W. Dean Henry has been named CEO of KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT, a non-traded REIT co-sponsored by KBS Capital Advisors LLC and Legacy Partners Residential Inc.

Henry succeeds C. Preston Butcher, who will continue to serve as chairman of the KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT board of directors.

Henry has been executive vice president of KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT since its inception in August 2009. A 40-year veteran of the multifamily real estate industry, Henry is considered a leading expert in the acquisitions/development, financing, management, and dispositions of apartment assets. He is chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Multifamily leadership board and serves on the executive committee of the National Multi-Housing Council.

The management change at KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT parallels a similar executive transition at Legacy Partners Residential Inc. (LPRI), the Foster City, Calif.-based commercial and residential real estate investment company. In August, Henry replaced Butcher as LPRI chief executive officer, with Butcher remaining as chairman of the board. Former LPRI Chief Financial Officer Guy K. Hays assumed the role as president, while Robert A. Calleja, LPRI senior vice president of finance, became CFO.

NREI talked to Henry about whether multifamily REITS are at their peak, what the improving housing market means to the multifamily REIT sector and how investors are feeling these days. An edited transcript of that interview follows.

NREI: Given how good vacancy and rental rates have been recently, do you think it is possible that multifamily REITS are at their peak? If so, what is coming next? If not, why would they continue to rise?

W. Dean Henry: Even though fundamentals have improved, we feel we still have a lot of runway ahead of us in the multifamily sector. The good news is we are in a low inflationary environment where operating costs are under control and rents around the country are increasing at rates we have not seen in many years. Apartment vacancies cannot go appreciably lower, but rents may continue to rise based on demographics and supply/demand. I believe we have several more years of very solid performance and growth in the multifamily sector.

NREI: If the general housing market starts to turn around, as it is doing in some places, what does that mean for multifamily REITS?

W. Dean Henry: Generally speaking, the turnaround in the housing market will not have a significant effect, if any, on the multifamily sector. As a matter of fact, we are very pleased that the housing market has started to recover; that occurrence is good for all of us. However, we still continue to see real challenges. In the past few years, we have seen a significant reluctance on the part of many young adults, ages 20 to 35, to enter home ownership for good reasons, such as lacking significant jobs or having difficulty starting their careers. This has resulted in one-third of this age group, or 22 million, living at home. In addition, many have become aware that a home has historically been better as shelter than as an investment, as well as some of the perils many face in owning a home with 22 percent of the homes in America with mortgages being under water. This reluctance to jump into owning a home benefits the rental housing industry.

NREI: Pull out your map and tell us where things are hot and where they are cold. What areas of the country are starting to come back and where is the housing market still stalled?

W. Dean Henry: The strongest markets are those where the production of rental housing has been very low and/or there has been some meaningful job growth. Cities that have experienced both slow deliveries of new units and job growth will be the first to see new apartments being built, but I think we will see new construction in some of the cities where very few new jobs have been created as well. In some cities in the Midwest there have been so few new rental properties built that vacancies are extremely low and we are starting to see some meaningful rent increases. At some time in the future this trend will result in new apartments being built in those areas. These same factors will influence where the industry will be active in the future.

The most important factor for the long-term health of rental housing is the need for significant job growth. When that starts to occur, we will see new activity in those areas that have been historically heavy in apartment construction, such as Atlanta, the Texas markets and Phoenix.

NREI: How are investors feeling these days? Like spending? Tight-fisted? How does that compare to this time last year?

W. Dean Henry: The general consensus is that investors are uncertain. This uncertainty is impacted by various domestic and international influences such as the upcoming election, the QE3 and the turmoil in Europe. Until some of these issues are resolved, many investors may choose to stay on the sidelines. This is significantly different than the environment we were experiencing a year ago.

Newgard Welcomes 4 to Firm

Newgard Development Group has brought on four new executives: Chief Financial Officer Humberto Vanegas, Controller Edmundo Angulo, Vice President of Construction Luis Riquezes and Senior Project Manager Rudy Añez.

Vanegas has held previous positions with CC Devco Homes LLC, US Capital Holdings, Related Group of Florida and H&H Development Inc.

Previously, Angulo has held finance positions with Ford Motor Company Mexico, various divisions of General Electric Company and, most recently, with the BBB Group.

Before joining Newgard, Riquezes worked for Turner Construction Company and Grupo Eiffel, an engineering firm based in Venezuela.

Añez has held previous construction roles with Adrian Development Group, H&H Development Inc., CABI Developers and, most recently, real estate developer First United Companies.

CBL & Associates Names New CFO

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. named Farzana Mitchell to succeed John Foy as CFO.

Foy will remain in the near term as executive vice chairman to provide continuity. In addition, the firm’s board promoted Katie Reinsmidt to the new position of senior vice president – investor relations and corporate investments.

Mitchell joined CBL in September 2000 as senior vice president – finance. Prior to joining the company, she spent 18 years at Equitable Real Estate and its predecessor in various senior financial positions.

Reinsmidt joined CBL in 2004 as director of investor relations. Prior to joining CBL, she served as associate analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons, where she provided research coverage for retail, healthcare and lodging REITs.

McGarity Promoted at Cassidy Turley

Cassidy Turley promoted Tom McGarity to managing principal in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio office.

McGarity will oversee 35 brokerage and property management associates and run the daily operations in Columbus, while focusing on the company’s strategic growth initiatives in that market.

Most recently, he was senior vice president with Cassidy Turley, where he specialized in retail and corporate service assignments with experience in the office and industrial sectors.

AY Acquires Calif.-Based Brokerage Firm

Avison Young acquired Starrpoint Commercial Partners Inc., a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in the Santa Monica submarket of Los Angeles.

Starrpoint CEO and founder Randy Starr joins Avison Young as a principal who will lead the company’s efforts to expand its presence and generate transaction volume in the Silicon Beach area of West Los Angeles. Tim Dornan, Starrpoint principal, also joins AY as vice president in the region.

Starr brings to AY more than two decades of experience working in the downtown Santa Monica area, focusing on all facets of commercial real estate. During his career, Starr has completed more than 1,000 retail and office lease transactions valued in excess of $2 billion. He is a member of the Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate Association and the Santa Monica Economic Development Council.

Hines Promotes 15 Real Estate Pros

Hines promoted 12 professionals at the international real estate firm in Houston.

Ilene Allen has been promoted to senior vice president-corporate operations. She joined Hines in 1998 as a manager involved in construction oversight, administration, property management and operations of the Houston Galleria and First Colony Mall.

Russ Bouwhuis has been promoted to vice president. He joined the firm in 2008 after 11 years working in business and technology risk consulting.

David Covington has been promoted to vice president-controller. Since joining the firm in 2006, he has served as a controller and senior controller for the Hines U.S. Core Office Fund.

Matt Damborsky has been promoted to managing director. He joined in 2006 as an assistant project manager working on a variety of regional initiatives.

Kay Forbes has been named treasurer. In her new role, she will continue to provide a bridge between the requirements of the real estate business and the interests of Hines ownership to determine and manage structure, liquidity and investments.

Larry McCarty has been promoted to vice president – construction. He joined the company in 2006 as an assistant construction manager for the multi-phase Sysco headquarters project.

Shea Morgenroth has been promoted to vice president-controller. He joined Hines in 2003 to help build the Hines REIT’s broker-dealer and fund management organizations.

Karlston Nasser has been promoted to managing director. He joined in 1999 as the regional controller for the firm’s South America operation in São Paulo.

Adil Noorani has been promoted to managing director-asset management. He joined Hines in 1998 as a project accountant.

Mimi Ribeiro has been promoted to vice president-controller. She joined Hines in 2005 as a controller and during her tenure, she has been responsible for financial matters relating to seven million sq. ft. of developments representing $500 million in project costs.

Brandee Rogers has been promoted to vice president-controller. She joined Hines in 1995 as a staff accountant. During her years with the firm, she has been responsible for financial matters relating to 8.8 million sq. ft. of development projects representing $2.8 billion in project costs.

Jeannie Schneider has been promoted to vice president-information technology. She joined Hines’ IT department in 2004 as a director of project management.

The firm also promoted three executives at the company’s San Francisco office.

Paul Brenner has been promoted to vice president-controller. He joined Hines in 1998 as a controller and was promoted to senior controller in 2006.

George Clever has been promoted to senior managing director. He joined Hines in 1995 as an assistant project manager focusing on the redevelopment of two office buildings in Los Angeles.

Cam Falconer has been promoted to senior managing director. Falconer came to the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1997, with a focus on new development opportunities for the firm in the greater Los Angeles area as well as the Pacific Northwest.

Ruiz Joins Blanca as EVP

Blanca Commercial Real Estate hired Juan Ruiz as executive vice president.

Ruiz has more than 12 years of market expertise, having closed notable transactions with companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oceania Cruises, Humana/CAC, Firestone, Univision and the U.S. General Services Administration.

Prior to joining Blanca, Ruiz served as director of Codina Realty Services, where he was in charge of leasing Codina Partners-owned properties, including Downtown Doral, a 120-acre mixed-use development in the heart of the City of Doral, Florida, home to the new $22 million Doral Government Center.

Shopping Center Exec Norman Peters Dies

Norman W. Peters, the former senior vice president of the Cafaro Company, died on September 5, after a long struggle with health issues. He was 70 and resided in Canfield, Ohio.

Peters, a Cleveland native, graduated from Cleveland State University. He got his start in the shopping center business in 1967, managing the Richmond and Great Lakes Malls for the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation of Youngstown, Ohio. His career took him throughout the country with stints at First Union Realty Trust, Rubin-Strouse Retail and Bronson & Hutensky.

In 1994, DeBartolo lured him back to Youngstown, where he became the company’s senior vice president of easing. When DeBartolo merged with Simon Property Group two years later, Peters went across town to Cafaro.

Peters is survived by his wife, Carol, two daughters, a son and six grandchildren. His family asked that, in lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember him send contributions in his name to the Cleveland Clinic Tausig institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, P.O. Box 931517, Cleveland, OH 44193-1655.

Cresa NY appoints SVP

The New York office of Cresa appointed Stephen Santoro as its senior vice president. Santoro’s primary role is to build relationships with clients across multiple areas of the business.

In his most recent position, Santoro served as executive managing director at Grubb & Ellis Co., where he oversaw the division of business integration solutions

Two New Hires at Henry S. Miller

Two real estate pros joined Henry S. Miller Brokerage in the Greater Houston-area office.

Lyle Cowand comes as senior vice president-corporate services and Nick Limperos joins as senior vice president to the office-industrial division.

Cowand will specialize in the representation of retail clients who are looking to expand, lease new space, acquire, dispose, develop and accomplish a variety of other real estate objectives. Lyle has worked at the senior-level levels for Transwestern and The Weitzman Group in Texas.

Limperos has specialized in the sales and leasing of industrial land and investment properties for most of his career and will continue to do so at Miller. Prior to joining Miller, he was vice president of the industrial services group at the Grubb & Ellis Co.

Former Lehman Exec Lands at LCOR

LCOR welcomed Aristides Koutouvides to the real estate investment, development and management company as vice president of asset management and acquisitions.

He will be based out of LCOR’s New York City office and will focus on the company’s existing residential portfolio as well as sourcing new real estate investment strategies.

Prior to joining LCOR, Koutouvides served as a team leader for the real estate workout and restructuring group at Lehman Brothers. There he was responsible for managing a team of professionals who oversaw a $1.6 billion portfolio of legacy Lehman commercial real estate investments.

Koutouvides worked as the primary contact between LCOR and Lehman on all joint venture projects since Lehman filed for bankruptcy. He also participated in structuring the recent recapitalization and sale of the company’s interest in LCOR, for more than $800 million to CalSTRS.

C&W Allies with Smith Roberts

Cushman & Wakefield created a new strategic alliance with Smith Roberts National Corporation, a nationwide land survey coordination firm.

Smith Roberts specializes in the procurement, review and delivery of American Land Title Association/American Congress Survey & Mapping surveys for multi-site, multi-state real estate transactions.

As part of the alliance, Jim Ryan joined C&W’s valuation and advisory practice from Smith Roberts to serve as a managing director assisting clients with the full spectrum of survey and title services offered by Smith Roberts.

Based in New York, Ryan will draw on 30 years in new business development relevant to all facets of real estate due diligence. In addition to synergizing the C&W/Smith Robert alliance, he will also work the full suite of C&W valuation, advisory or alliance-hosted services.

Cornerstone Opens New Tokyo Office

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers opened a Tokyo office to serve its Asian clients and to introduce other Asian institutional investors to its U.S. and European investment opportunities.

The new office will be headed by Directors Kelly C. Hayes and Peter Gensheimer, experts in Asian real estate investment markets who have extensive experience in the region, most recently with Savills, a global real estate services provider. Hayes is also a former Citigroup executive and Gensheimer also brings significant real estate banking experience with a large Japanese financial institution and private equity experience in Asia.

Richard Madison Moves to Colliers

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

Over the past 21 years Madison has completed transactions in the U.S. and abroad worth $750 million.

With a particular focus in both office and industrial properties, Madison is also well versed in emerging service lines, such as special servicer brokerage, disposition services, and assets that have fallen into court appointed receivership. Prior to Colliers, Madison was a principal with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in N.J.

Handler Hires Senior Managing Director

Handler Real Estate Organization added Diana Rau Siegal as a senior managing director.

Siegal will represent publishing and media firms, educational facilities, not-for-profit organizations and other commercial transactions. Prior to joining Handler, she was a senior director at First New York Realty, where she worked for more than two decades as both a tenant leasing representative and a building sales agent.

Among her highlights, Siegal represented the Stella Adler Acting Studios in a 24,000-sq.-ft. lease expansion and renewal at 31 West 27th Street. She also completed a 20-year, 32,000-sq.-ft. lease renewal and expansion for Collaborative Arts Project 21, a musical theater conservatory with more than 75 alumni on Broadway, at 18 West 18th St.

Smith Named Managing Director at Hudson Realty Capital

Geoffrey Smith has been named a managing director of Manhattan-based Hudson Realty Capital LLC.

Smith will expand the firm’s lending platform to include more conventional senior and subordinate loans on both transitional and stabilized commercial real estate. He is also responsible for the syndication and distribution of the company’s real estate assets.

Prior to joining Hudson, Smith was a managing director of Natixis North America LLC, an affiliate of Natixis, the corporate, investment and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, France’s second largest banking group. During his career, Smith closed more than 300 transactions totaling in excess of $6 billion on behalf of mortgage banking, broker, fund and developer clients.

Managing Director Joins Transwestern

Transwestern’s New York City office brought on John Grotto to the firm’s Northeast region as managing director. He will focus on the leasing of office and retail space in the New York City area.

Grotto joins Transwestern from The Durst Organization, where he served as a senior leasing manager and led the company’s retail leasing effort. While there, he successfully completed more than 120 combined office and retail leasing transactions for a portfolio of more than 9 million sq. ft. of class-A Manhattan properties. Grotto’s most notable retail transactions have included TD Ameritrade, Verizon, GAP, Staples, Starbucks, Sprint and Dishes.

Grotto joins Transwestern from The Durst Organization, where he served as a senior leasing manager and led the company’s retail leasing effort. While there, he successfully completed more than 120 combined office and retail leasing transactions for a portfolio of more than 9 million sq. ft. of class-A Manhattan properties. Grotto’s most notable retail transactions have included TD Ameritrade, Verizon, GAP, Staples, Starbucks, Sprint and Dishes.

Rockwood Launches West Coast Operation

Rockwood Real Estate Advisors launched its West Coast investment sales and mortgage banking platforms, opening offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Rockwood has hired Sean Fulp as managing director and head of Western U.S. investment sales to lead the company’s investment sales expansion effort. The firm also relocated Rockwood executive Andre Dobrowsky from the New York headquarters to Los Angeles to establish the mortgage banking platform.

Prior to joining Rockwood, Fulp was managing director of the capital group at Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, where he completed more than $1 billion of institutional sales transactions between 2010 and 2012.

Joining Fulp in the investment sales platform is Michael Hegseth, who will manage the day-to-day analytics of the group.

Dobrowsky, who has been with Rockwood for seven years, has arranged more than $3 billion in transactions for the firm and more than $10 billion in his 20-year career. He specializes in debt and equity placement, balance sheet lending facilities, lines of credit, preferred equity, construction loans and note sales.

Inland Group Appoints Armenta

The Inland Group Inc. appointed JoAnn M. Armenta as a director of the company.

Unanimously voted onto the board, Armenta was also recently appointed a director, president and COO of Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc., the newest REIT to be sponsored by Inland Real Estate Investment Corporation.

During her 15 years with Inland, Armenta has held leadership positions for six different REITs and managed more than 35 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate. She helped facilitate the $6.2 billion sale of Inland Retail Real Estate Trust Inc. and assisted with $18 billion in acquisitions and due diligence.

Armenta started her career with Inland as a leasing representative in its multifamily division, and within three years she was promoted to oversee the management of retail, office and industrial properties.

Murdy Joins Institutional Property Advisors

Institutional Property Advisors brought on Brian T. Murdy as national director at the multifamily brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap.

Most recently, Murdy served as a portfolio manager of Hartford, Conn.-based Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers’ flagship core open-end fund. A 28-year veteran of the institutional multifamily investment industry, Murdy had been a portfolio manager for Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers since 1999. In his work, he raised and deployed more than $2.5 billion of capital. He also was responsible for managing and capital-raising for the firm’s $1.7 billion open-ended fund for the past eight years.

Real Estate Pro Joins Almanac as Senior Advisor

Almanac Realty Investors named Simon R.C. Wadsworth as senior advisor.

Wadsworth had served for 16 years as CFO for Mid-America Apartment Communities, a REIT with multifamily investments across the U.S. Sunbelt. After he retired as CFO, he served as special advisor to the chairman from 2010 to 2012. He was also a director of the company during his entire tenure there, from 1994 to 2012.

Wadsworth’s duties will include being Almanac’s representative on the board of directors of some of the companies in which Almanac invests.

Ryan Promotes Two

The Great Lakes regional office of Ryan Companies US Inc. promoted construction division employees Eric Abrams to project manager II and Ryan Ritchie to senior project manager.

In his new role, Abrams is responsible for estimating, coordinating projects, managing the city approval process and overseeing the entire design-build process. During Eric’s five years at Ryan he has worked on such complex projects as the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, a three-story, 105,575-sq.-ft. medical office building in Burr Ridge, Ill.

Ritchie will oversee every aspect of a project including budget preparation, scheduling, value engineering, subcontractor selection, overall project administration and revenue control. A Ryan employee since 2005, Ritchie has most recently managed the construction of projects, including the new Mercedes-Benz of St. Charles automotive dealership and service facility in St. Charles, Ill.

Exec Joins PREI

Prudential Real Estate Investors named Michael Gallagher an associate portfolio manager responsible for managing U.K. and European strategies as part of the company’s global real estate securities team.

Before joining Prudential, Gallagher was an assistant fund manager at Aviva Investors, where he was part of a team managing global and European real estate investment trust funds for institutional and retail clients. He was directly responsible for portfolio construction and stock selection of European listed real estate funds and the European portion of global funds. Earlier, he covered real estate sectors and diversified financials as an equity analyst at Citigroup. He also worked as an equity analyst at Deutsche Bank.

Head of Business Development Hired at A10 Capital

A10 Capital hired Bruce Dashevsky to head up business development efforts in the tri-state market covering Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Dashevsky previously originated commercial mortgages for Metlife Capital and GE Capital.

Lee & Associates Promotes Ackerley

Chad Ackerley has been promoted to associate broker for the industrial division at Lee & Associates Arizona. Ackerley came to Lee in Sept. 2011 as a runner and worked under Principals Stein Koss and Ken McQueen.

Prior to Lee, Ackerley worked for his alma mater, Arizona State University, in the Sun Devil Club, where he worked to generate donations for Sun Devil athletic facilities and its annual fund, which provides scholarships for more than 450 ASU athletes. He also worked in residential and commercial real estate marketing, management and sales throughout the Southwest.

Sales Associate Joins Weichert Commercial

Weichert Commercial Brokerage Inc. brought on “Tee” Soul to the firm as a sales associate.

Prior to joining Weichert Commercial, Soul was a sales associate with Weichert Realtors in Collegeville, Pa. Soul is a Combat Airman Skills Training Instructor in Fort Dix, New Jersey and served active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 2006 to 2010.

World Services Group Names Chairman

Members of the World Services Group elected Bradley D. Kaplan, a partner at Ulmer & Berne LLP to serve as chairman of the organization.

World Services Group is a global membership network whose members are among the top providers of professional business services. There are more than 130 member firms representing worldwide clients. Members operate in more than 115 countries and throughout the U.S.

Kaplan, who splits his time between the firm’s Cincinnati and Chicago offices, has been involved in the World Services Group since 2006.