Power Brokers: 15 Real Estate Heavyweights

For the first time in eight decades of publishing, Chain Store Age has compiled a list of the nation’s top retail real estate brokers, ranking them based on number of retail transactions in 2013, dollar amount of those transactions and, just as importantly, reputation in the industry. From hundreds of nominations collected from retailers and brokerage houses earlier in the summer, we have selected 15 as our debut “power brokers” list.

Four of our individual power brokers are women; two are teams; all vary in age, clientele and career status (high-performing mil-lennials or industry stalwarts). But all 15 share one trait: They are networking go-getters who wield both power and influence.

“One’s ability to influence others is a very powerful tool to have in our toolbox,” Ralph Conti, principal, RaCo Real Estate Advisors, Atlanta, told CSA. “There are those who are most definitely legitimate power brokers, who can use their power and influence in very positive ways. Conversely, there are those who want desperately to be a power broker and will do all that they can to leverage their position in life or an organization to get their way.”

It goes without saying that our list is made up of the former.


Chairman Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, New York City

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 48

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $600 million

Key tenant clients: Bond No. 9, Buccellati, Caruso, Peter Milar, Paul Morelli, Alice & Olivia

Recognized worldwide as the “Queen of Retail,” Faith Hope Consolo is renowned for her expertise as a consultant and retail broker who has been instrumental in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors across the nation — and beyond. Consolo has been at the pinnacle of the industry for more than 25 years and earned a reputation as a trusted adviser to businesses worldwide. Her knowledge of international commerce enables her to strategize with retailers within all sectors, whether unveiling national expansions or arranging the debuts of flagship stores in global capitals and suburban power centers. An extensive client base includes such top-tier fashion names as Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Fendi, Ferragamo, Fogal, Giorgio Armani, Ivanka Trump, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as mass merchandisers such as H&M and Zara.

What makes Consolo a good broker? “First and foremost, I listen. Good brokers are consultants and solution experts, so it is imperative that we listen to both our retail clients and landlords. In addition, I get to know the lay of the land, wherever I’m working. In Manhattan, it requires serious footwork to get a true sense of the retail profiles on the street and surrounding communities. In other boroughs, other cities and other countries, I may drive or walk, but I always thoroughly research an area. Finally, a good broker does her or his homework, e.g., reading newspapers, business and industry publications and blogs. You have to know what’s going on in the world to be effective in real estate.”


Vice Chairman CBRE, New York City

Age: 46

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 22

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $454 million

Key tenant clients: Tiffany & Co., Valentino, Bally, Max Mara, Tourneau, Roberto Cavalli

Andrew Goldberg is the first-ever retail service professional to be named vice chairman in the history of CBRE. A member of the firm’s New York Tri-State Region Brokerage Services Group, he has 21 years of experience and completed hundreds of transactions valued in total at more than $4 billion. Goldberg is a consistent recipient of the Colbert Coldwell Circle award and has twice received the Real Estate Board of New York’s Retail Deal of the Year award, which recognizes one completed transaction annually for ingenuity and creativity. His negotiation of Gucci Group’s lease at Trump Tower in Manhattan — one of the most valuable retail deals ever completed — on behalf of the Trump Organization earned him the Most Creative Deal of the Year.

What makes for a good broker? “A good broker is a strategist. You understand what your clients need today, but you also have the vision to help them prepare for tomorrow.”


Executive VP Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, New York City

Age: 53

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 60

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $493 million

Key tenant clients: Blink Fitness, Citibank, Potbelly Sandwiches, Lyfe Kitchen, The National Basketball Association, Juniors Restaurant

A leader in the industry for over 25 years, Jeffrey Roseman has been personally responsible for the successful rollout of companies like Chipotle, Potbelly, Crumbs, and Commerce (TD) bank, among others.

Roseman was responsible for the recent flagship stores of Barneys in Chelsea, Room and Board, Sam Ash Music on 34th Street, and Canali on Madison Avenue. He is a four-time winner of the REBNY Retail Deal of the Year award.

What makes Roseman a good broker? “My philosophy has always been to work as hard and smart as I possibly can. I commit myself to each project I am involved in as if I was the owner. I take great pride in my successes and am forever haunted by the things that don’t work out, and try to use them as motivation moving forward.”


Owner/Principal Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc., Philadelphia

Age: 49

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 48

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $230 million

Key tenant clients: PetSmart, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Dave & Buster’s, Target, Weis Markets, Lumber Liquidators

Tom Londres is the most successful broker in Metro Commercial’s 27-year history, with more than 25 billion sq. ft. leased in excess of $6 billion in transactional value. He is known throughout the industry as a real estate executive who goes above and beyond. He has had a strategic role in assisting numerous national and international retailers with both their expansion initiatives and surplus/liquidation efforts.

What makes Londres a good broker? “As I survey my career, I am reminded of the many people in this industry who invested in me, those whom I invested in and those I walk closely with, even to this day. These relationships have been my foundation and served as my best measure of success. Bottom line: Learn how to develop good personal relationships and you’ll be on the road to becoming a successful broker.”


Executive Managing Director, Principal Terranomics Retail Services-Cassidy Turley, Burlingame, California

Age: 53

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 35

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $103 million

Key tenant clients: Target, Hollywood Video, Wells Fargo Bank

Besides managing 35 retail-leasing professionals in six offices, Matt Kircher has served as president/chairman of ChainLinks Retail Advisors and has sat on the board of directors of Cassidy Turley/ BT Commercial. In 2012, Kircher received the Cassidy Turley EDGE award. He serves as the exclusive agent for Target in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley, completing 34 transactions on Target’s behalf through 2013.

What makes Kircher a good broker? “My success can be attributed to working with great people: clients, colleagues and my Terranomics/Cassidy Turley team. My philosophy is to focus on longterm relationships with my clients as business partners and friends, working as a team, and using my 25 years of experience, relationships and resources to produce successful results.”


Senior VP Newmark Cornish & Carey, San Francisco

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 47

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $142 million

Key tenant clients: Hyatt, Limited Brands, CVS/pharmacy, Pebblebrook Hotels

Julie Taylor is one of the dominant retail leasing forces in San Francisco. In Union Square, she has inked more than 200,000 sq. ft. in new deals, totaling 30 transactions in the market. Her most recent coup was securing Apple’s new flagship corner store at Union Square that will bring 400 jobs to the area and netted her this year’s San Francisco Business Times Retail Deal of the Year.

What makes Taylor a good broker? “I care deeply about creating value for my clients. I am a creative thinker and strategist, highly detailed and analytical. I bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to my work and am truly passionate about both retail and commercial real estate. I am proud to have shaped the streets of San Francisco and many Bay Area shopping centers, with best-in-class restaurants and retail stores.”

DAVE CHEATHAM (President,Managing Principal)

DARREN PITTS (Executive VP, Principal)

Velocity Retail Group, LLC, Phoenix

Ages: Dave, 54; Darren, 43

No. of 2013 team retail transactions: 25

Dollar amount of 2013 team retail transactions: $50 million

Key tenant clients: J.C. Penney, Hobby Lobby, The Dump, Mattress Firm, Fallas discount stores, Ashley Furniture, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Lifetime Fitness, Gap/Old Navy

One of Chain Store Age’s two “team winners,” Dave Cheatham and Darren Pitts are co-founders of Velocity Retail Group, based in Phoenix. The pair are considered industry experts, are on the speaking circuit — addressing groups such as CCIM, Valley Partnership, IREM and ULI — and spearhead a company that was involved in more than half of all big-box transactions in the Phoenix market in 2013.

What makes Cheatham and Pitts a good broker team? According to Cheatham, the pair puts their clients first, are concerned about what the client needs in order to enhance brand, identity and company, and have a passion to provide creative solutions to any challenge. In short, “My ability to adapt and adjust as the deal unfolds” is Cheatham’s greatest asset. Added Pitts: “I have always been willing to meet the relentless demands of our high-growth retail clients and the constantly changing marketplace. From my mentor and partner Dave Cheatham, to many of the professionals on our team and staff, we have built what I believe to be an innovative learning organization. While we call it the real estate business, we are really in the people business. Strong teams will always outperform great individual performers.”    


CEO Bialow Real Estate, Needham, Massachusetts        

Age: 43        

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 86 (individual deals and as lead broker)

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $75 million to $100 million

Key tenant clients: The Vitamin Shoppe, Select Comfort, Performance Bicycle, Pinkberry, Smashburger, Villa Sneakers

Corey Bialow is considered to be one of the premier tenant-rep brokers in the country, representing only retailers and, in many instances, acting as their master broker nationally. He is well-respected by his peers and described as “likeable and very ethical.” His knowledge and expertise as a retail consultant is on par with the leading brokers and top producers in the country. Bialow recently expanded his company with offices in Atlanta and Chicago and is opening an office in California.

What makes Bialow a good broker? “The brokerage business is a relationship business and I’ve always approached my counterparts with the highest level of respect and integrity, which over time has helped me develop a solid reputation within the industry.”


Executive VP, Market Leader SRS Real Estate Partners, Orlando, Tampa, South Florida

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 46 (individual deals and as lead broker)

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $85 million

Key tenant clients: AMC Theatres, BJ’s Restaurants, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Havertys, Red Robin, The Container Store

John Artope spearheads all SRS retail activity in the state of Florida, representing several regional and national retail tenants in various aspects of strategic planning, site selection and retail development. He has solid relationships with regional and national landlords and development companies, and his focus is working with big-box, junior-box, restaurant and disposition clients. Artope serves on the SRS board of directors.

What makes Artope a good broker? “Four key areas have contributed to my success as a broker: Hard work and commitment to this business; a positive attitude and perseverance that keep me going through the ups and downs of this industry; having the opportunity to build long-term and rich relationships with my clients and my colleagues; and having the support of a great company and an outstanding team.”


Executive VP, Partner UCR, Dallas

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 21

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $49 million

Key tenant clients: Lombardi Family Concepts, Stephan Pyles restaurants, Mesero restaurants

Jack Gosnell lives and breathes Dallas real estate. He is a champion for the city and the revitalization of its urban core, and has brokered over 200 building sales and more than 300 leases south of Northwest Highway, has chaired the Retail Recruitment Committee for Downtown, Inc., and has been a key player in the retail revitalization of the Central Business District. Over the past decade he has leased more downtown retail space than all other commercial real estate firms combined. Gosnell has also played a key role in the privatization and subsequent redevelopment of the Dallas Farmers Market.

What makes Gosnell a good broker? “I love the architecture of a deal, from sourcing and matching the components to working the nuts and bolts of forming a structure that wasn’t there before. Of course, pleasing my clients and contributing to the common good are all rattling around in there, too!”


Senior Executive Director Cushman Wakefield/ Pyramid Brokerage Co., Buffalo, New York

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 21 Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $18 million

Key tenant clients: J.C. Penney, AMC Theatres, MASH Urgent Care, The Vitamin Shoppe, Fallas discount stores, The Home Depot, Yankee Candle

Arthur Judelsohn takes the win as the broker most nominated in the Chain Store Age power broker competition, racking up a dozen nominations from retailer clients in and around the New York area. This is what a few of them had to say about Judelsohn:

“Arthur is honest, has high integrity and is relentless.”

“He is a very hard worker who does not waste time. There is no one like him around our New York area.”

“His knowledge and ability are only surpassed by his passion for the business.”

“Arthur Judelsohn gets it done.”

What makes Judelsohn a good broker? “I create and maintain relationships, leading to multiple transactions; always tell the truth and the facts; have deep and complete
market knowledge, as well as belief that all transactions will be successful; am available for business seven days a week; keep an open mind and think outside the box; and have complete support from my wife and family.”


Executive VP RKF, New York City

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 84

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $280 million

Key tenant clients: Kiehl’s, J.Crew, Rag & Bone, Intermix, Godiva, Carlo Pazolini

With 30-plus years of experience in retail, retail leasing and merchandising, Karen Bellantoni is a powerhouse in the commercial leasing market in New York City, as well as other major markets throughout the country. Focusing on the right mix of tenants for a given area allows Bellantoni to actually direct the personality of the neighborhood. No deal is too small for her to see the value, and she tends to focus on incrementally building deals, rather than focusing all her efforts on one huge deal.

What makes Bellantoni a good broker? “Having worked as a buyer and then for a landlord, I have a unique perspective on the industry and understand the needs of both my retail and owner clients. You have to be honest with clients, and if I don’t believe a space is right, I don’t lease it. This means making sure to physically understand the space, the frontages, neighboring tenants and the neighborhood as a whole.”


Managing Directors JLL, Atlanta

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 30

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $1.13 billion

While this list focuses on tenant representation, the combined deals from the JLL team of Kris Cooper and Margaret Caldwell are too weighty to ignore. Mall movers Cooper and Caldwell are the retail industry’s power team. Together they have a combined 50 years of retail investment experience and closed nearly $1.13 billion in 2013, ranking second nationally for mall sales last year. They have a stout roster of REITs, private equity and institutional clients who look to them when selling a single asset or large portfolio. They are true team players who are coaching and mentoring the next generation of retail all-stars. Their team of seven, including four women, says they provide excellent and thoughtful advice on all fronts, and continually push them to develop their individual talents.

What makes the pair a good brokerage team? “Our success is built upon a great team of people, all committed to delivering top-notch results for our clients, who will always be our first priority. In this business, we never take anything for granted.”


Senior VP Divaris Real Estate, Virginia Beach, Virginia

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 32

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $26 million

Key tenant clients: Kohl’s, ULTA Beauty, DSW, Men’s Wearhouse, Trader Joe’s, Chico’s FAS

Brett McNamee, who works out of Divaris Real Estate’s Richmond, Virginia, office, is an industry leader; a top producer at Divaris; and an active industry and community leader in organizations like CREW, ICSC and ULI. She was selected as one of five top commercial real estate females in Virginia by Virginia Business Magazine, an Outstanding Women Nominee on the national level by CREW, and a Top 20 award winner by CREW Richmond.

What makes McNamee a good broker? “I have discovered the four keys to growing and maintaining my business are: Staying informed and involved in industry trends and networks; keeping the clients and their needs as a top priority; being creative and open-minded in discovering opportunities and meeting transaction challenges; and working for and with top professionals in the industry and business community.”


Senior VP SRS Real Estate Partners, Newport Beach, California

Age: 34

No. of 2013 retail transactions: 24

Dollar amount of 2013 retail transactions: $57 million

Key tenant clients: Planet Fitness, Harbor Freight Tools, Chase Bank, 99 Cents Only, Raising Cane’s, AutoNation

Garrett Colburn is consistently recognized as one of the top retail brokers based in Orange County. He was recently selected as Planet Fitness’ National Broker of the Year for completing 16 transactions in 12 months and was up against 75 brokers for the award.

Colburn is the market leader of the Southern California office for the largest retail-only brokerage firm in the country. He started his career as a land planning and entitlement consultant, transitioned into retail development management, and from there went into retail brokerage.

What makes Colburn a good broker? “Successful brokers are problem solvers who figure out ways to get things done.”

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