Industry Innovators: Honorable Mentions for CPE’s Executive of the Year Awards

The CPE Executive of the Year Awards this year recognized two honorable mentions in most categories in addition to the first-place winners. These industry leaders have drawn on a wide variety of experience in shaping market-making strategies, closing deals, pursuing new ventures and building on their companies’ success.

December 1, 2011
By Suzann D. Silverman, Editor-in-Chief

The CPE Executive of the Year Awards this year recognized two honorable mentions in most categories in addition to the first-place winners. These industry leaders have drawn on a wide variety of experience in shaping market-making strategies, closing deals, pursuing new ventures and building on their companies’ success.


Jason Black

Rising Leader
Director of Sustainability, SL Green Realty Corp.

In June, Jason Black became SL Green Realty Corp.’s first director of sustainability, a role he developed while director of architectural services for the company’s Reckson suburban division. He joined Reckson in 2004 as a regional architect and construction project manager, and remained with the firm after its purchase by the larger REIT. While exploring what amounted to $4 million in energy conservation programs for the company’s 32-building, 4.5 million-square-foot portfolio and earning his own LEED accreditation, he became active in local municipal initiatives. Named one of CPE’s Stars to Watch in April 2011, he is now responsible for SL Green’s 57-property portfolio totaling 32 million square feet.


Jon Bortz

Hospitality Executive of the Year
Chairman, President & CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust

Longtime hotel executive Jon Bortz formed Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s hotel investment group and LaSalle Hotel Properties REIT, which he built to 31 upscale and luxury full-service hotels and resorts before retiring in September 2009 and joining the newly formed Pebblebrook Hotel Trust. In the two years since, Pebblebrook has grown to 20 upper-upscale, full-service hotels, most wholly owned and six in joint venture, with a total of 5,542 guest rooms. The company focuses on major U.S. cities, primarily coastal markets. In November, Bortz was named to the executive board of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. He is also on the boards of Federal Realty Investment Trust and Metropark USA.


Mark Burkhart

Service Executive of the Year
CEO, Cassidy Turley

Since aligning a series of Colliers affiliates and other firms to create Cassidy Turley on March 1, 2010, Mark Burkhart has been carefully building its presence, with an eye toward becoming the best rather than the largest service provider. This year, key acquisitions included CAPSTAR in Dallas and Houston, the property management and leasing businesses of Carter in Atlanta and FHO Partners in Boston. The firm has also been recruiting individual talent in areas such as capital markets, tenant representation, corporate services and property management, while also adding clients. To date, it has more than 455 million square feet of property under management, and in 2010 it completed brokerage transactions valued at more than $17 billion, ranking fifth on the CPE-MHN index of Most Powerful Brokerage Firms.


Richard Campo

Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year
Chairman & CEO, Camden Property Trust

Since co-founding Camden Property Trust’s predecessors in 1982, Richard Campo has worked to expand from a private, Texas-based apartment owner to a highly respected, nationally known public REIT with 197 properties totaling 67,452 apartment units (with a 95 percent occupancy rate) and a market cap of $7.4 billion. It has been both an active buyer and developer this year: Acquisitions in 2011 through its Camden Multifamily Value Add Fund have totaled 13 communities with 4,588 units for a total of $455 million (with another five communities encompassing 1,488 units under contract or letter of intent at press time). Another $199 million are expected to start in late 2011 or early 2012, and $250 million to $400 million are projected for future years. Long active in the real estate community as well as in Houston civic causes, Campo was recently elected to NAREIT’s 2012 executive board and is the immediate past chair of the National Multi- Housing Council. The company ranked seventh on Fortune magazine’s latest “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America list, its fourth consecutive year on the list.


Ric Clark

Office Property Executive of the Year
CEO, Brookfield Office Properties

In June, Ric Clark relinquished the president’s title at Brookfield Offi ce Properties as well as chairmanship of Brookfield Office Properties Canada as part of a strategic reorganization that added further executive- level weight in order to better approach corporate expansion both for Brookfield Office Properties and parent company Brookfield Asset Management Inc. The changes came almost a year after the companies announced plans to reposition what became Brookfield Office Properties as a pure-play office REIT with assets in the United States, Canada and Australia, shifting residential land assets to another Brookfield entity, among other moves. Since then, Brookfield Office Properties has been actively leasing up properties and shifting capital “from mature assets into more accretive opportunities,” Clark said in its third-quarter earnings release. As of Oct. 30, it had leased 8.2 million square feet this year, with such investment highlights as the sale of Newport Tower in Jersey City, N.J., and the acquisitions of Three Bethesda Metro Center and of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch’s 49 percent stake in Four World Financial Center. With a 15 million-square-foot development pipeline, Brookfield has planned a 5.4 million-square-foot Manhattan West mixed-use project and a major upgrade to the World Financial Center’s retail section.


Arthur Coppola

Retail Property Executive of the Year
Chairman & CEO, Macerich

Arthur Coppola has led retail REIT Macerich for more than 30 years, 15 in his current role, during which time the company has grown from a private firm to a major player with 71 regional shopping centers and 14 community shopping centers comprising 72 million square feet around the country. Reports of its third-quarter results found that funds from operations increased to $104.2 million, up from $93.3 million in third-quarter 2010, while mall tenant sales per square foot increased to $467 for the year ended Sept. 30, 2011, up from $426 for the year-earlier period. In July, Macerich acquired its first fashion outlet, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, USA, for $200 million. The purchase of the center, whose enclosed space nets about $650 per square foot in sales and is nearly fully occupied, followed the company’s April announcement of plans to build an outlet center in Scottsdale. The company was also poised to break ground on the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, Ill., within a mile of O’Hare International Airport, in partnership with AWE/Talisman.


Collete English Dixon

Female Leader of the Year
Vice President, Transactions, Prudential Real Estate Investors

Collete English Dixon has been an energetic leader of women in commercial real estate, serving as the 2011 president of CREW Network and before that as president of CREW Chicago and chair of CREW Foundation. A career-long Prudential employee, she started in 1979 as an asset management analyst and climbed to vice president of transactions and co-leader of the national investment dispositions program for Prudential Real Estate Investors. In between, she was with Prudential’s property development group, with the southern region transactions unit, responsible for PREI and Prudential General Account property dispositions and exit strategies and then sourcing for investments in the Midwest. Last year, the PREI dispositions team sold more than $3 billion in portfolio assets on behalf of clients. She won the 2008 Conscientious Professional Award from the Global Diversity Summit and has been active in a number of real estate and civic organizations.


T. Wilson Eglin

Net Lease Executive of the Year
President, CEO & Trustee, Lexington Realty Trust

Part of Lexington Realty Trust’s management team since its inception in 1993, T. Wilson Eglin has been president since 1996 and CEO since 2003. In the first three quarters of this year, he has led $163.8 million in investments, $145 million in asset sales (at a weighted average cap rate of 6.8 percent), an $80 million reduction in debt and an increase in portfolio occupancy to 95.6 percent from 93.4 percent. The company also has a number of new build-to-suit contracts, including office properties in South Carolina and Pennsylvania and a distribution facility in Long Island City, N.Y. Involved in transactions nationwide, Lexington buys properties through sale-leasebacks or purchases those already under net leases, and also offers investment advisory and asset management services to net lease investors.


Constantine Kontokosta

Rising Leader
Center for the Sustainable Built Environment at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate Principal & Founder, The KACE Group

Since launching the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate in February 2010, Constantine Kontokosta has been busy developing new programs, alliances, research, events and courses. Himself elected to the board of the United Nations Environmental Programme Sustainable Buildings Climate Initiative (with which the SBE is pursuing a baseline greenhouse gas initiative) and the Americas board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Kontokosta has allied the SBE with a number of entities to create the Urban Systems Collaborative, designed to study use of real-world data in planning, design, development and operation of cities. Through the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, the SBE and other entities are working to speed use of green technologies, while a series of reports, databases and task forces will study green building policies, carbon emissions from buildings, retrofit financing and other matters. He has introduced a sustainable development concentration at the masters level and a series of executive education courses and conferences. Kontokosta has meanwhile completed his doctorate in urban planning, teaches as a clinical assistant professor at NYU and operates his own development firm, The KACE Group. He was named one of CPE’s Stars to Watch in 2011.


Charles Leitner III

Sustainability Executive of the Year
CEO, Greenprint Foundation
Chairman, RREEF

As CEO of the Greenprint Foundation, Charles Leitner leads an alliance of investors, advisors and service providers striving to guide the real estate industry’s efforts to achieve some significant energy reductions. Involved in the two-year-old foundation since its creation, he assumed the leadership role in July 2010; under his guidance, Greenprint has signed on a number of new members, and in September its Global Cities Office Index was accepted as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, its third involvement in a CGI Commitment to Action. Leitner is also chairman of RREEF, the global real estate investment business of Deutsche Asset Management, and a member of the parent company’s global operating committee. He joined RREEF in 1988 and became a partner in 1996, overseeing the U.S. real estate acquisition business as of 2001, and in 2004, two years after its acquisition by Deutsche Bank, became its global head. Prior experience includes stints at TIAA and GE Capital. Leitner has also served as a director for a number of real estate investment fi rms and has been active with a number of real estate associations.


Richmond McCoy

Diversity Executive of the Year
President & CEO, UrbanAmerica L.P. and UrbanAmerica Advisors

Early to focus institutional investors on urban markets, Richmond McCoy has built UrbanAmerica L.P. to a $520 million real estate investment advisory business with more than $2 billion in investments under its belt since co-founding the company in 1998. It prides itself on creating more than 6,100 jobs in those areas. The company later joined with Behringer Harvard to form UrbanAmerica Advisors, which represents $10 billion in commercial real estate under management and most recently formed a partnership with Renaissance Downtowns to pursue master-planned developments in Northeastern downtowns. UrbanAmerica L.P. has also formed UrbanAmerica-Faith Based Business Services to help such organizations to stabilize troubled assets and banks to maximize returns on those assets. McCoy is currently vice chairman of membership for the Real Estate Executive Council and a board member of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, and is active with numerous other municipal, diversity, civic and real estate organizations.


Shekar Narasimhan

Innovator of the Year
Managing Partner, Beekman Advisors

A household name in commercial and multi-family real estate circles, Shekar Narasimhan built his expertise in nonprofits, property management and real estate development before entering real estate finance. He made WMF Group one of the top mortgage finance companies before selling it to Prudential Mortgage Capital Co., then headed Prudential Real Estate Fixed Income Investors before moving on to lead Beekman Advisors, an eight-year-old, below-the-radar firm aimed at providing strategic advisory services to investors in real estate, mortgage finance, affordable housing and related sectors. He is also CEO of Beekman Helix India Partners, a real estate merchant bank providing capital solutions on projects in India, and serves on the boards of Broadstone Net Lease Inc., the Community Preservation Development Corp. and CDT Mortgage Investors. He has further influenced real estate finance through his many active roles with industry associations, with his current roles including secretary for the board of governors at the National Housing Conference and a fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Awards include the Fannie Mae Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.


Lee Neibart

Investor of the Year
Global CEO, AREA Property Partners

A partner of AREA Property Partners and its predecessor Apollo Real Estate Advisors since its founding in 1993, Lee Neibart has been involved in numerous high-profile purchases and sales in the United States, Europe and Asia on behalf of many significant institutional, governmental and private pension funds through funds and joint ventures totaling $13 billion in equity commitments. In September alone, such deals included the acquisition of Heritage at Old Town in Alexandria, Va.; the sale of 33 Arch St. in Boston; and a joint venture purchase of a 3 million-square- foot portfolio from Washington Real Estate Investment Trust. More significantly, in March, AREA sold a 35 percent interest in the company to National Australia Bank Ltd., a deal intended to expand the investment firm’s capabilities, with Neibart and company founder William Mack continuing to lead the business. Neibart is on the advisory boards of The Enterprise Foundation and The Real Estate Institute of New York University.


Marc Nemer

Net Lease Executive of the Year
President & CEO, Cole Real Estate Investments

Cole Real Estate Investments is already one of the country’s most active net lease investors, and president & CEO Marc Nemer is working to make it an even stronger contender. The five-year veteran of the registered, non-traded REIT vehicle in June added the CEO role to his president’s responsibilities and has been busily adding further financial prowess to the company. In the past year, he has brought in executives with backgrounds at BlackRock, ING Clarion, Goldman Sachs, Citi Global Investment Research and J.P. Morgan, among others, in many cases creating new, investment-oriented positions to build up the company’s capabilities. In addition, in September the company announced a joint venture with Phoenix-based RED Development geared toward purchasing high-quality, multi-tenant retail properties with a view toward repositioning them. In August, Cole had achieved $1.5 billion worth of acquisitions for the year, with a goal of $3 billion by year-end. Among the largest were the PetSmart headquarters in Phoenix, the Banner Life Inusrance Co. headquarters in Urbana, Md., and the sale-leaseback of Apollo Group’s University of Phoenix office complex.


Carl Panattoni

Industrial Property Executive of the Year
Chairman, Panattoni Development Co.

Carl Panattoni has led his privately held development company since founding it in 1986. To date, the company has completed more than 150 million square feet of industrial, office and retail projects in over 240 markets worldwide. The Sacramento-based company is striving to expand its industrial portfolio across the Northeast, a strategy furthered by such recent activity as the July purchases of a distribution/warehouse in York County, Pa., from the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and 58 acres of land in Key Logistics Park in Cumberland County, Pa., the first half of a land buy with plans to develop as much as 2 million square feet of distribution/warehouse space. Early this year, it formed a $1.2 billion joint venture with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, PanCal, to invest in bulk industrial, build-to-suits, value add and core opportunities in the United States and Canada.


John Pelusi Jr.

Financial Services Executive of the Year
Executive Managing Director & Managing Member, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P.

An executive managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. since 2001 and managing member since 2003, John Pelusi Jr. continues to keep the longtime mortgage-banking leader in the top ranks of the industry. Last year, HFF was the top originator for credit companies and in the top 10 overall, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and at mid-year 2011 it was No. 12 among primary and master servicers. Since joining HFF in May 1998, he has worked on such notable deals as the sale of the Chicago and Austin properties of the EOP/Blackstone portfolio and the Chicago Trizec Blackstone portfolio; a $222.5 million note sale for 237 Park Ave. in Manhattan; $525 million in financing for a Starwood portfolio and $454 million for Lincoln Square in Seattle; a $295 million construction loan for Santana Row in San Jose and many other large deals. Pelusi’s board involvement includes the University of Pittsburgh; he also chairs its Property and Facilities Committee.


Quintin Primo III

Diversity Executive of the Year
Chairman & CEO, Capri Capital Partners L.L.C.

Well known for his work in real estate investment management, Quintin Primo has been equally active furthering industry diversity. The 30-year industry veteran cofounded Capri in 1992, while the economy struggled, and later launched one of the industry’s first real estate mezzanine investment funds. He was an early investor in underserved urban markets, and played an integral role in the creation of a number of professional development organizations. Primo co-founded the Real Estate Executive Council, the well-noted organization for minority real estate professionals, and created the Emerging Leaders Program for young minority professionals under the Capri Foundation. Also a founding chairman of the Preservation Compact for affordable housing and a board member of the Pension Real Estate Association, he has been involved in civic and non-profit initiatives that include the Primo Center for Women and Children.


Jonathon Ratner

Sustainability Executive of the Year
Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives, Forest City Enterprises Inc.

Since joining Forest City Enterprises Inc.’s corporate office in 2007 as vice president of sustainability, Jonathon Ratner has been making a name for the company as one of the most sustainability-focused investment and development firms in real estate. Its Stapleton community in Denver continues to establish new standards even while the company adds to efforts at other new and existing properties; currently more than 30 properties, or about 15 percent of its portfolio, have some level of sustainability certification, and all new projects the company considers are evaluated using a sustainability scorecard Ratner’s group developed. Having expanded his focus in August with the formation of the Energy & Sustainability Group, Ratner is branching out into alternative energy generation at company properties, including among its pursuits biomass, solar and wind power possibilities. Among its projects is a partnership in Cleveland with Quasar Energy Group to build an anaerobic digestion facility to produce renewable energy from commercial and industrial waste products, which has already signed a 10-year agreement with Cleveland Public Power.


Peter Roberts

Service Executive of the Year
CEO for the Americas, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Eight years into his efforts as the head of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s largest region, Peter Roberts focused his efforts this year on strategic growth in local markets and capital markets and on differentiating the firm through its culture and connections. Overseeing five countries, 44 major markets and close to 7,700 employees, he began 2011 with a partnership with Beaumont Hospitals that bolstered the company’s healthcare services platform and the acquisition of Primary Capital Advisors, which established a capital markets commercial lending and servicing practice. The company also acquired a number of local firms, including Keystone Partners in Charlotte and Pacific Real Estate Partners in the Pacific Northwest, and continued to add talent around the country. These moves followed a series of hires over the past couple of years that brought in market and sector heavyweights from competitors and other firms. Building on the company’s efforts at a strong culture, it also launched its first Women’s Summit at the end of September. Jones Lang LaSalle ranked fourth on the 2011 CPE-MHN Most Powerful Brokerage Firms index.


Stephen Ross

Developer of the Year
Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year
Chairman, CEO & Founder, The Related Cos.

Last December, Stephen Ross’s Related Cos. began its preparatory work on the 26-acre Hudson Yards master-planned development project in Midtown Manhattan. Nearly a year later, on Nov. 1, Related and partner Oxford Properties announced their first tenant, Coach Inc., will purchase a 600,000-square-foot portion of the first, 1.7 million-square-foot tower, paving the way for a groundbreaking next year and occupancy in 2015. Earlier this year, Related opened MiMA, a 63-story glass tower in Midtown Manhattan that includes the Frank Gehry-designed Signature Center theater, retail, YOTEL New York, condominiums and rental apartments that achieved rents of more than $74 per square foot. It also launched a fund management platform focused on distressed assets and the origination of construction loans.


David Twardock

Financial Services Executive of the Year
President, Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.

As president of Prudential Mortgage Capital Co., David Twardock is responsible for managing all of the insurance company’s commercial real estate finance activities, a business that has grown to $69 billion in assets under management as of the end of third quarter 2011. A Prudential employee since 1982, Twardock has led Prudential Mortgage’s Eastern and Central/ Western regions and served as president of Prudential Realty Group before assuming his current position and building the mortgage business through acquisitions and the introduction of new products and markets, including the $138 million purchase of WMF Group Ltd. Twardock also serves on the board of Boston Properties and has been chair of the Real Estate Roundtable Capital Markets Committee. Last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association ranked Prudential Mortgage the top originator for FHA/Ginnie Mae, in the top five for third parties and the top 10 overall for commercial/multi-family mortgages.


Frits van Paasschen

Hospitality Executive of the Year
President, CEO & Director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

President & CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. since 2007, Frits van Paasschen has kept it active throughout the difficult economy, adding hotels throughout its multitude of brands from Turkey to China to most recently Panama and its soon-to-be new headquarters location of Stamford, Conn., to which it will relocate in 2012. Starwood’s portfolio totaled 1,058 properties in 100 countries and territories as of early November, including both owned and managed hotels. Morningstar praised this leading operator of luxury and upscale hotels for its “strong portfolio of differentiated hotel brands that enable it to charge premium rates and have significant brand loyalty” as well as for its strong pipeline of new property and capacity for international growth. Van Paasschen brings to his role experience from outside the real estate industry, including stints leading Coors Brewing Co. as well in roles at Nike Inc., Disney Consumer Products, McKinsey & Co., the Boston Consulting Group and his own FPaasschen Consulting and Mercator Investments.