Jonathan Tootell Leaves SquareFoot to Head Up Leasing at L&L

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Another SquareFoot executive is saying “Tootell-loo” to the digital real estate firm as it shuts down the brokerage portion of the business.

Jonathan Tootell has joined L&L Holding Company to lead its portfolio-wide leasing operations, according to L&L. Tootell — who was the former New York market lead for SquareFoot — is leaving the proptech firm following former SquareFoot CEO Michael Colacino joining JLL to manage its tri-state brokerage team in late November.

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The new gig puts Tootell in charge of leasing 8 million square feet of L&L’s commercial space, mostly centered in New York City. He will have a particular emphasis on L&L’s recently repositioned properties at 425 Park Avenue and 390 Madison Avenue as well as landmarked buildings in the portfolio including 195 Broadway and 114 Fifth Avenue, according to L&L.

“I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with [L&L] in the past,” Tootell told Commercial Observer. “They were always a creative landlord that you knew you could go to with an idea and they would figure out a way to make it happen if they could.”

He will also be collaborating with L&L’s partners, Columbia Property Trust and Cannon Hill Capital Partners to lease up Terminal Warehouse in Chelsea. He’ll also be dipping his toes in a new market for him: South Florida, with Wynwood Plaza in Miami.

Tootell has been in the real estate business for nearly two decades and made the move to SquareFoot in January 2020, where his efforts would focus on bringing more traditional brokerage practices to the proptech startup.

“At SquareFoot we’re trying to disrupt what we use to say was an antiquated industry. Commercial real estate can be like a cruise ship trying to turn around,” Tootell said. “We were pretty successful at it. … Unfortunately, COVID did what it did to the proptech market.”

The pandemic caused funding for proptech firms to dry up and left some companies struggling to survive. 

“Depending on where you closed your last round, that determined how long of a runway you had,” Tootell said. “While SquareFoot is still up and running today, the brokerage side of the business for them is something that we decided to shut down.”

Tootell started his career in real estate as an analyst for Cushman & Wakefield in January 2005, after studying both real estate and marketing at the University of South Carolina, according to L&L.

He worked his way through the ranks and eventually became a partner at Transwestern before leaving for SquareFoot.

Like Tootell, Colacino had been with SquareFoot for almost four years before leaving for JLL (JLL).

SquareFoot did not respond to a request for comment.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.