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Power 50 (No. 30-21)

- Last modified: December 5, 2017 at 11:20 AM
#30. Rob Kossar (#31)
#30. Rob Kossar (#31)
JLL
Executive managing director

Rob Kossar is one of the few brokers in the state that receives high praises from the highly competitive broker community. The executive managing director for JLL continues to maintain a strong presence in New Jersey industrial and has even been able to venture into Pennsylvania. “He is doing more than just being a broker,” an insider said. “JLL has an incredible amount of research and he is a go-to resource for policy guys in New Jersey, for professionals.” “He is distinguished within the high level of brokers in the state. He will one day be one of the deans of industrial brokerage in the years to come. He has done an amazing job running JLL,” an insider said. Kossar and Jay Biggins, of Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Co. received the 2017 NAIOP Industry Service Award.
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JLL
Executive managing director

Rob Kossar is one of the few brokers in the state that receives high praises from the highly competitive broker community. The executive managing director for JLL continues to maintain a strong presence in New Jersey industrial and has even been able to venture into Pennsylvania. “He is doing more than just being a broker,” an insider said. “JLL has an incredible amount of research and he is a go-to resource for policy guys in New Jersey, for professionals.” “He is distinguished within the high level of brokers in the state. He will one day be one of the deans of industrial brokerage in the years to come. He has done an amazing job running JLL,” an insider said. Kossar and Jay Biggins, of Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Co. received the 2017 NAIOP Industry Service Award.
Fox Rothschild
Partner

Robert Klausner's ability to grow and maintain his relationship with several of the top members of this list makes him rise once again. Klausner, a partner with Fox Rothschild, has been a major part of eight of the last 15 NAIOP Deal of the Year awards and has shown no signs of slowing down. Klausner has been involved in the ongoing Hoffmann-LaRoche redevelopment in Clifton and Nutley which raises his prominence. Fox Rothschild also managed to recruit one of its own clients, The Hampshire Companies, to develop the firm's new headquarters in Morristown, which is a testament to the presence of the firm and its working relationship with its clients.
Onyx Equities
Co-founder

Onyx Equities makes a significant jump on this list for not only having its own recipe for suburban office assets figured out, but also for having done two of the most impressive real estate deals this year in a relatively short amount of time: The sale of the new US headquarters for Daiichi Sankyo in Basking Ridge and the sale of the Hess Building to the NJ Turnpike. “Hess was shocked he put together that [Turnpike] deal,” an insider said. “It was impressive in putting it together and impressive in keeping it quiet. He single handedly willed that deal over the finish line. Hard worker, sharp guy and he's done it more than once.”
Normandy Real Estate Partners
Founder and partner; co-founder and partner

Finn Wentworth’s influence continues to expand beyond Normandy Real Estate Partners. And David Welsh is the guy that gets the deals done on behalf of Normandy, according to insiders. “Although Finn has influence outside of Normandy, David does the deals,” an insider said. “He’s the one out there sourcing, and that’s where the push has been in doing stuff in New York. He’s the one that gets his hands dirty in terms of making the deals happen.” And although Normandy has been more active in New York and outside of New Jersey in recent years, the development group still holds a sizeable office portfolio in the state. This year, the team at Normandy has been active in Brooklyn where Normandy took on the majority stake of a 204,000-square-foot office property from a joint-venture with Kushner Companies, RFR Realty and LIVWRK. Closer to home, Normandy closed the sale of a 125,000-square-foot office property on 23 acres within the Mack-Cali Business campus in Parsippany for $44 million to a REIT sponsored by Griffin Capital Group this year. - (Photo / Pictured is David Welsh.)
HFF
Senior managing director

The work of Jon Mikula, senior managing director at HFF, complements that of Jose Cruz, another member of the HFF team. Mikula’s skill as a mortgage broker has gotten him named one, if not the nicest and best, brokers in New Jersey. “He finances more people than anyone,” an insider said. “Mikula is so far above his peers.” The senior managing director at HFF tends to keep low profile, however. But he is known as one of the nicest people in the list by several professionals by his fellow brokers. “He’s one of the guys in the business you’ll never hear anyone say a bad word about,” another insider said. This year, Mikula, alongside Cruz, was part of the HFF team that brokered the 1.2 million-square-foot sale of an eight-building portfolio for the Hampshire Companies that totaled $146.85 million.
Cushman & Wakefield
Vice chairman, executive vice president, vice chairman

The Cushman & Wakefield trio of Andrew Merin (#43, last year), vice chairman; Gary Gabriel (47), executive vice president; and David Bernhaut (NR), vice chairman, command their prominence in the industry as a team. And what is arguably the team with the largest investment sales by volume, the three brokers far outpace any other individual or brokerage team in the state. “[Andrew Merin] and David Bernhaut, they are the Ying and the Yang,” an insider said. “They are the number one investment sales group in the state and they have been forever.” “Andy Merin sort of invented capital markets in this region,” a fellow broker said. “He's always in the conversation and he's always a powerful guy.” “(Gary Gabriel) is the future of Cushman,” another insider said.
Edgewood Properties
CEO and president

Jack Morris, president and chief executive officer of Edgewood Properties, rises on the list for the transformational potential of the conversion of the Taj Mahal to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and because he remains active throughout the state. His development partners “will probably tell you this: if it wasn’t for Jack, the Hard Rock thing wouldn’t be happening,” an insider said. “They see opportunity everywhere. Hard Rock is a game changer in the industry. What everyone has to appreciate in Atlantic City is there are no silver bullets. Hard Rock is going to raise everyone’s standard. Hard Rock will bring a new game and will bring a new vibe to Atlantic City.” “He does things in a whole different style and he’s very successful at what he does,” the insider said.
Interstate Properties
General partner

Another highly influential but low profile industry leader is David Mandelbaum, general partner of Interstate Properties. Mandelbaum has continued to shift away from development projects and has moved into capital investment, according to several insiders. “In any given year, he could be Number One on any real estate list,” an insider said. “He’s behind the scenes and low-key. [Mandelbaum and Interstate Properties] don’t promote themselves, you don’t read about them, but the amount of stuff they’re involved in is staggering. If you saw what he invested, he would probably be Number One.” “They’re behind the scenes in a lot of deals,” another insider said. “You’ll never see [David’s] name anywhere.”
Garden Homes
Principal

To most in the industry, it continues to be remarkable that despite being known as one of the most active developers in the state, Zygi Wilf, principal of Garden Homes, continues to stay out of the media spotlight. With the development of the Johnson & Johnson facility in North Brunswick and his firm’s retail project in Montvale, industry experts say Wilf’s presence will continue to be felt. “[Garden Homes] is going to have more zoned multifamily property in the next 20 years than anyone,” an insider said, adding that Garden Homes typically builds only one project at a time. “They’re not going to worry about supply because they are not going to build them all at once. He is still the patriarch.” “I can name 20 towns that he’s in. That’s what they’re doing. It’s a very smart, astute strategy.”
Sills Cummis & Gross
Member

When it comes to real estate attorneys, Ted Zangari, a member of Sills Cummis & Gross, is the lawyer who probably sits at the top of everyone’s list. His work in the Smart Growth Coalition, his involvement in the Center for Real Estate at Rutgers and his ongoing involvement with the regions’ top developers have kept him not only busy, but at the peak of the legal end of the real estate market. “He’s the most influential real estate lawyer in the state and he has been for a long time,” an insider said. “There’s no question that among real estate attorneys, Ted is going to be in the short list of people that you have to say are big influencers,” another insider said. “He’s out in the public forum. If you want someone to speak, that is your first call and he’s happy to do it.”

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