital Partners LLC, an SEC registered investment management company focused exclusively on opportunistic and distressed real estate investments. The company was founded in 2005, and invests in real estate through direct and indirect property ownership and through public and private real estate securities and financial instruments. It focuses specifically on distressed assets, value-added transactions, and domestic and international development opportunities. Westport Capital Partners was Endowment and Money Management Magazine’s 2010 Real Asset Manager of the Year.
Prior to founding Westport Capital Partners, Mr. Bernard was a Principal at Oaktree and the Portfolio Manager for Oaktree's real estate funds. He was responsible for the management of a series of closed-end real estate funds. Prior to joining Oaktree in 1995, Mr. Bernard was a Managing Director at TCW and Portfolio Manager of the TCW Special Credits Distressed Mortgage Fund. Prior to that, he was a partner at Win Properties, Inc., a national real estate investment company for eight years. Before joining Win Properties, Mr. Bernard was with Time Equities, Inc., a New York real estate company for three years.
He began his career as a Staff Accountant at Price Waterhouse in New York. Mr. Bernard has been on several corporate, university and charity boards.
Mr. Bernard holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University.
Mr. Schechtman joined Meridian Investment Sales in April 2015 as a Senior Managing Director, overseeing a team of originators, analysts and other professionals. Mr. Schechtman is widely recognized as one of the most active and respected investment sales brokers in New York City, where he executes transactions throughout the City and across all asset classes, including multifamily, retail, office, industrial as well as land and conversions. While Mr. Schechtman routinely sells stabilized properties, he is acclaimed for his ability to work through complex transactions and recognize hidden value in various asset classes. A former bankruptcy litigator, he regularly is retained by major institutions to value and market senior, secured first mortgages. Over his career, Mr. Schechtman has completed more than $5.4 billion in real estate sales transactions. In 2015 alone, Mr. Schechtman completed more than 38 transactions totaling over $1 billion in proceeds. Prior to joining Meridian, he held the position of Principal and Executive Managing Director at Eastern Consolidated, where he was named “Broker of the Year” on multiple occasions. Prior to Eastern, Mr. Schechtman was a practicing attorney at DLA Piper in New York, where he specialized in commercial and property-related bankruptcy and litigation. Mr. Schechtman has been publicly recognized by The Real Deal as a “Titan”; on two occasions as among the “25 Most Visible New York City Real Estate Players Post Credit-Crunch” by The Commercial Observer in its “Power Broker” rankings; by The Real Deal as one of the “25 Most Visible New York City Real Estate Players Post-Credit Crunch”; and by Real Estate Weekly as one of New York City’s “Rising Stars.” Mr. Schechtman holds a J.D. from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and a B.A. from University of Delaware.
This event starts on December 13th at 6:00 PM.