Lyon Communities hired Trent D. Brooks as COO for the privately held multifamily real estate company based in Southern California.

Brooks will oversee the firm’s multifamily portfolio in California, Colorado, Atlanta and Florida. He comes to Lyon Communities from CWCapital, where he served for the past three years as managing director. There he was responsible for the growth, management and development of CW’s commercial lending platform in the Western U.S. He also served as a member of CWCapital’s operating committee.

NREI talked to Brooks about investors’ pulse and his forecast for 2013. An edited transcript of that interview follows.

NREI: How do you think multifamily investors are feeling about the start of 2013, especially compared to the mood at the beginning of 2012?

Trent Brooks: The mood among multifamily investors remains upbeat, although less so than a year ago. There are many concerns related to taxes, including capital gain tax treatment as well as carried interest tax treatments and overall tax rates. Taxes are expected to rise across most all markets in 2013—about 6 percent on average. A continuing high unemployment rate is also dampening the mood of investors as we reach the New Year.

NREI: What is one issue—regulatory, legislative, economic or emerging trend that you think will have the biggest impact in 2013 on the multifamily investment market?

Trent Brooks: No question, it’s the economy, with concerns that the fiscal cliff will lead to a double-dip recession and higher unemployment. The impact of the fiscal cliff would be felt immediately, as it is estimated that more than 2 million Americans would lose unemployment benefits and the average middle-class family would see an increase of approximately $2,000 in taxes.

The result of complete legislative inaction on the fiscal cliff would likely send the United States into another recession in the first half of the year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In such a scenario, analysts project real economic output to decline by 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to that of 2013. Economists say the dip in GDP would cause unemployment to rise to more than 9 percent.

CBRE Names New CEO, Hires Two, Promotes One

CBRE Group Inc. named Robert E. Sulentic as the firm’s president and CEO. Sulentic succeeds Brett White, who retired November 30. Sulentic also joined CBRE’s board of directors, which has expanded to 11 members. White also remains a member of the board.

As president, Sulentic had direct responsibility for running all business lines and operating segments. He also previously served as CFO, and before that, group president with responsibility for the EMEA, Asia Pacific and development services businesses. Sulentic joined CBRE in 2006 with the acquisition of Trammell Crow Co., where he was the CEO at the time of the merger.

CBRE also promoted Ed Schreyer to president of agency brokerage/asset services for the Americas region. During his 23 years with CBRE, Schreyer has served as a strategic advisor to many developers and owners as well as Fortune 500 corporations.

The company also named Kevin Armstrong as the managing director and market leader for Wisconsin. Armstrong was most recently a senior vice president with CBRE based in Milwaukee. He has more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience and has held significant client service positions at CBRE as well as its predecessor firm, the Polacheck Co., where he was a principal.

In addition, CBRE Hotels hired Marc Sallette as a senior vice president, based in Houston. Prior to joining CBRE, Sallette was a founding partner of BridgeRock Capital Management, where he co-led origination, structuring, hotel-brand and capital-raising activities for the firm’s hospitality investments in Brazil.

Inland Makes C-Wing Promotions

Inland Private Capital Corporation promotoed three executives and hired a fourth to the firm’s senior management team.

Keith Lampi was promoted to COO, Rahul Sehgal was named CIO and Joe Binder was promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions. Dione McConnell was hired as vice president of operations.

Lampi has been with IPCC for more than 10 years and serves on the company’s board of directors. Sehgal has been with the firm for eight years and also serves on the company’s board. Binder has been with IPCC for nearly five years.

In her new role, McConnell will be responsible for the customer service, closing and administrative teams. McConnell has been with other companies related to Inland for 23 years, serving in many capacities in its meeting facility and investment groups.

Bacon Joins Board of Directors at Forest City

Forest City Enterprises Inc. named Kenneth J. Bacon to the board of directors.

Bacon is the co-founder of the recently created RailField Partners, a financial advisory and asset management firm based in Washington, D.C. , and presiding director of the board for Comcast Corp. He becomes the board's seventh independent director. He began his career with Kidder Peabody and later Morgan Stanley, where his focus was on mortgage finance and related products. In 1990, he joined Resolution Trust Corporation as director of policy for the oversight board, and was later named director of securitization.

Three years later, Bacon joined the Fannie Mae as senior vice president, northeast region, and was eventually promoted to executive vice president of the organization's multifamily division. Under Bacon's leadership, Fannie Mae's multifamily division grew from approximately $56 billion in assets to a $190 billion mortgage portfolio, making it the largest U.S. multifamily creditor, with guarantees for one-fifth of all multifamily mortgages in the country. He retired from Fannie Mae in 2012.

GGP Says Goodbye to Zwieg

Hugh Zwieg, executive vice president of capital markets, is leaving General Growth Properties Inc. at the end of the year. CFO Michael Berman will assume responsibility for the capital markets group.

Zwieg joined GGP in 2010. During his tenure, GGP issued $2.3 billion of equity upon its emergence from bankruptcy, effected the Howard Hughes Corp. spin-off, effected the Rouse Properties Inc. spin-off, refinanced $12.1 billion of property level debt, lowered the average interest rate from 5.49 percent to 4.51 percent and generated approximately $2 billion of net proceeds and laddered maturities.

SVP Joins C&W in VA

Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer welcomed Todd Weinstein to the Richmond, Va. office as a senior vice president in the capital markets group.

He will lead the multifamily advisory division for the Central Virginia and Hampton Roads markets. He comes to the firm from Jones Lang LaSalle, where he worked in a multifamily investment advisory role.

Weinstein has worked on multifamily dispositions totaling more than $3 billion during his career and has represented clients including Aimco, Archstone-Smith, C-III Capital Partners, Equity Residential, Pantzer Properties and Principal Global Investors.

RADCO Names VP and General Counsel

The RADCO Cos. named Bryan Gershkowitz vice president and general counsel.

Prior to joining RADCO, Gershkowitz worked at the Atlanta law office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he was responsible for the origination of acquisition and construction loans. He also served as a partner in the commercial real estate and workout group of Atlanta-based McCalla Raymer LLC, which provides legal services to the mortgage banking industry.

VP Joins @properties Commercial

Dan Stratis joined @properties Commercial to head the firm’s commercial real estate brokerage business as vice president.

Stratis comes to the Chicago-based company from Sequoia Realty Group, where he was a vice president.

In his new position at @properties Commercial, Stratis will oversee the firm's leasing and sales activity across the full spectrum of commercial asset classes, including office, industrial, retail and multifamily.

AY Welcomes New VP of Research

Avison Young brought on Matthew Dolly as vice president of research.

Dolly will be based in the company’s Morristown, N.J. office. He will track inventory, compile historical data and perform market forecasting for the office and industrial sectors in New Jersey.

Dolly was most recently a senior managing director in the consulting group for the New Jersey office of Colliers International. While there, he was largely responsible for leading the research and marketing efforts and stabilizing the office during the company’s transition from GVA Williams to First Service Williams Real Estate and then to Colliers International.

In addition to Dolly, Avison Young hired Bridget Nash as a graphic designer. She will also be based in New Jersey and will support the company’s marketing and research efforts with the creation of marketing materials, flyers and presentations, as well as quarterly market research reports.

VP Joins Vesta

Charles M. Moran has joined the Vesta Management subsidiary of the Vesta Corporation as vice president.

Moran oversees the operation of 24 affordable rental housing properties of 4,200 units in Connecticut, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana and Washington, D.C.

He was formerly a senior executive in operations with private company Conifer Realty and nonprofit The Community Builders. Moran replaces Vice President Joshua S. K. Greenblatt, who will now transition to a role in acquisition and development for the organization.

Colliers Forms New Partnership and Brings on NYC Pro

Colliers International formed a strategic partnership with Suzanne Sunshine, a New York City real estate professional who has worked extensively with women-focused businesses and nonprofit organizations.

As part of this new business relationship, Sunshine will represent tenants and landlords through Colliers’ full-service global real estate platform, while also growing her company, S. Sunshine & Associates LLC.

Through the newly formed strategic partnership, Colliers-Sunshine will focus on companies that are led by and/or focused on serving women, including those in the arts, fashion, publishing, health, wellness, cosmetics, technology, education and financial sectors.

Sunshine launched her own full-service real estate brokerage firm that specializes in serving nonprofit organizations more than three years ago. Prior to that, she led the New York nonprofit practice groups at CB Richard Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield.

Colliers International also hired landlord representative Drew O’Malley as executive managing director in the company’s New York City brokerage division.

O’Malley has completed more than 6 million sq. ft. of New York City lease transactions throughout his career on behalf of various building owners. Most recently, he was the managing director of privately-held real estate investment banking company Bluestone Group, where he arranged more than $700 million in transactions.

Sperry Van Ness Names Managing Director

Sperry Van Ness of Miami named David Wells managing director of the Wells Net Lease Group.

The group will be a new net lease division focusing on single-tenant credit-rated retail assets across the country. Wells will be based in Miami and will be in charge of expanding the firm’s presence in selling net leased and retail investment properties. Wells has been involved in more than $1 billion worth of commercial net lease transactions throughout the country and worked as a senior associate for 10 years at Marcus & Millichap.

Two Pros Take New Roles at SRS

SRS Real Estate Partners welcomed executives to lead offices in Dallas/Ft. Worth and South Florida.

Mark Reeder will work in the Dallas/Fort area. Reeder has been with SRS since 2000 and focuses on national retailer and restaurant disposition requirements as well as tenant representation for new store growth in his areas.

John Artope will lead the office in South Florida. He already leads the offices in Orlando and Tampa, and with the addition of the South Florida, he will direct SRS’s entire presence in Florida.

Artope has been active in commercial real estate since 1984 and started with SRS in 2002. He specializes in tenant representation, development, strategic site-selection planning, portfolio dispositions and acquisitions. Currently, he is also a member of the company's leadership council and board of directors.

Director of Leasing Joins Fisher Brothers

Fisher Brothers welcomed Marc Packman to the company as director of leasing.

Packman will oversee and manage the leasing efforts for the firm’s 5.5-million-sq.-ft. portfolio of Midtown Manhattan office properties. He comes to Fisher Brothers from Trinity Real Estate, where he served as senior vice president and director of leasing for its six million-sq.-ft. portfolio of commercial real estate in the Hudson Square submarket of New York.

Horne Joins Sterling as Regional Director

Sterling Organization welcomed Michael J. Horne as regional director for the privately-owned retail real estate investment and services firm, which is headquartered in Palm Beach, Fla.

Horne will be based in Chicago, overseeing acquisitions, leasing and asset management. He has 25 years of commercial real estate experience in the Chicago area and comes to the company from HSS Management Co., where he oversaw a 1.6-million-sq.-ft. portfolio as president.

New Retail Leasing Director for Massey Knakel

Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services hired Kimberly Kines as director of retail leasing.

She will be focusing on the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Alphabet City. Kines comes to Massey Knakal from Sherlock Homes Realty Corp., where she was a rental associate for the Sea Cliff, N.Y. company.

Massey Knakal also named two associates. After working with the company’s special assets team, Edward DiTomasso will be transitioning to an associate role, focusing on Long Island City and Astoria. Before working at Massey, DiTomasso was a teacher. Zachary P. Reubel joined the Brooklyn division as an associate and will work in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Zach comes to Massey Knakal from Lee Nolan & Koroghlian LLC, where he was an associate.

Kalikow Joins Herrick, Feinstein

Herrick, Feinstein hired Richard R. Kalikow as a partner in the firm’s New York office.

Kalikow joins Herrick from Diamond McCarthy LLP, where he was a partner; before that, he was a partner with Skadden for 25 years. Kalikow has extensive experience representing U.S. and international clients, including institutional and private investors in acquisitions, financings, leasing, development, joint ventures, real estate funds and other real estate-related matters.

Muno Joins Pircher, Nichols & Meeks

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks hired Christopher L. Muno as an associate in its Los Angeles office for the firm’s real estate practice group.

Muno comes from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP where he was a real estate associate. While there he represented commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions, borrowers, lenders, institutional and non-institutional investors and operators. He worked with the acquisition, financing, development, construction, leasing, operation and disposition of various commercial real estate asset classes, including vacant land, hotels, multifamily, office, retail, industrial and mixed-use buildings as well as shopping centers.