Cresa New York has hired Howard Cross, naming the former tight end for the New York Giants a senior vice president.
Cross is a 10-year veteran of commercial real estate, having previously served as senior managing director at Colliers International and as a broker at CBRE.
Since he began his real estate career, Cross has served exclusively as a tenant rep broker. His clients include Verizon, Citigroup, Capital One, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Publicis and Equinox.
He spent 13 years in the NFL as a first-string tight end for the New York Giants, where he was a major contributor in the Super Bowl XXV championship. He currently serves as a TV analyst on YES Network’s “This Week in Football” and on NBC Sports during the NFL season. He is also a sideline reporter on the Giants Radio Network and a motivational speaker.
NREI talked to Cross the differences and similarities between the gridiron and the boardroom and the future of commercial real estate.
An edited transcript of that interview follows.
NREI: What are the similarities between the football field and the world of commercial real estate?
Howard Cross: I think the main and only similarity is the competition. There are a lot of different brokerage firms and we’re all competing with each other constantly. You have to be on your game at all times and you never know what is going to happen.
NREI: I imagine there were times as a player when you got a chance to take out some of your aggression on the field. Does that work in the office?
Howard Cross: (Laughing) No, it’s definitely not the same physically when it comes to competition. But mentally it’s about being prepared for meetings, trying to be a sounding board and a useful tool for your clients. No matter how smart we are, no one knows what a firm needs. We have to listen to the firm and they will tell you what they need and we help them grant their wish and make their dreams come true. The only way to do that is to really listen to them.
NREI: Had you always thought about working in real estate, even during your playing days?
Howard Cross: Not really. I had done some work over the years, one job was with a company that was involved in acquisitions of different sites throughout the Northeast and I thought that was a lot of fun. Off-season I’ve done just about anything you can do and when I started out playing I knew that I would need a job after I retired.
NREI: What do you enjoy about commercial real estate?
Howard Cross: The people. It’s very cool to be a part of a good group of people, especially here at Cresa. We can work as a team to collaborate and think up new and interesting ways to help our clients reach their goals from a real estate standpoint. I like the fact that I get to go out and press the flesh, I’m like a politician. I get to know so many people and introduce them to myself and to Cresa.
NREI: What are you looking forward to with Cresa?
Howard Cross: The great people here, the personalities, the hard-work ethic. People are here when I get in and they’re here after I leave at night. You really appreciate that hard-work ethic when you see it in your fellow teammates.
NREI: What do you think are the most important issues right now facing the real estate industry?
Howard Cross: I think the efficiency in our workplace right now is really important. We’re going to do a lot more with less, we’re working smarter and more efficiently. Offices are shrinking in some regions and for some industries and growing in others. Some people are working from home more. Companies are offering floating workstations and collaborative areas instead of just one office with the corner offices. It’s a changing dynamic in our society and it’s having a big impact on the industry.
NREI: What do clients think about your past football career? Is it a selling point?
Howard Cross: Sometimes we get out to enjoy a game or people like to hear all the old stories. I had a conversation with a group of guys in the finance industry and they were trying to compare what they did on a daily basis to what we did as players. They were asking me, “Does a coach truly motivate you to play?” I tried to explain to them that you have to make it your own way. The coach can scream and yell, but if you don’t have a desire to make it, then you’re lost.
NREI: There’s a little wisdom in that.
Howard Cross: Someone once told me that if you think you can or you think you can’t—you’re correct.
President of Winoker Realty Passes Away
David Winoker, the president of Winoker Realty Co. in New York, died June 15 in a skydiving accident. He was 49 and left behind a wife and three children.
Winoker, a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in building construction and contracting, began in real estate as a project and construction manager with Lehrer McGovern Bovis. He shifted the course of his career more than two decades ago by taking the helm of the full-service commercial brokerage and investment firm founded by his father.
Winoker personally was involved in more than a million sq. feet of commercial space and developed a special advisory expertise in property repositioning to help clients extract maximum value from assets situated in changing markets.
Winoker was a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, and had been honored for his charitable work by the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the MANN Foundation. He also served as co-chairman of The State of Israel Bonds’ Real Estate New Leadership Division, winning the Max J. Feld Achievement Award.
Costello Appointed Global Leader at Ernest & Young
Longtime Ernst & Young executive Mark Costello was appointed global leader of the organization’s real estate advisory practice.
For many years Costello was the managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Americas Construction & Real Estate Advisory Services (CREAS) practice.
Costello replaces former global advisory leader, Malcolm Bairstow, who will continue to head the company’s global infrastructure and construction practice.
During Costello’s leadership of Ernst & Young’s CREAS practice in the Americas, he built and led a practice, which now has nearly 100 Ernst & Young employees spread among three major hubs located in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
Bellman Named Head of Global Research at Invesco
Invesco Real Estate named Timothy Bellman head of global research. He will be based in Dallas.
Bellman joins the investment strategy team and will focus on global asset allocation and coordinating research efforts led by the three regional heads of research. He comes to Invesco from ING Real Estate management, where he was the global head of research and strategy since 2007.
The company also brought on Claiborne Johnston as a client portfolio manager. Prior to Invesco, Johnston was with Morgan Stanley Real Estate where he was a managing director responsible for a variety of real estate investment banking and investment management activities. Johnston is based in New York.
Lightstone Expands into NYC
The Lightstone Group, a privately held REIT, is expanding in New York City, tapping developer Dennis Freed to oversee three upcoming New York projects and its citywide efforts.
Prior to joining Lightstone, Freed supervised the construction of dozens of buildings in New York City. Some of his most notable projects include overseeing the construction for the interior renovation of the Solomon S. Guggenheim Museum, the high-rise residential Ariel East and West and the LEED Gold-rated, residential high-rise Tribeca Green – Battery Park City. Freed also served as principal in charge and senior vice president for the Lend Lease Corp. and held senior construction positions at George A. Fuller Construction and HRH Construction.
Hires at Colliers International
Colliers International has brought on Ed Alegre as president of valuation and advisory services in the U.S. He will be based in Irvine, Calif. and will lead the division nationally and coordinate its efforts with the global organization.
Prior to joining Colliers, Alegre served as executive managing director at Grubb & Ellis Landauer. Under his leadership, the firm grew to more than 200 employees, including over 150 valuation professionals across 30 locations nationwide in just two years.
Earlier in his career, Alegre held executive and senior leadership positions working for CB Richard Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield. In addition, he has co-authored several books, including The Commercial Real Estate Sales Guide, and A Tenant’s Guide to Leasing Commercial Real Estate. Alegre also holds the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute.
The firm also named Joseph Harbert as president of its Eastern region.
Harbert will focus on markets including Fairfield County, Conn. Most recently he was the chief operating officer for Cushman & Wakefield in the New York region and its area leader for the Northeast. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2004, he was in senior leadership positions with Edward S. Gordon, Insignia/ESG and later CBRE.
Kevin K. Rude joins the firm’s South Florida team as the director of property management services. He will be responsible for all operations of the property management arm of the firm, including a portfolio of properties of office, retail, industrial and multifamily assets.
Rude is a 25-year property management veteran with previous experience, including the position of regional director of management services at Grubb & Ellis Southern California and Arizona. While there, he added more than 12 million sq. ft. of properties to the company's portfolio of 28 million sq. feet.
Promotions, Hires at CBRE
Eric Stang has been appointed senior director at CBRE Group Inc., and will lead the firm’s business transition and move management services team.
The CBRE service line provides consulting, coordination and implementation services for physical facility changes, including relocations, mergers, consolidations, renovations, technology updates and reorganizations. Stang, who has been with CBRE for more than 14 years, was previously the director of operations for the move management unit.
Stang authored the CBRE large move management playbook and also led a team of project managers in creating the training module which is now used with CBRE staff throughout the world.
Also, CBRE Group Inc.’s capital markets group has hired Jordan Moss in the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area multifamily investment sales team. Moss will serve as first vice president and comes to CBRE from Jones Lang LaSalle, where he directed the firm’s Northern California multifamily practice. Throughout his career, he has closed more than $1 billion worth of transactions.
Two commercial mortgage professionals have also joined the firm as executive vice presidents. Michael A. Cantwell and Brady O’Donnell will be based in the Denver office, serving the Rocky Mountain region.
Cantwell was a co-founding partner and O’Donnell was a principal with Johnson Capital of Colorado (JCOC), a Denver-based mortgage banking firm. CBRE has also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the portion of JCOC’s loan servicing portfolio owned by the JCOC Denver office.
Eastern Union Expands into Philly
Eastern Union Commercial expanded in the Northeast by opening an office in downtown Philadelphia.
The new office, joining company locations in New York, Maryland and New Jersey, is led by Managing Director Eli Breiner.
Within the past several months Breiner has closed loans valued at more than $62 million, including multifamily, mixed-use and medical office properties.
Two Lateral Partners at Haynes and Boone
Haynes and Boone LLP added two lateral partners, Bradford Lavender and Steven Monteforte.
Lavender’s clients include publicly-traded REITs, private equity firms and closely-held real estate companies. Monteforte specializes in the representation of large, institutional tenants in all aspects of their corporate facility needs in New York City and throughout the country, including commercial lease transactions and national and worldwide brokerage and facility management agreement.
Managing Director Joins Berkeley Point Capital
Stephan Gianoplus joined Berkeley Point Capital LLC as a managing director in its Bethesda, Md. office.
Gianoplus comes to Berkeley Point from Deutsche Bank’s commercial real estate group, where he had been since 1998, and was responsible for origination and structuring of large real estate financings across all asset classes in the CMBS, GSE, mezzanine, note financing and syndicated bank loan markets.
In addition, his duties at Deutsche Bank included supervising the multifamily balance sheet bridge lending program, which provided structured financing alternatives to both private and public institutional owners of transitional commercial real estate.
Resmark Names CFO
The Resmark Companies named Jeffrey C. Herrmann chief financial officer.
Herrmann will be based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters and will oversee the company’s finance, accounting and treasury departments and play an active role in its many investment programs and long-range strategic planning.
Herrmann comes to Resmark from EJL Homes, a successor company to national homebuilder John Laing Homes. At EJL, he was actively involved in all current projects and in identifying new housing development opportunities along with managing the accounting and finance functions.
Two Hires at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank hired Noah D. Shlaes, senior managing director, and Michael McDermott, director, to join its global corporate services consulting group.
Shlaes and McDermott come to the division from Grubb & Ellis.
Shlaes was managing director of the strategic consulting group at Grubb & Ellis. Previously, he worked at Arthur Andersen, culminating in his role as director of corporate real estate services and at FPL Associates Consulting.
McDermott had worked with Grubb & Ellis to help expand its client base by strategically aligning real estate and operational needs of corporate owners and tenants. He was previously employed with the Village of Tinley Park, Ill., where he conducted research on downtown redevelopment and economic impact.
Group VP for Boston Hired at Archstone
Archstone appointed Robert McCullough to group vice president of development for the Boston metropolitan area.
McCullough has overseen more than $1.5 billion worth of developments, including 7,740 apartment homes and 1.3 million sq. ft. of commercial office space. This is McCullough’s second stint at Archstone, an apartment investment and operations firm. From 1999 to 2004 he led Boston development efforts at the firm.
Most recently, McCullough was president and founder of Aequitas Properties, a private real estate company focused on co-investing private capital with institutional real estate partners. In addition, he has held leadership positions at JPI and General Investment & Development.
Principal Hired at G.S. Wilcox
G.S. Wilcox & Co. hired Richard G. Tappen as principal.
Tappen comes to G.S. Wilcox from Summit Capital LLC, a private real estate lending and investment fund that he founded.
He was also the founder of Seguin Capital Advisors, advising private real estate investors and the banking industry on debt placement and restructuring. At First Morris Bank, he reorganized the Lending Department staff and procedures. He also founded and organized the United Commercial Capital Group at PNC Bank, providing unique financial solutions for real estate clients.
His professional affiliations include serving on the mortgage committee of the New Jersey Bankers Association, NAIOP, IOREBA, the New Jersey Apartment Association and the New Jersey Builders Association. He has been a member of the Morris County Housing Authority since 2005 and is currently vice chairman.
Promotion at Thompson National Properties
Thompson National Properties LLC promoted James R. Wolford to president and chief operating officer.
Wolford will continue to serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer of TNP, as well as treasurer and secretary of TNP Strategic Retail Trust.
Prior to joining TNP in March 2011, Wolford served as chief financial officer of Pacific Office Properties, where he evaluated and eliminated more than $1 million in annual corporate expenses and successfully negotiated a $125 million credit facility.
Additionally, he was involved in the development and successful filing of an S-11 with the SEC for a $350 million secondary offering of primary common shares.
Lee & Associates Names Principal in Michigan
Lee & Associates welcomes Thomas A. Boutrous II as the newest principal in its Michigan office.
Prior to joining Lee, Boutrous served as an associate broker involved in the expansion and operation of the retail properties division at L. Mason Capitani Inc. Before that, he served as vice president of Retail Services for both Trammell Crow and CB Richard Ellis Companies.