The Birch Group Nabs JLL’s Christopher DeLorenzo as EVP

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The Birch Group has added longtime commercial real estate industry veteran Christopher DeLorenzo as an executive vice president to help grow the firm’s five million-square-foot office portfolio, Commercial Observer has learned.

DeLorenzo joined the privately held commercial real estate investor, owner and operator this month after nearly four years as executive vice president for JLL’s New Jersey brokerage operations. He previously spent 20 years leading Mack-Cali Realty Corporation’s leasing activities.

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The arrival of DeLorenzo coincides with an expansion at The Birch Group, which has acquired nearly $800 million of office assets since 2019, including a $255 million acquisition of a four-building portfolio in Short Hills, N.J. from Mack-Cali early this year.  His new role will involve overseeing leasing, asset management and operations along with managing brokerage relationships.

“As we look to the future of the firm and continue to stay focused on expanding our profile as one of the top owners of institutional-quality commercial real estate assets, Chris’ experience both on the brokerage and ownership sides of the business is the perfect fit to support our evolution,” Mark Meisner, president and founder of The Birch Group, said in a statement. “As one of the largest office owners in New Jersey, we have an exceptional line of sight into what’s moving the market. We look forward to tapping into Chris’ market knowledge and expertise to bring our company to the next level.” 

At JLL, DeLorenzo was tasked with spearheading the firm’s brokerage business and leasing activities along with overseeing national accounts. His two-decade run with Mack-Cali involved more than 1,500 transactions in excess of $2.5 billion while managing leasing and asset management activities for a portfolio of 26.2 million square feet.

“Across my positions in the commercial real estate industry, I have garnered technical and strategic tools in leasing and operations that push portfolios to their full potential across all activities,” DeLorenzo said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the team at The Birch Group as they forge their path ahead and will work alongside Mark and the full team on innovative strategies that will support the company’s immense growth and build even further on opportunities in the market.” 

The $255 million purchase of Mack-Cali’s four-building portfolio in Northern New Jersey marks the largest office transaction in the first quarter. Nanuet, N.Y.-based Birch Group boasts a nearly 90 percent occupancy rate across its portfolio. 

“Chris has unique and extensive experience in leasing, marketing and asset management that spans both tenant and landlord relations,” said Timothy Greiner, executive managing director and broker lead for JLL’s office leasing team in New Jersey. “We remain impressed with The Birch Group’s ability to execute and as Chris joins the team to add his deep knowledge of the office asset landscape, JLL is excited to support him in this next chapter and continue to forge a strong relationship on the brokerage side of operations.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.