Heavy Hitters in commercial Real Estate
Want to know who some of the key people are in shaping the region’s skyline and commercial real estate market? Welcome to SFBW’s first list of Heavy Hitters in Commercial Real Estate.
These movers and shakers are building iconic projects, transforming neighborhoods and handling mega real estate transactions.
Research on who to include on the list was conducted by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gale. Those featured were invited to submit biographies about their achievements.
Principal and Managing Director
With a reputation as one of the most trusted and highly recognized names in South Florida real estate, Donna is responsible for client servicing and revenue of the leasing division, overseeing its business development of institutional and local investor clients and tenant representation services. She is a leader and top performer in the marketplace, serving as a business resource to her clients.
She was named among the 2009, 2013 and 2016 Real Estate Forum’s National Women of Influence, and was honored as an Ultimate CEO by South Florida Business Journal. She graduated from Florida State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management.
Crocker Partners LLC
Angelo leads the Boca Raton-based real estate investment and development firm’s day-to-day operations, overseeing its $2 billion portfolio of office buildings and mixed-use properties. The company owns nearly 9 million square feet throughout Florida and in Atlanta, and is a dominant Class A office owner in downtown Miami, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.
Before becoming managing partner in January 2017, he managed Crocker Partners’ capital markets activities and investor relations, and directed operations in Florida and Texas. He joined Crocker in 2001 as senior vice president at CRT Properties, responsible for acquisitions totaling 2.1 million square feet and for managing Florida assets. Admitted to the New York Bar in 1994, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and George Washington University.
Walter helps oversees his company’s Florida operations, representing institutional landlords to help maximize occupancy and asset value while helping major industrial and office tenants find and secure space. He also has assisted investors with acquisition and disposition of real estate assets. He previously was a senior vice president in the South Florida office of Trammel Crow.
Along with Ben, and partner Thomas Kresse, he was responsible for strategic business development for all aspects of industrial and office real estate services in South Florida, including brokerage, capital markets, investment sales and corporate tenant representation. He has successfully completed more than 25 million square feet of leases, and 5 million square feet of sales.
Donald B. Cartwright
Donald has led the leasing efforts at the 55-story Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami. Since rejoining JLL in 2011, he has completed approximately 750,000 square feet of leases in the tower; since 2015, has helped the agency leasing practice win five new assignments totaling 1.4 million square feet. He has spent 44 years in commercial real estate, with 34 years in South Florida.
Recent awards and recognition include the JLL Florida Spotlight Program “Magnet Award” for customer service; the JLL Top Gun Award 2013 for top producers nationally; Daily Business Review Deal Makers of the Year recognition 2013; South Florida Business Journal Power Leaders in Commercial Real Estate, 2011-2016; JLL Top Achiever, 2011, 2012, 2015.
President and Founder
Cornerstone International Realty
With 18 years’ experience in commercial real estate, Hector has been involved in more than 1 billion square feet of industrial leases and sales combined. He also has dealt with more than 350,000 square feet in office sales and leasing, and more than 100 non-agricultural acres of land sales. In 2010, he formed a fund to focus on purchases with upside potential. Today, that project has evolved into a 38-unit condominium of exclusive and innovative storage for car collectors.
He has received many awards and honors in the local real estate industry. He came to the United States in 1991 from Medellín, Colombia, and started his residency by washing cars. He gives back to the community by donating to Els for Autism, Good Samaritan Outreach and Liga Contra el Cancer.
President and CEO
Tony is a neighborhood and community developer who has helped pioneer redevelopment of Miami’s urban core neighborhoods since 2000. In 2005, he founded Metro 1, a full-service, vertically integrated real estate organization focused on creating sustainable urban neighborhoods throughout South Florida and beyond with an emphasis on arts, culture, innovation, technology and creativity.
Metro 1 has been responsible for bringing such brands as Zak the Baker, Cake, Junior and Hatter and others to Wynwood. He was one of the founding Wynwood Business Improvement Board members, and was instrumental in the creation and passing of the nationally recognized progressive zoning initiative called the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District.
Over three decades, Tom has founded and led successful private- and publicly traded real estate development and investment companies active in the Southeast United States. Before founding Crocker Partners, which today owns nearly 9 million square feet of trophy office and mixed-use assets, he was CEO of CRT Properties, which acquired and managed office assets valued at nearly $1.8 billion before its sale.
Previously, he was CEO of privately held Crocker Realty Trust, which he built into a 6.2 million-square-foot portfolio, and Crocker Realty Trust, one of the Southeast’s largest public office REITs. Tom began his real estate career in 1986, founding Crocker & Co., which developed nearly 2 million square feet of office and mixed-use properties in South Florida, including Mizner Park.
Manuel De Zarraga
Executive Managing Director, Executive Committee Member
Manuel has more than 27 years’ experience in real estate investment banking, and specializes in the execution and expansion of the firm’s capital markets platform by representing institutional and major private owners of institutional-grade commercial real estate properties throughout the Southeast. He also serves as co-head of the firm’s National Investment Sales Group and Miami office.
Since joining HFF, he has been involved in more than $15.2 billion of capital markets transaction volume. Before joining HFF in 2002, he was a principal and managing director at Sonnenblick-Goldman for 14 years and served on the firm’s operating committee. During his tenure, he was involved in real estate capital transactions involving all major property types.
Senior Vice President
Paco has three decades of experience in retail/commercial real estate. Before beginning his commercial real estate career, Paco was an international banker with Manufacturers Hanover Trust in New York and a residential developer in Miami. He joined CBRE in 1987, where he has represented national and regional tenants throughout South Florida and Puerto Rico.
He specializes in providing corporate services to major retailers, including strategic planning and site selection services. As part of the broker team representing JP Morgan Chase in Miami-Dade County, he led identifying and securing more than 15 locations during an 18-month period. He partners with his two sons, Danny and Patxi. The bicultural and bilingual family team understands what makes Miami and South Florida a diverse and dynamic region.
Edward W. Easton
The Easton Group
Edward is chairman of the real estate brokerage, management and development firm located in Miami since 1974. He oversees managing, leasing or owning more than 4.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in South Florida, as well as properties in Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama.
Edward was appointed to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees by President George W. Bush, and was also appointed to the board of the U.S. National Parks Foundation by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. In 2001, he was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to chair the Miami-Dade Land Acquisition and Facilities Maintenance Operations Advisory Board for the Miami-Dade County Public School System. He is past president of the Miami Board of Realtors.
Co-founder and CEO
Encore Capital Management
Art sits on the investment committees of his company’s three funds. He is also the founder and managing principal of Miami Worldcenter, one of the country’s largest master-planned urban environments. Since 2004, he has been CEO and chairman of Falcone Group, a vertically integrated real estate and land development organization specializing in residential, retail and apartment assets.
Art began his business more than 35 years ago, investing in restaurants, hotels and health clubs, and at age 22 was the youngest operator of a McDonald’s franchise before becoming owner and operator of more than 100 family-style restaurants. He also was a Days Inn hotel franchisee. In 1988, Art formed the homebuilding and land development company Transeastern Properties.
Michael T. Fay
With more than 32 years’ experience, Michael acts as an owner advocate, realizing the full value of an asset through strategic positioning and in-depth market knowledge, while also identifying potential development opportunities which can further enhance an asset. He has been involved with more than $6.3 billion in closed transactions, specializing in capital markets, REO and note sales, as well as strategy and implementation for large national corporate real estate accounts.
In 2017, he was named one of the Top 100 Power Leaders in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal. In 2016, he was named as one of Real Estate Forum’s Top Rainmakers in Commercial Real Estate (No. 11). He graduated from LaGrange College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
Charles J. Foschini
Senior Managing Director of Florida Operations
A nationally recognized leader in real estate investment banking, Charles holds Berkadia’s highest production title. With nearly two decades of experience structuring complex sales and finance transactions, Charles and his team have been involved in the sale and financing of commercial and multifamily properties totaling more than $17 billion, including several portfolio and landmark single-asset deal and portfolio transactions surpassing $200 million.
Before Berkadia, he served as vice chairman for CBRE, where he was a perennial top producer at the national levels across all product lines and a member of its elite institutional group. He holds three degrees from the University of Miami (undergraduate, law and MBA), each with honors of distinction. He is active in his community and with UM.
Jessica Goldman Srebnick
Jessica was with the company founded by her late father, Tony Goldman, for 15 years before taking the reins at his behest in 2012. Founded in 1967, the award-winning company recognizes the value in depressed urban areas, reimagining, reconstructing and transforming declining districts into thriving global destinations. She oversees the company’s portfolio of assets in New York, Philadelphia, Miami Beach and Miami’s emerging Wynwood Arts District.
In July 2015, she founded Goldman Global Arts to generate and produce large-scale creative projects for a variety of organizations. She has received numerous accolades, including being named one of South Florida Business Journal’s Top 100 Power Leaders, and Florida International University Center for Leadership named her one of 50 prominent women in South Florida.
Vladimir F. Golik
Broker and Co-owner
Keller Williams Realty Premier Properties and GE Property Management
Vladimir is a Florida native who started his career at age 19. At his former company, he served as regional vice president while operating the top office out of 34 in the state. He also has owned and managed more than 400 apartment units in Florida as well as office buildings totaling 80,000 square feet as a part of his portfolio. He has sold and closed more than a half-billion dollars in real estate transactions.
With an extensive knowledge of commercial properties and property management, Vladimir attended the University of Miami and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a major in finance.
Florida East Coast Realty
More than 60 years ago, Tibor forged a path for the future by constructing the first high-rise building on Brickell Avenue. The concept of living, working and playing in the urban core long has been his dream, brought to life through his many developments, especially in the Omni/Venetia area and the Brickell corridor. His local projects include several major high-rise residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings.
Tibor was selected by the city of Miami and the Greater Miami Host Committee as the Global Citizen of the Year for 2009 and also was honored by Business Leader Media as the Business Leader of the Year in the real estate category. In 2012, the South Florida Business Journal named him one of the 100 Power Leaders, as well as a Miami Ultimate CEO.
With more than 25 years of real estate experience, Arden is responsible for overseeing all South Florida business operations, encompassing three offices (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton) and approximately 200 employees. She oversees delivery of integrated commercial real estate services to clients, with a background in sales and marketing, development, acquisitions, asset management, leasing and finance.
She is a graduate of Tufts University with a bachelor of arts in international relations, with a concentration in Spanish and Latin American studies. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is an executive member of the board of Friends of the Underline, a non-profit organization.
Alan R. Kleber, MCR
Since December 2015, Alan has served as co-broker lead and co-tenant representative lead of JLL’s South Florida brokerage business. He oversees day-to-day operations, collaborating with other business lines and implementing the company’s growth strategy. He works closely with local market professionals to develop, transition and implement the company’s offerings.
Before joining JLL, Alan was a managing principal at Cresa South Florida. His responsibilities were diverse as he collaboratively led the management and growth of the organization, while simultaneously acting as a trusted adviser to the firm’s clients. He received his bachelor’s degree in real estate and finance from Florida State University and has a master of corporate real estate degree from CoreNet Global.
Executive Managing Director,
Ken is Colliers’ market leader, overseeing operations for offices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. He brings more than 30 years of expertise in commercial real estate. He is responsible for developing key client relationships, leading major projects and transactions, maintaining senior real estate industry and political relationships, and recruiting new talent.
He began his career as a commercial leasing broker and was responsible for more than 3 million square feet of Class A building agencies in New York City. Ken was listed as one of the “Top 50 Leaders in Commercial Real Estate” by Real Estate Weekly, and has been named one of Real Estate New York’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Ken has a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, and has pursued graduate studies at New York University.
Christian specializes in putting together large, complex real estate deals. He and his partners run a team that advises many of the largest U.S. real estate investors on the planning and execution of their investment, disposition and capitalization strategies. Since joining CBRE in 2002, he and his team have closed $14 billion in office and industrial sale and financing assignments. In 2016, they closed 21 sales averaging $80 million a transaction and 13 financings averaging $35 million.
Noteworthy transactions during the last two years include the $209 million sale of South Florida Logistics Center in Miami, the $195 million sale of Bank of America Tower in Tampa, the $194 million sale of the Deerwood office park in Jacksonville, the $140 million sale of 777 Brickell Avenue, and the $126 million sale of Esperante in West Palm Beach.
Diego has been part of his family’s international business interests for more than 25 years, and his active involvement and know-how in acquiring, developing, revitalizing and repositioning hotels and casinos has led the 50-year-old entrepreneurial firm to new heights. He has served as CEO since 2003, overseeing asset management structures, acting as managing partner with joint venture partners, and directing deal structuring, financial feasibility analysis, financing and hospitality chain and management firm selection and negotiations.
In addition to Diego’s business ventures, he and his family are actively involved with the South Florida community and philanthropic efforts. The Lowenstein family has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters for more than 12 years, holding various roles and positions within the organization.
David’s ambition is to evolve the South Florida landscape and enrich the lives of the people within it. He has spent the past 15-plus years recognizing opportunities to invigorate Miami’s spirit by creating truly original and exceptional spaces in unexpected places thus redefining the way people live beyond the norm. His has led the company operations, sales and marketing as well as investment and development projects.
With an interest in education, the arts and health, David is actively involved in South Florida’s civic and business communities as well as local philanthropies including Miami Children’s Health Foundation, Baptist Health Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Vizcaya Museums and Gardens, and the Wolfsonian FIU. He is a University of Florida graduate and holds an MBA.
Steven E. McCraney
President and CEO
Steven leads a West Palm Beach real estate investment firm focused on acquisition, development, and management of industrial properties in Florida’s major markets. Leading a new cycle of industrial real estate development, Steven has helped re-engineer the design and general optics of the industrial sector.
The company’s exterior designs reflect retail storefronts rather than typical industrial parks, creating a sense of place. His implementation of design efficiencies, including increased dock heights and modern high-end finishes, have created high industrial demand. His company has completed or is under construction on nearly 4 million square feet of speculative industrial space.
Founder and Chairman
NAI Merin Hunter Codman
Neil has a broad background in all phases of commercial real estate work, including investment sales, tenant representation, site acquisition, development consulting, corporate facilities and industrial facilities. His specialty involves the sale and leasing of office and retail facilities. During the past 20 years, he has represented owners and tenants in more than 30 million square feet of property negotiations representing more about than $7 billion in real estate transactions.
His property management company, based in West Palm Beach, is currently responsible for managing 5 million square feet of office and retail space. In addition, it’s the largest commercial real estate firm in Palm Beach County. He is a graduate of Deerfield Academy and Boston University’s School of Management.
Cushman & Wakefield’s South Florida
Chris joined the firm in 1983 to create the industrial and land department in Broward and Palm Beach counties. He is now one of South Florida’s leading commercial/industrial sales and leasing agents. He holds SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) designation, and has been the top-producing industrial broker in Cushman & Wakefield’s Fort Lauderdale office every year since 1984.
His clients include Apotex, Cabot Properties, EastGroup, IDI, Kraft General Foods, PepsiCo, Prologis, Sears, Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, Toyota, Tyco, Whirlpool Corporation and many more.
Dev’s Fort Lauderdale-based firm focuses on investment and development opportunities, including owning and operating hotels, condominiums, retail and rental apartments throughout the United States. He also is founder and managing partner of Ramesh Properties, a distressed real estate investment fund focused on opportunistic investments in South Florida residential and commercial sites. He is involved with more than $1 billion in development projects.
Dev is involved with numerous charities and business organizations and is a partner in the Lauderdale Air Show, having led the charge to bring the show back in 2012. He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and public policy, and from Columbia University’s real estate development program.
Miami Worldcenter Associates
Nitin oversees pre-development of a $2 billion, 27-acre mixed-use project in downtown Miami, one of the nation’s largest. As managing director of Encore Housing Opportunity Fund, he has overseen investments totaling more than $1 billion in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.
He has been recognized as one of “Real Estate’s Rising Stars” by The Real Deal South Florida; one of South Florida’s “20 Emerging Leaders Under 40” by the Miami Herald; one of the country’s “Stars to Watch: Rising Leaders in Commercial Real Estate” by Commercial Property Executive magazine; and “Young Leader of the Year” by the Urban Land Institute. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Duke University and holds a master of science in real estate development from Columbia University.
State Street Realty
George has been involved in some of South Florida’s largest lease transactions, sales transactions and land purchases. He has more than 25 years’ experience in real estate brokerage, land development and property management. He has been and is currently responsible for the successful and expedient lease and sales of office and industrial real estate.
Before opening State Street Realty, he was senior VP at Flagler Real Estate Services/Codina Group for 20 years. He is a lifelong South Florida resident and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
EWM Realty International
Ron leads a 53-year-old real estate brokerage with 10 offices in South Florida, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. As a part-owner of EWM since 1984, Ron sold the company in 2003 to an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. EWM has 900 associates and staff members involved in South Florida residential and commercial real estate sales, which approach $3 billion annually.
In 2013, he was named a “Power Leader” by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and in 2015, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Business Leader of the Year award. Ron also serves on the boards of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade County, Baptist Health South Florida and the Kirk Foundation.
President and CEO
Vincent oversees the company’s operations and subsidiary companies. Since joining in 2009, he has led the strategic development and realignment of FECI’s assets into its current structure, inclusive of All Aboard Florida/Brightline, Flagler Global Logistics and Flagler. He joined from Fortress Investment Group, where he was a key member of the private equity team.
He served four years as an officer in the U.S. Army before beginning his business career. He is one of the founding members of Mission United Miami-Dade, an organization that empowers veterans and their families to lead productive lives and become contributing members of our community. He earned an MBA in corporate finance from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
Senior Managing Director,
A multifamily finance specialist, Mitch is a leader on his company’s Florida mortgage banking team. Berkadia is the country’s largest originator of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD loans, in aggregate, and the only lender who is top three with all of them. Since joining the firm in 2013, Mitch has increased annual volume five-fold, closing approximately $1.1 billion in loans in 2015, and in excess of $1 billion in loans in 2016.
He is an occasional instructor at Nova Southeastern University, teaching real estate finance and investment in the school’s program for master’s degrees in real estate. He holds an MBA, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a double major in finance and international economics, from the University of Florida.
Kenneth serves on the company’s board of directors, executive committee, investment review committee and business development committee. As part of his chief responsibilities, he helps develop overall strategy for the multifaceted real estate company, working closely with the investment team to identify and evaluate new development opportunities. As a board member, he helps ensure continued success of the company’s 50-year sustainability and growth plans.
He joined the company 11 years ago and most recently served as executive vice president, in which he oversaw the Stiles Property fund and managed ongoing communications with investment partners. A native of Fort Lauderdale, he attended Elon University and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management.
James “Jimmy” Tate
Co-founder and Principal
Real Estate Solutions
Jimmy has been an integral part of the multifaceted Tate family business for more than 30 years. He co-founded Tate Development, which has developed, owned and managed commercial, industrial and luxury single and multifamily properties. Tate companies have owned, operated and managed a real estate portfolio worth well in excess of $1 billion.
Jimmy is also owner/principal of TKO-Evolution Apparel, a $60 million a year apparel company. Born and raised in South Florida, Jimmy serves on the board of trustees of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, the advisory board of the North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, and the development committee of Miami Country Day School. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in economics.