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Columbia University Business School Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

Alumni in the News

Real Estate Alumni in the News  

Here is what your fellow Columbia Business School Real Estate Alumni are doing this month. If you don't see your news mentioned, please let us know.

Tripty Arya ’12

2018 Women in Real Estate and Construction Services

"This year is a year of change. Its about changing thought process and realization that the world we take for granted will not stay the same. We have never seen so many companies looking at tech in a real way. You see large real estate companies talk about their 'technical stack,' a concept which was not common atall uptil a year ago. There is also a trend towards wanting more open and connected platforms which are not just driven by accounting but by the actual asset"

—New York Real Estate Journal

Bruce Berg ’83

Atlantic Station Opening Highlights Downtown Stamford Growth

"I think that Atlantic Station will be a catalyst for creating more connectivity between the train station and downtown," said Bruce Berg, CEO of the Fuller Development Co., the development arm of the White Plains, N.Y.-based Cappelli. "It also adds good-quality inventory of new multifamily product that should appeal to a fairly wide demographic."

—Stamford Advocate

Alex Bernstein ’00

East Chelsea, Manhattan: Once Industrial, Now Residential

On the other end of East Chelsea, Alex Bernstein, the executive vice president of Bernstein Real Estate, said he favors NoChe or North Chelsea, for the area from West 26th or 27th Street up to West 30th. His 91-year-old company, founded by one of his great-grandfathers, is building its first New York City residence, a 24-story environmentally friendly rental on a former parking lot at 211 West 29th Street, which will include affordable apartments.

—New York Times

Tom DeRosa ’88

Welltower Hopes Brookdale Gets "Back to the Basics"

"Despite headlines of oversupply and flu, our seniors housing operating portfolio continued to deliver solid growth throughout 2017, and the outlook for 2018 remains positive," CEO Tom DeRosa said. Welltower, he said, is not a "passive owner" of seniors housing real estate. "We see ourselves truly as an operating partner, and that drives better results," DeRosa said.

—McKnight's Senior Living


Welltower CEO Describes "New-Age SNF" Concept

The skilled nursing industry will emerge from its current period of duress and be reinvented in the coming years, according to Tom DeRosa, CEO of real estate investment trust (REIT) Welltower Inc. This belief is one reason why Toledo, Ohio-based Welltower is maintaining a foothold in skilled nursing, with about 10% of the REIT’s net operating income coming from its skilled nursing and post-acute properties, DeRosa said.

—Skilled Nursing News

Gideon Gil ’00

JMC Lands $51M to Buy NY REIT’s Lenox Hill Office Building

JMC Holdings scored $51 million to buy New York REIT’s office property in Lenox Hill, known as the Interior Design Building. Square Mile Capital Management provided the financing for the deal. Cushman & Wakefield’s Gideon Gil brokered the financing.

—The Real Deal

Henry Gom ’05

Balfour Beatty Communities, ApexOne and Torchlight Buy Alabama Multifamily Property

"We are excited about this acquisition as we believe it is well-positioned to benefit from a sought-after suburban community and a well-designed capital improvement plan to be implemented by our experienced partner," said Henry Gom, senior vice president of Torchlight Investors.

—PE Hub New York

Jonathan More ’09

Mission Capital Arranges $42M Loan for Torchlight Investors Hotel Venture

Mission Capital Advisors announced that its Debt & Equity Finance team arranged a $42 million, non-recourse ramp loan for the Sheraton Bay Point Resort, a 320-key Starwood-franchised hotel located at 4114 Jan Cooley Drive in Panama City Beach, Florida.


The Mission Capital team of Jonathan More, Ari Hirt, Steven Buchwald, and Justin Hunt represented an affiliate of Torchlight Investors in securing the non-recourse loan from Walker & Dunlop Commercial Property Funding.

—Real Estate Weekly

Richard Pretsfelder ’94

Why Don’t People Want to Buy Manhattan’s Spectacular Mansions?

"You can be a very successful lawyer or investment banker and not be a gazillionaire to afford a $10 million or $15 million home in New York," says Richard Pretsfelder, a broker at Leslie Garfield. "But once you get to the higher price points, there’s no question that you have to have a more profound base of wealth. And there are fewer of those buyers out there to saturate the high-end real estate market."

—Bloomberg

Jed Reagan ’10

Vornado’s Plan to Focus on New York Real Estate Hits a Snag: New York Real Estate

"Job growth has been okay at best in New York compared with other parts of the country," said Jed Reagan, a Green Street analyst. "Rent growth has been dormant the last couple of years, and that's going to continue."

—Wall Street Journal


LA Sees More Profits than Manhattan in Office Real Estate

On that other coast, the very drawbacks of L.A. that fill tedious gripe sessions and standup acts—the sprawl, the clogged freeways, the wimpy public transit—have perversely made its west side office space more valuable by discouraging building, Green Street analyst Jed Reagan said.

—Crain's New York Business

Robert Reffkin ’03

Inside Compass’ Recruiting Machine

According to Reffkin, Compass plans to double its office count this year, for a total of 12 locations in the city. In addition to new territories like Long Island City and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Compass intends to expand its existing footprint at both 10 East 53rd Street and 90 Fifth.


"It’s not about growth for growth’s sake," Reffkin said. "It’s about building the company that agents want."

—The Real Deal


The Collective Becomes Compass Dallas

"We believe that we can make the experience of buying or selling a home better for everyone involved by building technology and providing support designed to make agents’ lives simpler," said Robert Reffkin, co-founder and CEO of Compass.

—Park Cities People


Black History’s Hidden Figures that Inspired Today’s Innovators

Without [Phillip A. Payton, Jr., founder of the Afro-American Realty Company] paving the way, Robert Reffkin would never have been able to find the success he has in real estate tech. His company Compass has raised $775 million in funding since launching in 2012.

—Fast Company


The Robot Revolution is Coming to Real Estate

"I believe that agents are critical to transactions and always will be," said Robert Reffkin, chief executive of Compass, a real estate brokerage in New York.

—Realty Biz News

David Simon ’85

News about the Death of Retail Stores Might Still be Premature, Says New Study

David Simon, CEO and Chairman of Simon Property Group, the country’s largest retail developer, says his company sees "significant opportunity" in densification of its shopping centers with the addition of mixed-use elements such as hotels, multifamily, and offices.

—Building Design & Construction


Earnings for Major Mall Owner Simon Property Show Shopping Centers Sill Make Money

"We had a strong fourth quarter concluding another year of industry-leading growth with record earnings and dividends for our company," said David Simon, Simon’s chairman and CEO in a statement. "In 2017, we opened five new centers, delivered six significant property transformations and expansions and completed several major financing transactions that further enhanced our strong balance sheet."

—USA Today

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