Newmark Knight Frank Promotes Six and Blesso Properties Taps Price as Pres.

Newmark Knight Frank has announced the promotion of six professionals in its New York City office: Ross Kaplan, Benjamin Birnbaum, Trever Gallina, Kate Cohen, Hymie Dweck and Kenji Ota, it was announced last week.

Mr. Kaplan, who most recently represented thbin its purchase of a 26,000-square-foot retail condominium at 200 West End Avenue, has been promoted to senior managing director from the managing director position. His clients have included Lenscrafters, Bank of America, Wachovia, Payless Shoes, TD Bank, Ritz Camera & Image, Levi’s, CVS Pharmacy and Jamba Juice.

Mr. Birnbaum, who currently represents The Empire Hotel Group, Brause Realty Corp., SL Green Realty Corp., and Walter & Samuels, Inc., has been promoted to managing director from the director position. As exclusive representative for Pret A Manger, Birnbaum has completed a 20-store New York City roll-out to date. He also represents Potbelly Sandwich, Crumbs Bakeshop, Citibank, Five Point Partners, and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Mr. Gallina, who currently represents the Paris-based luxury brand Faconnable in developing strategies for repositioning the brand in New York City, has been promoted to director from the associate director position. Most recently, he secured the flagship store for the women’s luxury brand Barbara Bui on Rodeo Drive and the Soho flagship for James Perse.

Ms. Cohen, Mr. Dweck, and Mr. Ota have all been promoted to associate director from director positions.

“Newmark Knight Frank Retail has had some of its best few years, and we are proud to have been involved in many of New York’s higest profile retail deals and successful rollouts,” said Jeffrey Roseman, executive vice president of NKF, in a prepared statement. “I am thrilled for these individuals who have worked tirelessly to make Newmark Knight Frank Retail the best in class in NYC.”

Blesso Properties, a real estate development and investment firm that bills itself as socially conscious, has hired Albert Price as president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Price, who previously served for 12 years at Goldman Properties—most recently as a managing director and partner—will work closely with Matthew Blesso, the company’s founder and chief operating officer. He will be charged with the identification, concept development, management and financing of all projects, according to a press release.

“We don’t view ourselves as a typical development firm, and I was not looking for a typical president,” said Mr. Blesso in a statement. “Our firm isn’t interesting in doing commodity-type investments, but in conceiving and executing our own unique concepts.”

Studley, the commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation, has promoted Greg Taubin to executive managing director, it was announced last week.

Mr. Taubin, who formerly served as senior managing director at the firm, will continue to focus on working with companies on strategic planning, including the acquisition and disposition of property. Since joining Studley in 1994, he has helped close more than five million square feet of lease transactions, including deals for Tiffany & Co. and Time Inc.

Mr. Taubin, 39, is a graduate of Tulane University and continues to be actively involved in Making Headway, a foundation dedicated to the comfort and care of children with brain and spinal cord tumors.

KBS Realty Advisors, the private equity real estate company and Securities Exchange Commission-registered investment adviser, has appointed Randi Kaufman as senior vice president and asset manager in the California-based firm’s New York offices.

Ms. Kaufman, who previously served four years at Blackrock, where she was a vice president and asset manager, will oversee all asset management functions associated with KBS properties in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Randi has an impressive track record with an eye towards reaching property performance goals,” said Chuck Lindwall, KBS regional president, in a prepared statement. “Her wealth of experience—both from an asset management and geographic standpoint—will bode well for KBS in adding value to its portfolio.”

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