Western Construction Group, the St. Louis, Mo.-based national building restoration and preservation company, which was founded in 1915, has announced the formation of a new team, Western Façades.

The new division will be dedicated to full-scale, multimillion-dollar façade restorations and replacements. It will be led by Senior Operations Manager Michael C. Radigan and will work exclusively on large-scale, complex façade restoration and recladding projects.

Radigan has been with Brisk Waterproofing, a Western company, for more than 30 years. Previously, he was responsible for managing the company’s North East operations, including the New York, Boston, Washington, D.C and Philadelphia branch offices. He worked his way from field mechanic through the ranks of foreman, superintendent and branch manager prior to this appointment.

Radigan has been responsible for façade restoration and repairs for such high-profile projects as George Washington University’s Thurston Hall, the MIT Building 18 restoration in Cambridge, Mass. and the Tweed Courthouse in downtown Manhattan.

The new Western Façades group has been awarded $73 million in assignments in the first year.

NREI talked to Radigan about the cutting edge façade work going on now and what building owners need to know about their own façade jobs. An edited version of that interview follows:

NREI: Why are so many of these projects coming together now? Why do so many buildings need this type of work at this point in time?

Michael C. Radigan: We’re seeing a lot of these projects come together because of the advanced age and outdated construction of many buildings. Many of the projects we work on involve buildings that were built of a certain construction in the early 1960s and are approaching the end of their lifecycle. Building owners need to consider the value of enhancing the entire property from both an aesthetic as well as a functionality standpoint. For example, many older buildings did not take into consideration critical energy-saving designs, such as air barriers or waterproofing. An entire façade renovation will help address these issues.

NREI: How can companies deal with the façade work that needs to be done at a time and an economy when things are not at their best?

Michael C. Radigan: In any economy, all buildings incur ongoing maintenance costs. Today’s building owners can sometimes find themselves spending just as much—if not more—to maintain many of these older building façades. A façade renovation will actually help with cost savings in both the short and long term. From another perspective, this current economy is a good time for qualified building owners to take advantage of the favorable rates banks are offering to finance these projects.

NREI: With 215 East 68th Street, what are some of the innovations going on at the site and how can they be implemented at other locations?

Michael C. Radigan: We’re utilizing the most cutting-edge façade restoration innovations available for our work on 215 E 68th Street.

The building’s white brick façade is being replaced with a highly advanced NBK designed white terra cotta cladding. We’re installing a new “Passive Rain Screen System” that represents the latest development in the continued evolution of façade construction. The system was developed in Germany, and 215 E 68th Street represents the largest use of this system in a restoration project of an occupied building. The new system will provide energy savings by preventing heat transfer from the exterior skin through a 3-inch-to-4-inch air and insulation barrier, while providing full air and vapor protection. It also requires less maintenance than traditional masonry systems and makes repairs easier.

These innovations and systems can be implemented in most any façade replacement project on the market today.

NREI: What is one of the most important things that commercial building owners need to know about façade restoration and replacement right now?

Michael C. Radigan: Before starting any façade restoration project, it first comes down to choosing the right partners. It’s important for building owners to work with a contractor that has a strong expertise in the area of façade restoration and replacement work—someone who has worked on previous projects and understands all the details. Similarly, building owners must select the right manufacturer for providing the materials used—you want a vendor who stands behind what they say, delivers quality materials and sticks to their promised delivery schedule.

CEO for the Americas Among Hires, Promotions at CBRE

CBRE has appointed Cal Frese CEO of the company’s Americas business. He is responsible for leading the firm’s largest business segment with more than $3 billion of annual revenue and more than 20,000 employees.

For several years, Frese previously led the Americas region, first as COO and then as president, before assuming various leadership positions within CBRE’s global organization in 2009. Most recently, he had operating responsibility for several of the company’s global business lines, including global corporate services, asset services and valuation and advisory.

Prior to joining CBRE, Frese was general partner and COO of Whittier Partners, a New England-based-full-service real estate company and joint venture partner of CBRE.

Additionally, CBRE named Mike Lafitte global president, CBRE Services. He will have executive responsibility for all aspects of CBRE’s service-company operations globally, including the Americas, EMEA, Asia Pacific and global corporate services.

Lafitte previously served as president, Americas. He serves on the Global Operating Committee of CBRE.

Prior to becoming President, Americas, Lafitte was responsible for the company’s asset services business in the Americas and global corporate services. Previously, he served as president of global services for Trammell Crow Company and was a member of the firm's executive committee and operating committee.

CBRE also brought on Mike Gerard as president of its U.S. Central division, which covers more than 25 offices in nine states.

Gerard has served as chief learning officer since early 2011, with responsibility for CBRE University and other learning and development programs, and he will provide executive oversight for CBRE University. Andrea Lipton, corporate director of learning and development, has been promoted to vice president and will run the University’s day-to-day operations.

Gerard joined CBRE in 2005 as managing director of the company’s Detroit office. Prior to CBRE, Gerard was an executive vice president and managing director with Grubb & Ellis. Throughout his career he has closed more than 990 lease and sale transactions with an aggregate consideration of over $1 billion.

CBRE also appointed Chris Kirk chief administrative officer. He will have executive responsibility for key shared services functions, including sourcing and procurement, IT, corporate communications, program management office, human resources and workplace strategy and global research.

Kirk previously served as global director of human resources, where he oversaw the company’s worldwide human resources operations, providing strategic oversight and senior management support for employee relations, staffing and recruitment, training and professional development, diversity, compensation and benefits.

The company additionally named Laura O’Brien global director of human resources and workplace strategy. She will oversee CBRE’s worldwide human resources operations encompassing 34,000 employees. Her areas of responsibility will include employee relations, staffing and recruitment, training and professional development, diversity, compensation and benefits. She also has responsibility for global facilities, including CBRE’s workplace strategy initiative.

Before this post, O’Brien was senior vice president, global facilities and special projects.

Also, CBRE has promoted Robert Stillman to vice chairman. Stillman is an 18-year veteran of CBRE’s consulting group, joining the division when it was the Edward S. Gordon Company. His prior real estate experience was at Republic National Bank, Trammell Crow and Prudential Real Estate Investors.

CBRE also promoted William Iacovelli to executive vice president. Based in New York, Iacovelli acts as a real estate consultant and tenant representative for the firm. He started at CBRE in 1999 and throughout his career in New York has specialized in commercial office leasing. Though based in Manhattan, he has represented national and local tenants. In addition, he has completed more than 1.6 million sq. ft. of office leasing transactions in Manhattan, along with over 500,000 sq. ft. of office/industrial space nationally.

Also at CBRE, Ben Friedland has been promoted to executive vice president. At 36, Friedland is the youngest person in CBRE’s New York offices with that title. He represents financial service firms with operations in Manhattan.

CBRE Raleigh named Brad Corsmeier, Charlie Coyne and Jason High principals of the company.

Corsmeier joined CBRE Raleigh in 2010. In the last five years, he has participated in more than $200 million in transactions. Coyne has been with CBRE Raleigh since 2008. Under his direction, the Raleigh retail portfolio has grown by more than 6 million sq. ft. High joined CBRE Raleigh in 2004. Over the past nine years, he has focused solely on the representation of corporate office tenants.

CBRE Fredericksburg hired Phillip J. Baxter as senior vice president. Baxter has more than 10 years of commercial real estate experience, including the last two years as executive vice president of Silver Commercial Brokerage. He has primarily focused on office leasing in the Mid-Atlantic region of Virginia and leased over 350,000 sq. ft. of class-A office space at the new Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford, Va.

Berkeley Point Hires President

Jim McDevitt is joining Berkeley Point Capital LLC as its president. He will be responsible for management of the firm’s day- to-day operations, including the firm’s production, underwriting and closing activities.

McDevitt most recently served as executive vice president, in the capacity of head of correspondent development, for Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital.

VP of Marketing, Business Development at Janitronics

Janitronics Building Services hired Dorrian Cohen Fragola as vice president of marketing and business development.

Fragola will work with Janitronics as it continues its growth in the New England marketplace. Don Brecher, president of Janitronics, created this role especially for Fragola based on the company’s many successful years of working with her in her previous position as senior corporate sales manager at the Boston Business Journal.

VP Joins Weichert Commercial

Hing Lum has joined Weichert Commercial Brokerage as vice president. Lum brings with him 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, specializing in investment, retail and multi-family properties as well as land development.

Prior to joining Weichert Commercial, Lum served as a property manager and realtor aiding clients in sales, leasing and the development of commercial and residential properties. In addition, he was the owner and operator of Century 21 Jeffur Realty and Interverse Construction.

FVP and Director Join MK

Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services welcomed Gregory Bartlett as first vice president of retail leasing specializing in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y..

The firm also hired Blake Seltzer for the capital services division as a director.

Bartlett comes to MK from at The School for Classics: An Academy for Thinkers, Writers and Performers in Brooklyn, where he was dean, advanced placement calculus teacher and youth mentor.

While working at the school, Bartlett started RBM Brokerage LLC, in Hartford, Conn. He holds Connecticut and New York real estate broker’s licenses.

Seltzer will focus on assets located throughout the New York metropolitan market, especially in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. He held two internships at Massey Knakal in the Investment Sales and Capital Services departments.

New Managing Director of IT Joins Rose Associates

Rose Associates hired Robb Napolitano as managing director of information technology. Napolitano joins Rose from MAXX Properties, where he led the management of IT services supporting more than 50 locations throughout the United States.

Napolitano has more than 14 years experience in the application of information technology solutions across multiple industries. He has also worked with several international organizations such as Brunschwig & Fils, Unisys, The Rothschild Group and Hoffmann-La Roche.

Two New Hires at Knight Capital

Knight Capital Group Inc. has brought on two key hires within institutional fixed income sales and trading division.

Robert Cestari joins Knight as managing director and head of commercial mortgage backed securities and commercial real estate debt trading. David Simek comes as managing director and head of CMBS sales. Previously, both were at PrinceRidge Group.

Cestari spent five years on the buying side, first with Apollo Real Estate Advisors and then with their affiliate Winthrop Realty Partners. Prior to that, he was the head of the CMBS trading and syndication desk at Nomura Securities.

Simek was a managing director, portfolio management and trading at Highland Capital Management. Before that, he was a managing director within fixed income sales for both Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Five Promoted at Studley

Studley has promoted two professionals in its West Los Angeles office, naming Matthew Brainard and Craig Jablin senior managing directors.

Also in the West Los Angeles office, the firm promoted three members of the company’s national corporate services group. Alex Blue and Corey Davidson were promoted to senior managing director from corporate managing director. Liron Nelik was promoted to corporate managing director from managing director.

Both Brainard and Jablin were previously corporate managing directors. Brainard has an extensive background in tenant representation on behalf of media, technology, life sciences, financial and business services companies. He joined the firm in 2008 and has executed transactions totaling more than 3.5 million sq. ft.

As a member of the corporate services group, Blue delivers strategic and financial consulting services and specializes in transaction structuring, negotiation strategy and financial analysis for a wide range of corporate clients. He joined the firm in 2005.

Jablin joined Studley in 1995 and has been involved in more than 10 million sq. ft. of transactions. He focuses on strategic planning, lease and purchase consulting, and transaction management.

Davidson has been with the firm since 2001 and is responsible for developing and delivering strategic consulting and brokerage services that bridge corporate finance and commercial real estate for companies with facilities in multiple markets.

Nelik began his career with Studley in 2000. He provides strategic support and transaction management services on behalf of the group’s national corporate clients.

New Senior Managing Director and Director Hired at HFF

HFF hired Jeffrey Thomas as a senior managing director in its Orange County, Calif. office and David Wagner as a director in the firm’s Atlanta office.

Thomas will focus on net lease investment sales nationally and Wagner will work primarily on multifamily investment sales throughout the southeastern United States.

Before joining HFF, Thomas worked as a senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis with a focus on national net lease sales and completed more than $3.6 billion in investment sales while there. Prior to joining HFF, Wagner worked as an investment manager at Cortland Partners LLC and an associate broker at Cushman & Wakefield specializing in multifamily asset sales.

Cantor Hires Director for Loan Origination

Cantor Commercial Real Estate welcomes Kenneth Margala, who joins the firm as a director and will focus on loan origination based in Newport Beach, Calif., expanding the company’s business in California and throughout the West Coast.

Margala was previously an executive director at UBS Investment Bank where he focused on CMBS, bridge and mezzanine transactions. Previously, he was a real estate consultant for several financial institutions, including the FDIC evaluating and grading commercial real estate loan portfolios, refinancing and acquisitions.

Erdman Brings on New Director of Business Development

Erdman Company has brought on Mark Jones as the firm’s new director of business development for the Northwest region.

Jones has more than 10 years of experience providing administrative oversight for both private and hospital-based medical services, successfully managing complex, multimillion-dollar enterprise sales processes for medical software and medical device companies. At Erdman, Jones will be responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships and enterprise sales from the firm’s Seattle office.

In his previous role as principal at Black Rock Management LLC, Jones led the strategic development and execution of the Radiosurgery Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, the only facility in the Pacific Northwest to offer both CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies for treating tumors.

JLL Merger and Promotions in California

Jones Lang LaSalle has merged operations with 360 Commercial Partners, a real estate service firm in Orange County, Calif.

360 Commercial Partners’ 12 employees will join JLL’s 860-member team across Southern California, bringing the total number of employees based in Orange County to 143. Jeff Ingham will lead the office and research and development practice and Louis Tomaselli will lead the firm’s Orange County industrial practice.

JLL also promoted Amber Schiada and Julia Georgules as research directors in Northern California. Both were previously senior research analysts. Schiada will work in the Silicon Valley and Sacramento office markets and lead industrial research for the Northern California region. Georgules will direct research and analysis of the San Francisco and East Bay office markets.

Before she came to JLL, Schiada was an associate at the Berkeley, Calif.-based Rosen Consulting Group. There she aided in producing regional economic and real estate market forecasts and published written analysis on all property types for clients that included institutional investors, real estate developers and asset managers.

Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2008 merger with The Staubach Company, Georgules was a research assistant with that company and was later promoted to Senior Research Analyst at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Senior Associate Joins Rosenthal Properties

Rosenthal Properties of Virginia has added commercial leasing professional Nicola Carleton to its ranks as a senior associate. Carleton comes to Rosenthal from Trammell Crow, where she served 10 years as an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Carleton’s core function will be landlord representation for Rosenthal’s existing properties and clients.

Attorney Joins Pircher, Nichols & Meeks

Anne Alexander has joined Pircher, Nichols & Meeks as an associate in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Alexander, who specializes in land use and environmental law, is an addition to the firm’s real estate practice. Prior to joining the firm, she was with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where she represented lenders, financial institutions, businesses and property owners in a broad array of land use, real estate and environmental matters since early 2009.

VP of High-Rise Operations Comes to Wentworth

Wentworth Property Management Corp. welcomes Cyndy Pirrera as vice president, high-rise operations.

Her focus will be with New Jersey high-rise clients and also with developing community-wide initiatives with municipalities throughout the Wentworth portfolio.

Pirrera has nearly two decades of experience in both high rise management and community association management, and is also a Certified Manager of Community Associations. She is currently serving as President of the Community Associations Institute, New Jersey Chapter, serving over 1,800 members. Previously, she was vice president/COO for Signature Property Group in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., where she provided oversight and handled all day-to-day corporate business operations.