Real estate investor and developer Aaron Malinsky launched Curbcut Urban Partners, a real estate development firm based in New York City.

The firm will be run with his partners and family members, Carolyn Malinsky and Benjamin Malinsky. The new firm will focus on site selection and development of mixed-use retail, industrial and office properties, especially in under-utilized and overlooked areas. Carolyn Malinsky and Benjamin Malinsky will serve as vice presidents of the company.

Aaron Malinsky has developed more than 100 shopping centers throughout the metropolitan New York region, as well as a variety of residential and industrial projects. In his career he has worked on 21 million sq. ft. of retail space, 4.75 million sq. ft. of industrial distribution space and 300,000 sq. ft. of office space. His current projects include the Throggs Neck Shopping Center in the Bronx, River Plaza in the Bronx and City Point in Brooklyn.

The new venture marks something of a comeback for Malinsky, who was indicted in March 2011 and charged with paying bribes to a shell company linked to former Senator Carl Kruger, the disgraced New York state senator from Brooklyn. In November 2011, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the case against him, according to published reports. From the outset, Malinsky insisted that he believed the money was going to a legitimate consulting firm. Kruger was sentenced to seven years in prison in April after pleading guilty.

NREI talked to Malinsky about the Kruger legal flap, as well as about his plans for his next venture and the pulse of the industry.

NREI: How do you deal with the fallout from the Kruger affair and prevent it from tainting this new endeavor?

Aaron Malinsky: I have been fully exonerated of all charges, with no conditions whatsoever. I have over 40 years of national and local retail experience, relationships and knowledge in this industry and I am confident in my existing and prospective relationships.

NREI: What are consumers demanding from their retail centers that they were not demanding, say, five years ago?

Aaron Malinsky: Consumers are demanding a very compelling reason to go “shopping.” The primary reason to go to the store is for a real value or bargain. The second most important reason is to experience an exciting store ambiance created with physical design and merchandising. We as shopping center developers have to establish centers with smart, exciting retailers.

NREI: How can brick and mortar shops continue to compete with the juggernaut of online shopping?

Aaron Malinsky: The number one reason people stop shopping at a store is the failure to maintain full shelves (in-stock conditions) all week long. The number two reason is a lack of well-trained, friendly sales people that know their company's merchandise. Just think of how many times you go shopping and the clerk says, “Sorry, we don't have that item. Try our website.”

NREI: What are some areas or neighborhoods in the region that you think are particularly ripe for development?

Aaron Malinsky: We develop in all five boroughs of New York City and know its neighborhood tastes and retailer needs extremely well. New York has several areas transforming from industrial and commercial centers into dynamic, youthful residential neighborhoods. To name a few: Williamsburg; Downtown Brooklyn; and Long Island City, Queens.

NREI: What is one of the biggest issues or trends facing people like you who develop retail real estate right now and what do you think needs to be done about it?

Aaron Malinsky: While there are several issues facing our industry, there are three of primary significance to Curbcut Urban Partners. The first is to avoid cannibalistic expansion of retailers—that is not to create a new shopping center that will destroy a vibrant existing center. The second issue for us is to have retailers understand the “real” demographics of New York's boroughs. The population and disposable income of our neighborhoods are higher than reported. This means the sales potential of our projects is higher than those developed by retailers’ research departments. Finally, retailers need to better understand the higher economics of development in New York. These costs are more than offset by the sales generated at a good site; occupancy costs for a retailer are a function of sales volume. New York's boroughs offer the greatest opportunity for long-term sales growth.

FirstService Merger Makes Tolander New CEO

FirstService Residential Realty merged with TenantAccess Inc. and PropertyAccess Inc.

All three companies are subsidiaries of FirstService Corp. The company offers a complete suite of services ranging from acquisition, market and property assessments, leasing and evictions through to disposition.

Greg Tolander, formerly COO of FirstService Corporation subsidiary Field Asset Services, has been appointed CEO of FirstService Residential Realty. Danielle Cooney, who previously served as vice president of national operations for FirstService Residential Realty, was named chief operating officer and Jim Warren, formerly senior vice president with TenantAccess and PropertyAccess, was named chief marketing officer.

Wain Named CFO at Rouse

Rouse Properties Inc. named John A. Wain CFO and promoted Timothy Salvemini to CAO.

Wain comes to Rouse from Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (formerly Calyon Corporate & Investment Bank) where he was a managing director and head of real estate, Americas. He was responsible for overseeing Credit Agricole’s U.S. real estate lending business. Over the course of his 24-year career, Wain has focused on structuring and negotiating secured and unsecured corporate real estate facilities and property level loans for public REITs, owners and developers, as well as corporate bonds, interest rate derivatives and equity transactions.

Salvemini previously served as the director of finance and accounting at Brookfield Investment Management Inc. from July 2010 until joining Rouse in January 2012.

McGuinness Named President of Inland

Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc. named Thomas P. McGuinness president of Inland American by the board of directors.

McGuinness joined Inland in 1982 and has held several executive positions throughout the firm’s organization. In his new role, McGuinness will oversee the management of the company’s day-to-day operations, including the strategic business plan, investment decisions, asset management and financing functions.

McGuinness also serves as the president of Inland American Business Manager & Advisor Inc. and will maintain that position. McGuinness is replacing Brenda Gujral, who is stepping down from the president position to concentrate on her new role as president of Inland Private Capital Corp. She will continue to serve on the board of directors for Inland American and recommended McGuinness as her successor.

Rebrand and Promotion for UGL

UGL Services and DTZ (including the DTZ Barnicke sub-brand) have been rebranded as DTZ, a UGL Company.

Following that global rebranding, the company appointed Colin Ross to president of the Canadian brokerage operations. Ross will assume responsibility for developing and implementing DTZ's growth strategy for the Canadian transaction and advisory skill lines, with a focus on expanding business relationships with corporate occupiers, owners/ developers and government/public sector clients.

Ross originally joined DTZ in 1986 (then known as JJ Barnicke Ltd.) as a Toronto leasing transaction specialist and returned to the firm in 2007 as the brokerage leader for the firm’s Downtown Toronto brokerage operations.

Atrium Names Managing Partner

Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation appointed Bruce J. Weston as managing partner for British Columbia and opened Atrium's Vancouver office.

Weston was most recently vice president of a Vancouver-based boutique financial firm specializing in mezzanine construction lending and structured commercial and residential mortgages, with average outstanding balances of about $500 million.

LYND Names Managing Partner

LYND named Constantine “Taki” Scurtis a managing partner for the national real estate investment, development and management firm.

Scurtis joined LYND in 2009 as vice president of business development after serving as a consultant with the firm. In his new role, he will be responsible for managing LYND’s Miami office on Brickell, which he recently opened, as well as sourcing new real estate opportunities.

During his nearly four years at LYND, Scurtis has sourced and closed more than $500 million of acquisition pricing of nonperforming loans and REO properties, and created an asset management division to handle all of the new investments. He was also instrumental in putting together a major deal to co-develop a 35-story luxury multifamily high rise in Miami’s Mary Brickell Village.

CBRE Group Acquires Vietnam Affiliate

CBRE Group Inc. acquired its affiliate company in Vietnam, CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.

A CBRE affiliate for nearly 10 years, CBRE Vietnam offers a wide range of services, including property sales, office and retail leasing, occupier advisory services, residential project marketing, property and facilities management, project management, consulting, research and valuation.

Marc Townsend, managing director, and Richard Leech, executive director, will continue to lead the operations in Vietnam following the acquisition. Townsend and Leech have jointly managed the Vietnam affiliate since its founding in 2003. CBRE Vietnam has a staff of more than 160 people and serves clients from offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hanoi.

Two Execs Join TriLyn

TriLyn Investment Management LLC welcomed Matthew B. Grodd as principal and Christopher J. Sweeney as vice president.

Grodd will focus on the firm’s commercial real estate debt investment portfolios and assist with the due diligence and underwriting of new investments. Sweeney is primarily responsible for portfolio accounting and reporting, as well as assisting the investment team on underwriting and surveillance.

Grodd was previously a vice president with Fortress Investment Group, managing commercial real estate mortgage portfolios and collateralized debt obligations. Sweeney comes to TriLyn from at Aetos Capital LLC where he was an associate and managed the accounting and financial close process for Aetos Capital Asia II, a $2.2 billion fund.

Cresa New York Names SVP

The New York office of Cresa appointed Dolores Minardi as senior vice president.

Minardi comes to Cresa New York from Colliers International where she was a senior managing director. There she played a major role in a number of significant transactions, including the negotiation of a 106,000-sq.-ft. renewal and expansion deal for the Lowes Corporation at 655 Madison Avenue.

Whiting Appointed to VP Client Services at Argo

Argo Real Estate appointed Lynn Whiting, the company’s former director of management, to the newly-created role of vice president of client services.

Whiting has spearheaded Argo’s property management division since 2000. Her former operational duties will now be completed by Ken Nilsen. Prior to joining Argo, Whiting worked in both commercial and residential property management.

NGKF’s Dallas TeamGains Two

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Global Corporate Services added two professionals to its team in Dallas.

Jefferson Lillard joins as a managing director and Jim Landsaw is a new managing director, account management.

Lillard recently served as a senior adviser with Cresa where he focused on sourcing and procuring portfolio account work for its national corporate services group. Landsaw comes from Fischer & Co. where he was a senior vice president.

Two Pros Join Colliers

Colliers International New Jersey welcomed Richard Mirliss, who will serve as an executive managing director.

Mirliss specializes in investment sales and tenant and landlord representation throughout northern New Jersey. A former vice president of business development at Citigroup, Mirliss has analytical experience in real estate, financial services and strategic solutions and intimate knowledge of the banking sector. During his career he has completed more than $500 million worth of transactions.

Mirliss comes to Colliers from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank where he was a managing director and led a multi-faceted brokerage team for eight years.

In addition, Colliers International South Florida hired John Smotryski as director of project management.

Smotryski has more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning and execution of construction operations and served as senior project manager for a number of South Florida projects, including the Mint Condominium in Downtown Miami.

Prior to joining Colliers, he served as senior project manager for Coastal Systems Development where he was in charge of the redevelopment of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for Norwegian Cruise Lines.

CBIZ Brings On New Managing Director

Colliers International New Jersey welcomed Richard Mirliss, who will serve as an executive managing director.

CBIZ welcomed Edward Reitmeyer as managing director and head of the real estate advisory services group in the Philadelphia office of CBIZ MHM LLC.

Reitmeyer has more than 25 years of public and private accounting experience in the real estate sector. He comes to CBIZ after founding Wynnewood Financial Partners LLC and serving as Wynnewood Development Inc.’s CFO.

Arbor Appoints Olson to Director in Chicago

Arbor Commercial Mortgage LLC appointed Paul Olson as a FHA originations director in the company’s Chicago office.

He is responsible for originating FHA-insured multifamily, seniors housing and healthcare facility loans nationwide on an expedited basis for acquisition, refinance and construction transactions. Olson has more than 20 years of experience in commercial lending, investment banking and equity investment.

Prior to Arbor, he was vice president and regional director for Great Lakes Financial Group, another FHA MAP and LEAN Lender.

Voress Joins Raymond James

Raymond James Tax Credit Funds hired Andy Voress as director of institutional investment.

Voress will focus on business development opportunities with companies interested in investing in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funds. He has more than 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently leading the LIHTC equity investment program for a major insurance company. In that role, Voress directly oversaw the investment of more than $500 million in 15 multi-investor funds.

U.S. Bank Gains Market Manager in Minn.

Mike Franta joined U.S. Bank as Minneapolis market manager for U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate.

Franta comes to U.S. Bank from the business capital group at GMAC ResCap, first as chief operating officer, then as president.

Ryan Promotes Harryman to Division Manager

Ryan Cos. US Inc. promoted Mike Harryman to division manager of the SouthEast region.

In his new role, Harryman is responsible for creating an environment of learning and growth within the operations team, allocating appropriate staff to workload requirements, and internally and externally promoting the Ryan culture.

Since joining Ryan 14 years ago, Mike has worked on marquee projects for such clients as John Deere, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, Delta Dental, Nationwide Realty Investors and Target Corporation.

Cassidy Turley Hires Property Manager in Ohio

Cassidy Turley hired Kevin McLewee as a property manager with its Columbus, Ohio office.

He joins Cassidy Turley in Columbus from Colliers International’s Baltimore office where he managed or assisted in managing more than 4 million sq. ft. of industrial/flex, office, retail and mixed use space in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Lee Names Member to Advisory Board

Lee & Associates named another member of its 2012, 2013-2014 advisory board.

Comprised of seven individuals elected from the pool of presidents and managing partners, the advisory board is responsible for setting policy and shaping Lee’s strategic direction.

The newest member is Jon Savoy, president of Lee & Associates’ Michigan office. He will serve a two-year term on the board.

Associate Joins Hunter Realty

Hunter Realty brought on Matthew Abrahamson to the company’s Chicago office as an associate.

He will advise and support clients on hotel real estate sales and oversee the company’s direct marketing efforts for the greater Midwest region. Abrahamson comes to Hunter from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank where he was a commercial real estate advisor in the Chicago office.

C&W Hires Four

Cushman & Wakefield added Porter Henritze to the firm's Atlanta office.

Henritze joins the office agency leasing team of Cushman & Wakefield's corporate occupier and investor services department as a leasing agent where he will focus on office landlord representation. Before joining Cushman & Wakefield, Henritze was with the Brookdale Group, an Atlanta-based privately held commercial real estate investment company.

C&W also hired Ryanne Pennington as a brokerage associate. She will focus on transaction management and business development. Pennington comes to C&W from CresaPartners.

Blake Fertitta joins the Atlanta office as a junior appraiser and will work in the firm’s multifamily valuation and advisory services team. He was previously a community bank client specialist in the Marietta, Ga. headquarters of Valuation Management Group LLC.

C&W also hired Sherry Cushman as an executive managing director to lead the company’s law firm advisory practice. In her new role, she will be based in Washington, D.C. and will travel the country working with tenants and a wide range of C&W professionals.

Prior to joining the firm, Cushman was a senior vice president at CBRE. She has spent her entire 27-year career exclusively advising tenants in the legal and nonprofit/association sectors throughout the United States. During her career, Cushman has represented law firm tenants throughout the country totaling more than 5 million sq. ft. of leasing and build-to-suit transactions.

Marketing Head Named for Berkeley Point

Berkeley Point Capital LLC named Lina Storm as director, national head of marketing.

She will be based in Boston and will be responsible for developing and managing the firm’s overall strategic marketing program. Storm comes to Berkeley Point from John Hancock in Boston where she was director of marketing operations.

NYU Schack Honors Rudin

The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate will honor Mitchell E. Rudin, the president and chief executive officer of U.S. commercial operations for Brookfield Office Properties Inc. at the institute’s 42nd Urban Leadership Award Dinner on October 9 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

The Urban Leadership Award was created to recognize a professional leader who has contributed significantly to the growth and prestige of the real estate industry. Past winners include Stephen M. Ross, John E. Zuccotti, William Rudin, Douglas Durst, Bruce Ratner, Mike Fascitelli, and most recently, Mary Ann Tighe.

Rudin provides executive oversight for the day-to-day operations and asset management of Brookfield’s 50 million sq. ft. of premier office space across the company’s seven U.S. markets.

CBRE Pro Honored by CoreNet

CoreNet Global’s New England Chapter awarded the global Real Estate Service Provider Leadership Award to CBRE’s Karen Ellzey, who is executive managing director, global occupier consulting.

Award winners are selected based on their record of delivering creative client solutions combined with highest standards of professional service. Eligible professionals provide service in the fields of design, engineering, construction, real estate advisory services, legal services, and project management.

Bringing more than 20 years of consulting experience to her role, Ellzey oversees CBRE’s global occupier consulting organization which provides an array of services to both private and public-sector clients, including workplace strategy, portfolio strategy and planning, organization design, process improvement, and occupancy expense management.