Real Estate Deal-Makers Conference: VIP Leadership Series
Alex Twining CEO of Twining Properties is a visionary real estate investor and developer who has shaped major urban mixed-use projects in the Northeast Corridor from the 6.3 MSF Seaport Square in Boston, to the 8 MSF Colgate Center in Metro NYC and the 800,000 SF Pennsylvania Triangle halfway between the White House and the Capitol.
Twining Properties acquires and develops prime urban mixed use properties at transit nodes in the Northeast. Twining created the Watermark urban apartment brand with over 1,250 apartments in five towers at prime locations including Seaport Square, Kendall Square and Central Square in Metro Boston and Watermark LIC in NYC. The company is currently developing a four block waterfront project in Westchester and three buildings in Cambridge MA.
Twining was CEO of MetroNexus, a Morgan Stanley Company where he oversaw a 3 MSF portfolio in the US and Canada. Twining launched AvalonBay’s high rise luxury apartment business. Twining is a ULI Trustee & Governor, serves on the Dean’s Council of the Yale School of Architecture and has lectured at Columbia, MIT, NYU and Yale. He received both a BA and MArch from Yale University.
Arik Lifshitz is the CEO of DSA Property Group, which is a real estate holdings firm and parent company of DSA Development and DSA Management Co. Inc. Arik is responsible for the coordination and management of all corporate matters. DSA’s portfolio predominantly consists of multi-family and mixed use buildings throughout New York City and beyond, with a focus in downtown Manhattan. Arik founded DSA Realty Services, a Real Estate brokerage firm in 2007, which merged into City Connections Realty in 2017. Arik is a principal of City Connections Realty a 120 agent firm.
Bruce Brickman is CEO and founder of Brickman, the General Partner in the six Brickman Real Estate Funds, focusing on office in the six large markets. Brickman has acquired over $5B of real estate since it began in 1993. Mr. Brickman has over 30 years of experience in a broad array of real estate investments, including the development, acquisition, and management of office towers, hotels and residential properties. In addition to his stewardship of Brickman, he has focused on the office sector – from evaluation of investment opportunities, to relationships with brokers, to the oversight of leasing. Additionally, Mr. Brickman supervises the Firm’s relationships with its investment partners.
Mr. Brickman earned a B.A. from Middlebury College and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.
Christopher V. Albanese is President of the Albanese Organization, a full-service real estate development and management firm with over 65 years of experience in residential, commercial office, educational and institutional real estate. The company has built and/or renovated over five million square feet of real estate in the New York metropolitan area and has approximately 45 employees. Notable projects include 512 West 22nd Street, a 180,000 square foot, Class A commercial office building currently under development in West Chelsea on the High Line; and the recently completed 140,000 square foot, 293-room Hilton Homewood Suites Hotel on West 37th Street off 8th Avenue. The company is also currently serving as development manager for 50 West Street, a $300+ million, 500,000 square foot, luxury residential condominium tower in lower Manhattan. Mr. Albanese received a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University and a J.D. from St. John's University School of Law, where he was a member of and published in the St. John's Law Review. Mr. Albanese is a Board Member of both the Center for Hearing and Communication and New Ground, Inc. He has been an invited speaker at numerous professional real estate forums to discuss real estate development and financing.
Daniel Benedict is the Founder and President of BRG. BRG is a privately held company founded over twenty years ago which owns and manages approximately 5,500 multifamily units in New York City plus commercial properties. BRG’s strategy is to focus on core and value-added opportunities. Recent acquisitions include the purchase of approximately 850 units across three transactions in the Sunnyside, Jackson Heights and Queens areas as well as the purchase of 117 units in Gramercy, Manhattan and 300 units in Brooklyn. In addition, BRG recently started focusing on Office properties with a special emphasis on Medical buildings. Recent acquisitions were made in Garden City N.Y, Coral Springs Florida, Rye Brook NY and Englewood NJ. A resident of New York, Mr. Benedict is on the Board of the Community Improvement Program and on the Board of First Central Savings Bank. Mr. Benedict is also the Vice Chair of the New York Real Estate division of AIPAC.
Daniel Rudin joined Angelo, Gordon’s real estate group in 2009. Danny is responsible for acquisitions, asset management and dispositions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Danny works with both the value-add and opportunistic funds with the firm, deploying capital in all asset classes with the exception of hotel assets, and has overseen or been responsible for investments totaling over $3bln. Danny is also the co-chair and co-founder of the Covenant House New York Real Estate Executive Sleepout, a cause dedicated to helping homeless children off of the city streets. Prior to joining the firm, Danny worked for Deutsche Bank’s RREEF Global Opportunistic Funds where he focused on real estate acquisitions and asset management. Danny received his B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
As Executive Vice President and head of acquisitions at The Naftali Group, David oversees the company’s acquisitions group and is responsible for the sourcing, structuring and execution of the firm’s investments.
Previously, David was Director of Acquisitions at RFR Holding, where he was instrumental in executing more than $2.5 billion of property acquisitions and credit investments encompassing over 3.5 million square feet of assets across the office, residential, retail and hotel sectors. Prior to RFR David worked at The City Investment Fund, a real estate private equity fund, where he was responsible for underwriting and executing the fund’s acquisitions. David began his career at The Lightstone Group as a financial analyst supporting the firm’s nationwide property and credit investments.
David graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Philosophy, and completed an MBA at Columbia Business School and an M.S. in Real Estate from New York University.
Elisha Blechner serves as Executive Vice President, Head of Portfolio Management. He is responsible for asset management efforts across our real estate finance, net lease, operating properties and land & development portfolios, development risk management, reporting and servicing. Mr. Blechner assumed his role in 2016 after holding several positions within the Investments team since joining iStar in 2004. While on the Investments team, he was responsible for originating, structuring, underwriting and closing investments throughout the capital structure. Prior to joining iStar, Mr. Blechner served as an Investment Banking analyst for Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. where he assisted hospitality, gaming and transportation companies with a range of capital markets activities. He holds a B.S. degree, magna cum laude, in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Eran Polack is CEO and Co-Founder of HAP Investments, an international, full-service real estate investment and development company with a focus on projects in emerging and prime neighborhoods throughout the New York metropolitan area. HAP has acquired, designed and developed a diverse portfolio of residential and commercial real estate that is renowned for its location, proximity to mass transit, and innovative construction and design. Today, HAP Investments has more than 1.8 million square feet of projects in various stages of development, completion or operation in the New York metropolitan area.
Mr. Polack is an established entrepreneur with a long history of successful real estate ventures in Eastern Europe, Israel, and the United States. Mr. Polack’s strengths are the early identification of emerging regions and the development of projects tailored for those markets. Mr. Polack was one of the first developers to identify East Harlem as well as the Journal Square neighborhood of Jersey City as areas in preliminary stages of urban revitalization. He was also an early leader in the revival of Neve Tzedek, a highly coveted neighborhood in the heart of Tel Aviv.
As Chief Operating Officer/Partner of Wonder Works Construction Corporation, Eric Brody leads the operations of one of the New York area’s most highly respected construction management, general contracting, and real estate development firms. In addition to day-to-day operations, he is in charge of multiple projects execution, business development with partner Joseph Klaynberg and heads up the firm’s development division. Mr. Brody’s tenure at Wonder Works began in 2010 as Director of Construction. In 2012 he was named partner and took his current position.
Wonder Works Construction Corp. has a 30-year legacy of noteworthy development and construction, having completed more than $1 billion of residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in recent years as a third party contractor and construction manager. Its current construction management and contracting projects include such highly touted developments as 287 East Houston Street in the Lower East Side and 117 West 21st Street in Flatiron.
As a developer, Wonder Works has a long history of innovation and versatility. On Mr. Brody’s watch, the firm completed Spectra at Constitution Plaza, a much anticipated 190-unit luxury rental in Hartford, CT and 316 East 3rd Street on the Lower East Side, 540 West in Hell’s Kitchen, 357 West 17th Street in West Chelsea and more on the way. The firm is completing a 48-unit luxury condominium at 302 East 96th Street and is just finishing a 7-story mixed use project on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. In little over a decade, Wonder Works’ development division has been recognized for introducing luxury projects to emerging neighborhoods; starting with Davenport Lofts on Main in 2004, which sparked a rebirth of New Rochelle, NY’s downtown district. In 2005, Wonder Works spearheaded luxury residential development along Manhattan’s far west side with the Chelsea Club at 444 West 19th Street. The firm’s next development project was District at 111 Fulton Street. Groundbreaking on multiple levels, the award-winning 163-unit adaptive re-use condominium residence was distinguished by exceptional amenities, exotic finishes and a section of unique live-work apartments. Wonder Works has been involved as principals in over $750 million of project value.
Mr. Brody joined Wonder Works Construction following several years of developing and marketing his own multi-family projects. As the founder and principal of The Brody Group, a boutique development firm specializing in multi-family and adaptive re-use projects, he was an active participant in the revitalization of the Lower East Side. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Institute of Design & Construction.
Eric founded Margules Properties, Inc. in 1992 to purchase and manage rent-stabilized apartment buildings in New York City. Since then, Margules has led the acquisition of 66 buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Jersey City and Miami Beach. He identifies and analyzes potential investment opportunities, negotiates all acquisitions and arranges the total capitalization of each acquisition through senior debt financing and equity for each LLC syndication. Margules maintains a network of over 200 investors, many of whom have invested in several Margules Properties syndications.
Margules continues his involvement in newly acquired properties by working to reposition the asset where appropriate in order to maximize revenue. His in-house management team is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the existing properties and Margules oversees this process to ensure efficient and reliable maintenance and management to all buildings in the portfolio.
Margules is credited as an early pioneer in neighborhoods that were poised to grow and has done this over again with tremendous success. Neighborhoods such as Manhattan’s Midtown West, East Village, Chelsea and Lower East Side, once considered fringe areas, are now some of the most sought after areas of New York City.
Before founding Margules Properties, Eric Margules worked as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody and as a real estate consultant. He holds an MBA in Real Estate and Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Computer Science from New York University.
Fred Leffel is President of Kaufman New Ventures, the division of the Kaufman Organization that focuses on acquiring and repositioning value-add commercial properties in New York City. One of the oldest real estate companies in New York, Kaufman Organization owns and operates over 7 Million square feet of office buildings in Manhattan in addition to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.
Since its founding in 2009, Kaufman New Ventures has acquired approximately 2.1 MM square feet of value-add office properties in Manhattan and Queens. It particular, it has been one of the most active firms in acquiring and repositioning office buildings in Manhattan’s Flatiron/Madison Square/”Silicon Alley” submarkets.
Immediately prior to joining the Kaufman Organization, Mr. Leffel he was a Senior Vice President at Savills LLC where he represented clients in sales of investment properties and portfolios, and in sales of public and private real estate companies. Before joining Savills, he spent more than a dozen years in real estate investment banking, first at Drexel Burnham Lambert and later at CIBC World Markets. Earlier in his career, Mr. Leffel practiced law at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Mr. Leffel is an alumnus of the University of Virginia and the Cornell Law School.
Mr. Tenzer is a founding member of Contrarian and the Portfolio Manager of the firm’s real estate fund series. Since Contrarian’s formation in 1995, Mr. Tenzer has been responsible for sourcing, managing, and coordinating the disposition of the Firm’s real estate investments, as well as taking an active role in Contrarian’s corporate investments. Mr. Tenzer has chaired and served on several creditor and unofficial bondholder committees. Prior to co-founding Contrarian, from 1993 to 1995, Mr. Tenzer served as Co-Head of the High-Yield Real Estate Group at Oppenheimer & Co. (“Oppenheimer”), as well as a Senior Analyst at the firm. Prior to Oppenheimer, Mr. Tenzer worked at Arthur G. Cohen and was responsible for the analysis, financing, acquisition, disposition, restructuring, and asset management of a nationwide portfolio of investments in the real estate, lodging, restaurant, aviation, and manufacturing industries. Mr. Tenzer received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a BS in Business Administration cum laude from Georgetown University.
Gregory Kalikow is the fourth generation in his family’s real estate business. Mr. Kalikow graduated Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 with a degree in Marketing and Political Science. He Graduated Hofstra Law School in 2010 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2011.
Mr. Kalikow has been working with The Kalikow Group since 2003 on the overseeing and management of his families’ real estate holdings. Additionally, Mr. Kalikow has helped provide his company with legal expertise in order to develop rental, single family, and condominium units as well as shopping centers in various projects both in and outside of New York.
Harry Kotowitz is the co-founder of the HK Organization, a Brooklyn-based real estate developer. He and co-founder Howard Klaus own and have developed more than 1,000 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.
One of Kotowitz's splashiest acquisitions was the Chocolate Facotry apartments at 275 Park Avenue in Clinton Hill, a $68 million deal in 2014.
Ian Bruce Eichner, a seasoned developer of urban mixed-use properties, has a proven track record in real estate spanning more than three decades. His vast portfolio of projects in New York, Miami and Las Vegas include City Spire, One Broadway Place, The Manhattan Club, The Kingsley, Royale, American, and Boulevard as well as Montague Street built in Brooklyn Heights. Outside of New York he has developed the Continuum, a 2-tower gated condominium community in South Beach, and the Cosmopolitan, a 3,000 room resort and casino on the Las Vegas strip. His latest project 45 East 22nd Street, recently completed, is the tallest and, considered by many, the most iconic building in the Flatiron District. Transforming the downtown skyline, the tower consists of a glass silhouette of 65 stories which rises 777 feet into the sky. The striking exterior, crafted by the global architectural firm of Kohn Peterson Fox, wraps around timeless interiors created by the Martin Brudzinski Design Studio. The building contains 82 apartments and approximately 230,000 sale-able square feet with the following five floors of amenities including:
- Landscaped garden and fifth floor terrace designed by Oehme Van Sweden
- Fitness center
- Children’s playroom
- Indoor basketball court
- Golf simulator
- Drawing room with separate billiards and cards rooms
- Upper Club on the 54th floor with bar, private dining room and catering kitchen
- Automated private residential parking garage
His newest project 960 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn is a proposed 1.3 million square feet development consisting of 1600 residential housing units including a proposed 50/50 split between market rate, work-force and low-income apartments.
Mr. Eichner’s acute business sense has produced a series of visionary real estate developments that have been characterized by a creative mix of distinctive purpose-built properties. Each of these properties illustrates his extensive real estate expertise and ability to take situations which others may find unachievable and off-putting, and design and execute solutions which realize value for the developer. Mr. Eichner’s notable development achievements that were the first in their class include:
1. First high-rise built in Brooklyn Heights since landmarks height legislation was passed in 1965 (Montague Street, 1998)
2. First urban timeshare in New York, with a new concept of being able to book stays one day at a time (The Manhattan Club, 1996)
3. First and only beachfront gated community in South Beach (The Continuum, 2003-2008)
4. First development on the Las Vegas strip to employ an urban development model, maximizing a small (8.5 acre) site to its full square footage potential of 6 ½ million square feet. (The Cosmopolitan)
Mr. Eichner’s career in real estate follows almost a decade in the criminal justice system, including terms as an Assistant District Attorney and program development chief of a New York State agency during Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s tenure.
Jane Gol serves as President and co-founder of Continental Ventures, a real estate development and management company that specializes in residential/commercial and retail properties in New York, Toronto, and Florida. She is also co-President of Continental Pinewood, a residential development firm in Long Island. As President, Ms. Gol plays an instrumental role in the negotiation and structuring of each acquisition, and is also responsible for the oversight of new development projects. With her strong knowledge of the New York real estate market and sharp eye for detail, she also governs design and marketing for Continental Ventures and Continental Pinewood projects.
Notable current developments include a 2.5 million square foot mixed use site on the waterfront in downtown Toronto, 52 Wooster, NYC and Barn & Vine luxury homes in Bridgehampton, NY.
Ms Gol is also co-President of Bayport Funding, a private equity non-traditional lending platform focusing on supporting the renovation/improvement of residential properties in the New York Metropolitan area.
Ms. Gol is proud to have served as a Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
She is also a former member of the IDBNY Bank Board of Directors. Ms Gol is a member of WX, an invitation only women in real estate executive group, and she serves on the Board of American Friends of Sheba and Shalva. Ms. Gol is a graduate of Cornell University.
Jason Betesh joined Palatine in February 2010. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and executing investments in Palatine’s parking and special situations strategies. Mr. Betesh is also involved in all portfolio management and finance functions. Prior to joining Palatine, Mr. Betesh focused on acquisitions and investment management at Vantage Properties, a vertically-integrated New York-based real estate investment and management company. During his time at Vantage, he was directly involved in investments with an aggregate value of $700 million. Previously, Mr. Betesh was an analyst in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Banc of America Securities. Mr. Betesh graduated from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University with a B.B.A. in Finance and Real Estate in 2005.
Jeff Mooallem serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Gazit Horizons, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary and the United States investment division of Gazit Globe, Ltd. (NYSE; TSX; TASE: GZT). A 20 year veteran of the real estate industry, Mr. Mooallem most recently held executive positions at Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), Equity One, Inc., and privately held Turnberry Associates in Miami, FL. Gazit Horizons was formed in May 2017 to acquire commercial and mixed-use assets in major metro markets throughout the United States. The company has offices in Miami and New York and has acquired $130 million worth of properties since its inception.
Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and his Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law. Prior to starting his real estate career, Jeff practiced law at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York and Greenberg Traurig in Florida.
Jeff oversees all operations, creates the strategic vision and manages all investment decisions. With a focus on multi-family investment, he has actively managed over $2 billion of real estate assets across the United States. His investments have included strategic repositioning, rehabilitations and ground-up development projects. Given his active investment style, Jeff has lead every part of the real estate lifecycle including acquisition, development, financing, marketing, lease up, operations and dispositions.
Key professional accomplishments include:
o Served as CEO of Greystone Development from 2013 - 2017. During his tenure he grew the portfolio from a one to two development deals at a time to a full service development platform with over $1BN AUM
o Acquired; capitalized (including structuring debt and equity partnerships); and managed entitlements, design, construction management, development teams, building operations, sales / leasing, and marketing process for over 20 properties (2M SF) in NYC, Miami, and California
o Built out a corporate infrastructure with over 30 professionals including acquisitions, dispositions, finance, accounting, legal, development, marketing, and property management. Actively managed negotiations for all key commercial real estate contracts including property management agreements, leasing agreements, construction contracts, consultants service contracts, financing documents and partnership agreements
o Assembled the full capital stack for over $1BN of real estate assets including $401MM of senior debt and $112MM of preferred equity / mezz
o Sourced, closed and asset managed a $150MM garden apartment portfolio in the southeast U.S. from 2013-2015. Built out the platform with a programmatic / institutional equity partner
o Raised $50MM of equity for bridge debt fund vehicle in 2014
o Managed the rehabilitation, leasing, and disposition of a 1MM SF industrial to logistics conversion in Pennsylvania
o Managed corporate leasing for offices in NY, FL, DC, Atlanta, Raleigh, NJ, and CA
o Participated in corporate finance, loan, and investment committees and has spoken on numerous industry panels including Emerging Trends Summit, 10th Annual EY Real Estate Conference, Real Estate Deal-Makers Summit and East Meets West, Connect New York and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Real Deal and Crain’s New
Past professional experience also includes roles with Equity Office Properties and Jones Lang LaSalle. 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.
Joe is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DDG and has led the company since its formation.
DDG is a privately-held vertically-integrated real estate firm specializing in investment, development, design, construction and asset management, and operates in major metropolitan markets across the country. DDG focuses on the acquisition and development of real estate and underlying equity, debt or hybrid securities, with a portfolio that includes commercial, mixed-use, multi-family, residential and retail assets.
A believer in creating experiential properties that enhance the built environment, Joe has guided DDG to become a leader in the industry for fusing art and architecture in innovative ways. DDG has offices in California, Florida and New York.
Prior to DDG’s founding, Joe was a senior member of the U.S. private equity investment team at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, an institutional alternative asset management firm with $32 billion of assets under management. He was also a principal at Greenhill & Co. and initial member of Greenhill Capital Partners investment team managing $1.1 billion of equity capital.
Joe has guest lectured at Columbia University and New York University and serves on the Board of Directors of The Municipal Art Society of New York and the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, he holds a B.S. in Commerce, Concentration in Finance. Joe also served in the U.S. Army.
Joseph A. Farkas is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Metropolitan Realty Associates LLC ("MRA"). With over 25 years as a national leader in the real estate industry, Joseph has a broad range of banking, financial, legal, political, brokerage, construction and management contacts to effectively acquire, develop, reconstruct, lease and manage commercial and residential property on a local and national basis.
Prior to MRA, Mr. Farkas was an active participant in the New York City real estate market where he was responsible for the leasing and management of over 10 million square feet of office space, including 1500 Broadway, 485 Fifth Avenue, 2 Rector Street, 50 Broadway, 360 Lexington Avenue, 25 Broad Street, 850 Third Avenue, 100 Gold Street and 2 Broadway.
Utilizing this broad background and professional experience Metropolitan Realty Associates LLC has purchased commercial real estate throughout the country with an estimated current valuation of over $350 million and 1,500,000 square feet.
A graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Mr. Farkas resides in Garden City, New York with his wife and two daughters.
Kent M. Swig is an owner of several real estate operating companies as well as commercial and residential real estate properties throughout the United States. His holdings and titles include the following:
Swig Equities, LLC
Mr. Swig is President of Swig Equities, LLC, an investment and development firm focusing on the acquisition and development of real estate in New York City and California. Since 2001, Swig Equities has purchased and/or is in the process of developing in excess of $3 billion of properties.
Mr. Swig is an Owner and Co-Chairman of Terra Holdings, LLC, one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the United States that owns and operates several residential real estate service firms including Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property Company; the combination of these two companies annually sell more than $9 billion of apartments and townhouses in New York City and the company’s management divisions manage more than 450 buildings comprising over 30,000 residential units.
Helmsley Spear, LLC
Mr. Swig is the Owner and serves as President of Helmsley Spear, LLC, the oldest continuously operating real estate firm in America, specializing on the commercial brokerage, leasing and property management sectors.
Mr. Swig serves as President of Fulcrum Equities, LLC a single family office (SFO) that coordinates Mr. Swig’s family business and interests.
The Swig Company
Finally, Mr. Swig is also an Owner and Principal in and formerly served as Chairman of the Board of The Swig Company, a family-owned real estate and hotel company based in San Francisco and New York. The Swig Company's portfolio includes over 10 million square feet of prime commercial office space throughout the United States.
With more than 28 years of experience in the real estate industry, Mark Gordon has worked on numerous landmark hotel deals, most notably the development and ultimate sell out of the luxury Baccarat Hotel and Residences, which was sold in 2015 for the highest price per key ever achieved in the US. Mark has spent the last three years developing the Moxy Downtown, NYC which is opening in 2018. This innovative 298 key hotel was designed to embrace the excitement of the “new Downtown” market and has already received numerous accolades.
In 2017, Mark co-founded Intrinsic Hotel Capital, a hotel investment company that focuses on the acquisition of well-positioned but underperforming, value add hotels located in strategic markets throughout the US. At IHC, Mark and his team will leverage their collective hotel industry expertise to achieve above market returns by utilizing creative acquisition and repositioning strategies.
During his career, he has been involved in many aspects of the hospitality industry including development, acquisitions, renovation, design, asset management, financing, sales and business management. Mark is a regular speaker at hotel industry events and has won numerous awards for his accomplishments in the real estate industry including Crain’s “40 under 40”, Americas Lodging Investment Summits “Deal of the Year” and Commercial Property News “Stars to Watch” and is a frequent speaker at hotel and real estate industry events.
He has spent the past seven years with Tribeca Associates, where he has focused on $1.5 billion of acquisitions and development in Manhattan. Most notably he oversaw the development of the Baccarat Hotel and Residences, which was sold in 2015 for the highest price per key ever achieved in the US and became one of New York’s best luxury hotels virtually overnight, and the adaptive reuse of an office building located at 170 Broadway that was converted into the Marriott Residence Inn World Trade Center. Mark’s final project with TA is overseeing the design, development and opening of the Moxy Downtown, a mixed use 30-story hotel/retail tower in lower Manhattan.
Prior to this, he was a Managing Partner and Head of the Hospitality Group of Sonnenblick-Goldman, a national real estate investment banking firm, from 1994 to 2010, during which time he oversaw the management, growth and ultimate sale of the company to Cushman & Wakefield in 2007, resulting in the creation of Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick-Goldman. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for the creation and management of many high-profile deals, including creating a joint venture between Loews Hotels and Universal Studios to develop five hotels on the grounds of the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, recapitalizing Ian Schrager Hotels, the corporate restructuring of Denihan Hospitality Company, and the landmark sale of the Essex House to Dubai Investment Group.
Prior to joining The Sydell Group, Matthew served as the Vice President of Acquisitions & Development at the Ian Schrager Company for five years. The Ian Schrager Company is an owner, developer and manager of hotel & residential projects in gateway cities. During his tenure, Matthew was responsible for all transaction execution, origination, coordinating market & property due diligence, financial underwriting and various development initiatives.
Prior to joining The Ian Schrager Company, Matthew worked in the investment banking division at Bear Stearns focusing on real estate, gaming and lodging. At Bear Stearns, Matthew worked on mergers, acquisitions and financings for public and private companies in a broad range of industries including gaming, hospitality and homebuilding.
Mr. Horn, 62, is a real estate investor and developer who specializes in co-op and condominium conversions and the acquisition of large blocks of unsold shares and units. He is currently involved in a major renovation of the Printing House, a residential building in the West Village where he and his partners own the majority of the apartments.
Ralph Zucker is President of Somerset Development, one of the New York Metropolitan area's foremost real estate companies specializing in New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Design development. Zucker is responsible for spearheading his firm's focus on creating sustainable, close-knit communities that promote pedestrian-friendly “live-work-play” experiences.
During his career, Zucker has worked hands-on in every facet of the building and development process, and has demonstrated diligence and a commitment to working with municipalities to create innovative communities based on the principles of New Urbanism. Zucker has emerged as one of the nation’s leading visionaries in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of large-scale vacant industrial and office spaces.
Under Zucker’s leadership, Somerset and its projects have earned numerous industry awards and recognition for their contributions to furthering responsible development practices, including the New Jersey Future Smart Growth Award for Wesmont Station, Somerset's 70-acre, transit-oriented, mixed-use redevelopment project located in Wood-Ridge, N.J. and the New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP’s Chairman’s Award for Bell Works, the redevelopment of the former Bell Labs property in Holmdel, N.J. Zucker has been recognized in the top ten of New Jersey’s 50 Most Influential People in the Real Estate Industry by NJBiz and as one of New Jersey’s 100 Most Influential People: Business and Real Estate by NJ.com.
Ms. Sorid co-founded G4 with partners Louis Silverman and Jason Behfarin. Ms. Sorid has been involved in all aspects of G4’s management and investment activities, including originating, structuring, and managing real estate transactions in excess of $1 billion. Ms. Sorid is currently spearheading the launch of G4’s latest fund vehicle, G4 Capital Partners III, LP.
Prior to G4, Ms. Sorid was an associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP from 1998 until 2005 where she was a member of the commercial litigation group and subsequently the firm’s real estate transactional practice. Ms. Sorid represented Fortune 500 companies, investment banks and real estate developers in complex litigation’s and has counseled investors on all aspects of commercial real estate investments including acquisitions, joint ventures, financing’s, and repositioning of fund portfolios.
Ms. Sorid was included in Fortune Magazine’s 2014 list of the Most Powerful Women in Real Estate, was recently honored by BisNow as one of the top female leaders in NYC’s commercial real estate market, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School and continued her post juris doctorate education at New York University’s Institute of Real Estate.
Roy Stillman is a third generation real estate developer who began his education in the field long before his tenth birthday. From that time on, he acquired extensive experience in various construction trades and practices implemented on his projects today. From pushing a wheel barrel to operating a tower crane, Roy not only executes his vision, but understands the construction process thanks to his experience.
Roy’s academic background was similarly channeled to benefit his aspiration of becoming a real estate developer. Having earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1985, Roy subsequently received his Juris Doctor from Duke University’s School of Law. While at Duke, Roy audited all of Duke’s Faqua School of Business real estate classes as a non-matriculated student, continuing to pursue his passion as a post-graduate student. After completing his studies at Duke in 1988, Roy passed the Bar exams for both the state of New York and Connecticut.
Until 2000, Roy worked in his family’s development business for approximately 15 years before starting his own firm, Stillman Development International, LLC. The firm’s mission is to design and build structures of superior architectural and artistic merit. In fulfilling that mission, Stillman Development International has worked with some of the world’s leading architectural firms, including two Pritzker Prize winning architects.
Art is very near and dear to Roy’s heart, and his extensive knowledge on the subject always influences his work. The firm frequently commissions world-class artists to create art for its buildings. Roy believes that every detail in a building is critical to the overall artistic effect of the project. Therefore, Roy’s approach to design and construction is that the work is intended to be art.
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.
Scott Goldman is Managing Principal and Co-Founder of Revision Group, LLC, a Chicago-based private investment firm specializing in the development and acquisition of infill commercial real estate. The firm was formed in 2011 and currently owns a portfolio of approximately $50MM of commercial real estate with several additional projects under development.
Prior to forming Revision, Scott spent 6+ years with Pine Tree Commercial Realty, a Northbrook-based shopping center development firm, where he headed the firm’s Acquisition platform that was responsible for the acquisition of $250MM of commercial real estate during Goldman’s tenure and had responsibilities overseeing investor relations, asset management, as well as debt and equity finance.
Scott Shnay is a Principal at SK Development, which he co-founded with his father, Abe, in 2006. Scott oversees the development and construction of projects and shares responsibility for all acquisitions as well as investment decisions.
Scott Shnay is currently developing over $500 million of projects including The Lindley (591 Third Avenue), Pod Brooklyn (626 Driggs), 363 Lafayette Street, and The Frontier (200-210 East 39th Street). SK recently completed 301 East 50th Street, 10 Bond Street, The Jefferson (211 East 13th Street) , and Chelsea 29 (221 West 29th Street). Additional projects in Manhattan and Long Island City are currently in pre-development.
Scott has over a decade of experience acquiring sites and developing projects throughout the New York metropolitan area. He has been responsible for over 1 million square feet of development valued at over $1 Billion.
Scott graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy (Urban Planning/History of Architecture) from Trinity College in 2001. He graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1997.
Shimon Shkury is the Founder and President of Ariel Property Advisors. As President he oversees all investment sales, capital services and research initiatives that the company undertakes. Mr. Shkury also co-manages Arlington Equity Group, an international debt and equity platform which has a focus on Joint Venture Equity and Debt Advisory. Arlington specializes in advising clients through the bond issuance process in Israel.
Since 2002, Mr. Shkury has advised private clients, institutions, operators, equity providers and lenders on pricing, positioning and selling assets throughout New York City. This experience has enabled Mr. Shkury to emerge as an expert within the various asset classes, city, state and federal regulatory agreements and market indicators.
Mr. Shkury is routinely sought out as a resource for the industry, being featured in the Commercial Observer, The Wall Street Journal, NY Observer, New York Post and many other industry publications. In 2009, he was recognized by Real Estate New York as one of the “40 under 40” in the industry.
His philanthropic and civic contributions are numerous as Mr. Shkury regularly supports dozens of professional and not-for-profit organizations such as: American Friends of the Open University, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, AIPAC, Israel Bonds, Legal Outreach, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors (BMAR) and many others.
Originally from Israel, he came to the United States in 1999 to earn an MBA in finance at the Wharton School of Business and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute. He previously served as a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces. Prior to starting Ariel Property Advisors, Mr. Shkury was a Partner with Massey Knakal Realty Services, now Cushman & Wakefield.
Mr. Shkury lives in Manhattan with his wife, son and daughter.
Tom Shapiro is the President and Founder of GTIS Partners. In addition, Mr. Shapiro is the Chief Investment Officer and is responsible for overseeing all investment activities and strategies of the firm. He is also Chairman of the General Partner’s Committee. GTIS Partners is a global real estate investment firm headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, São Paulo, Brazil, Paris, France and Munich, Germany. The firm has 94 employees and approximately $4.7 billion of assets under management. Prior to starting GTIS Partners, Mr. Shapiro was a Senior Managing Director at Tishman Speyer and a member of the firm’s Investment and Management Committees. Tom is on the Undergraduate Executive Board for The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and the Horace Mann School Board of Trustees.
Yaniv is the founder of Glacier and is responsible for the company's strategic direction and oversees the company's investments and day-to- day management including origination, underwriting, closing, investor relations and asset management functions. Yaniv has over 20 years of real estate experience, 13 years of which have been with leading Wall Street firms where he was responsible for structuring, underwriting, pricing, securitizing and syndicating over $16 billion of commercial real estate loans and equity transactions.
Prior to Glacier, Yaniv was a Managing Director at Bear Stearns / JP Morgan Chase, responsible for structuring and closing over $2 billion real estate debt and equity transactions for institutional clientele. Prior to Bear Stearns, Yaniv was a Managing Director and Head of the CMBS Capital Markets Group for the US at EuroHypo AG, then world's largest real estate investment bank. In that capacity, Yaniv built a large loan CMBS group and oversaw the structuring, pricing, securitization and syndication functions and served on the bank's investment committee in charge of approving all transactions. Yaniv designed and implemented risk-control measures, standardized underwriting and pricing models and structured over $4 billion of real estate loans. Yaniv grew the large loan CMBS business from $600 million to $3 billion within 12 months of joining the firm.
Other positions held by Yaniv included Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, PaineWebber/UBS, and Daiwa Securities. Prior to joining the banking industry, Yaniv worked as a real estate consultant at Ernst & Young real estate consulting group, advising real estate owners and operators, and various investment banks.
Yaniv received a BS degree in real estate finance from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Yaniv is a member of the CRE Finance Council, was a guest lecturer at Columbia University, a speaker at the Mezzanine Debt industry conference, authored an article on Urban Time Sharing, and was a recipient of the YJP NYC Real Estate Entrepreneur & Achievement Award in 2013. He is also involved with various philanthropic organizations including AIPAC, and American Friends of Rabin Medical Center (AFRMC), among others.
David E. Ash founded Prince Realty Advisors, LLC in 2010. David is a graduate of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and before opening his own real estate investment firm, David was an Office & Retail Leasing Specialist for The Kaufman Organization, an established real estate ownership group, where he was the company's top producer each of his 4 years of employment generating hundreds of million in leasing revenue. David opened Prince Realty Advisors at a time when the Real Estate and financial markets were in turmoil. During that time David cultivated and aggressively pushed forward a distinct business model, acting as a “matchmaker” for clients to acquire, sell, and transact on commercial real estate assets. His straight-forward approach has produced in excess of $2.7 Billion in sales transactions since inception on many large institutional assets rivaling some of the perennial top firms in the industry.
David's client base includes such companies as Equity Residential, EXTELL Development Company, Kushner Companies, Meadow Partners, HFZ Capital Group, Westbrook Partners, VORNADO realty trust, and Inditex Apparel Group (ZARA U.S.), among others.
David E. Ash received the honor as ONE OF THE TOP TEN POWER BROKERS in New York. David was also Nominated for MOST INGENIOUS DEAL OF THE YEAR award by REBNY (2014 & 2015)
Member: REBNY, ICSC, Power Broker NYC
Steven Vegh started Westwood Realty Associates in 2013 to focus primarily on off-market transactions. Before that he had worked at GFI Realty for 7 years, leaving to pursue note and property acquisitions. He decided to return to brokerage roughly two years later on his own, and has since completed over $6 billion in off-market sales in NYC and Boroughs ranging from one million to a quarter of a billion dollars. He has been known in the industry for his discreet way of doing business and his honesty in which he does it.
Mr. Kore is a Founding Principal at Avenue Realty Capital (ARC), an investment fund focused on providing equity for middle market multifamily properties in NY, NJ & CT.
Prior to forming ARC, Mr. Kore served as Senior Vice President of Investments for the NY Tristate area at Phoenix Realty Group, an institutional private equity real estate fund manager in New York City that manages more than $1.35 billion in assets and nearly 10,000 apartment units across the U.S. Mr. Kore was responsible for the origination, acquisitions and joint venture structuring of urban and suburban residential investments.
Previously, Mr. Kore was responsible for acquisitions and development at Colgate Development, a prominent mixed use development company, where he led site evaluation, acquisition and the initial design phase of residential, hotel and mixed use projects.
Additionally, Mr. Kore served as Manager at Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Private Equity group in the New York office.
Mr. Kore earned his Master of Science in Real Estate Development and Finance from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Business Administration with honors from Baruch College at the City University of New York. Further, he is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State.
The Young Jewish Professionals Real Estate Network is the organization's oldest industry, serving a vibrant community of owner-operators, investors, and service providers.
On Tuesday, November 7th, 2018 the bi-annual Real Estate Deal-Makers Conference will convene 250+ active local deal-makers, principals, and investors to analyze the state of the market, discuss trade secrets with experts in every major sector, and make business. Meet leaders who have shaped major city skylines, from Shanghai to Downtown Brooklyn as they cover topics ranging from new investment opportunities and deal-sourcing, trends in commercial sales, marketing, and new real estate technologies, to identifying new avenues for collaboration — all in a confidential setting.
This event is by invitation-only, exclusive to principals, developers, investors, and top brokers—all staples of our strong and diverse real estate network.
- - - -
For questions or nominations, please email email@example.com
To Be Announced
This event starts on November 7th at 12:30 PM.