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The Latest Real Estate News, Investing and Housing Market Tips

This week’s People of Note includes the following markets: Dallas, Long Island, , National, and Washington, .
Seven-Member Office Team Joins Avison Young in Downtown L.A.
By Randyl Drummer

’s newly opened office in downtown Los Angeles has received a major infusion of talent, bringing aboard a seven-member office brokerage team.

Ted Simpson, Jacob Bobek and Scott Steuber (pictured, from left) join Avison Young as principals effective immediately, according to Chris Cooper, Avison Young principal and of the Canada-based company’s Southern California region.

Simpson also becomes managing director of the company’s Downtown L.A. office, in charge of overseeing the firm’s operations in the key downtown market, servicing clients and growing the firm’s L.A. business.

Michael Ma also joins the office as a vice president, along with Scott Donaghe and Jeff Vertun as associates and Edward Resetar as marketing coordinator.

The team was most recently with Cushman & Wakefield’s downtown L.A. office and the addition further expands Avison Young’s Southern California corporate-occupier services business.

Editor’s Note: CoStar’s People of Note is published each Friday covering the latest commercial real estate executive level promotions and new hires. Click on the headline of each article to jump to full coverage. Send your new executive hires and promotions to news@costar.com. Follow the news on Twitter [at] LaurieForbes and [at] TheCoStarGroup.

Fascitelli Leaving Vornado, Resignation Effective April 15
By Tim Trainor

After 16 years as Steven Roth’s right-hand man at Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), Michael Fascitelli has called it a career at the high-profile REIT and will step down as president and CEO.

Fascitelli’s resignation is effective April 15, 2013, although he will remain a member of Vornado’s board. According to Vornado, Fascitelli will take an extended break from the business before deciding on his future plans.

The REIT has re-appointed Roth as CEO, a position he previously held from May 1989 through May 2009, when Fascitelli was given the job.

Roth personally recruited Fascitelli, who headed the real estate investment group at Goldman Sachs before joining Vornado in 1996. The REIT aggressively expanded under the two hard-charging executives, eventually becoming one of the dominant owners of office and retail space in New York and Washington, DC. It also became known as a highly successful developer of prominent office towers, but also tried to diversify through investments in so-called merchandise-market buildings and in distressed retailers J.C. Penney and Toys-R-Us.

More recently, in response to pressure from investors, Roth and Fascitelli have worked to trim back the REIT’s diverse holdings and focus on its core office and retail holdings in New York and DC.


Mohr Partners Taps North as Managing Director
By Laurie Forbes

Mohr Partners, a global corporate real estate advisor, named Kurt North as a managing director in its Dallas, TX, corporate office. The 15-year veteran specializes in providing development, management, leasing and client services in commercial properties.

North spent the last 10 years as president of North Pointe Commercial Realty Services LLC, a real estate business that served local and national clients. Before North Pointe, he worked six years with Trammell Crow Co.’s DFW development group on nearly $200 million of new construction in the Dallas market. North was also involved in the leasing and marketing of more than 2 million square feet of office space in the area.


Lee & Associates–Central Coast Names New President
By Philippe Recto

Lee & Associates– promoted Clarice Clarke to president. She will continue her brokerage work as well as oversee operations of the offices in Santa Barbara, CA, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. Clarke is the second female president in Lee & Associates’ history.

Stephen Leider, who was the previous president, stepped down but will remain with the Central Coast business. Leider has been with Lee since 2008.

The 25-year industry veteran specializes in investment sales, retail, office and industrial leasing and land sales. Since 1989 Clarke has been active in commercial real estate as a broker, various ownerships and management positions including a shareholder of Lee & Associates SLO/SB, Inc. and founder and partner of Leider Hayes Commercial.

The top producer is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a board member and CFO of Coastal Housing Partnership.


Avison Young Expanding in NYC
By Justin Sumner

John Ryan III joined Avison Young as a principal in the firm’s New York City office, tasked with the further expansion of its transaction services platform through strategic direction and integrated transaction brokerage services for the office’s key landlord and tenant clients.

Ryan most recently serviced as managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, and brings more than 23 years of experience in office tenant and landlord representation. Noteworthy deals in his name include of America’s 1.6 million-square-foot lease and joint venture with The Durst Organization at One Bryant Park and its 320,000-square-foot lease at 50 Rockefeller Plaza. Ryan also represented the landlord in UBS’s 890,000-square-foot lease at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, as well as the China Center / Vantone lease of 200,000 square feet at One World Trade Center.

Prior to joining JLL in 1993, Ryan worked at Compass Management and Leasing, managing Equitable Life’s 8 million-square-foot portfolio in the Tri-State area. He also worked as an asset manager for Sumitomo Realty & Development, after beginning his career at the former Grubb & Ellis in New York City.


Vance C. Miller, Texas Real Estate Mogul, Philanthropist Dies at 79
By Tim Trainor

Vance C. Miller, the chairman and CEO of The Henry S. Miller Co., died last weekend in Dallas. He was 79.

Miller and his father, Henry S. Miller, Jr., took the real estate business his grandfather launched in 1914 and expanded it from a small one-man real estate company into one of the largest and most successful real estate operations in Texas.

During his more than 50-year career in real estate, the Henry S. Miller Co. became synonymous with the growth and success of Miller’s adopted hometown of Dallas. The firm grew from $81 million in volume in 1971 to more than $2 billion by 1981, when the company became the largest real estate brokerage firm in Texas and the seventh largest in the nation.

Born in 1933 in Oklahoma, Miller graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a business degree in 1954. He served as a jet fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and briefly considered pursuing a career in the military before deciding to join his father and grandfather in the family business in 1959.

In addition to brokerage and property management services, his firm developed several million square feet of real estate projects throughout north Texas. Miller also served on the boards of numerous public companies and financial institutions, and he mentored a number of developers and brokers in the Dallas real estate community. The firm remains one of the largest independent full service commercial real estate firms with five offices in Texas, and will mark its 100th anniversary in January 2014.

The company said the leadership currently in place will continue with business as usual. Additional details on its leadership structure will be announced next week. Two of Miller’s sons have leadership roles at the firm. Gregory L. Miller is president of Henry S. Miller Equity Partners, and Vaughn Miller is president of the retail division of Henry S. Miller Brokerage.

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