51 John F. Kennedy Parkway in Short Hills, which The Birch Group acquired earlier this year as part of a four-building, 843,300-square-foot office portfolio — Courtesy: The Birch Group
By Joshua Burd
An investment firm has made new hires to support its fast-growing collection of high-end office buildings in New Jersey and elsewhere.
The Birch Group, which is based in Nanuet, New York, announced Wednesday that Dawn Arrabito has joined its team as director of leasing and tenant relations and Jon Silverman as an associate. Both will play key roles in managing a portfolio that spans more than 5 million square feet, with the company having made nearly $800 million in acquisitions since 2019, including properties in top submarkets such as Short Hills, Princeton and Morristown.
“We take a very pragmatic and proactive approach to real estate and see tremendous value in listening carefully to our tenants,” said Mark Meisner, president and founder of The Birch Group. “As we continue to add institutional-quality assets to our portfolio and with our unprecedented growth over the past couple of years, Dawn and Jon’s experience matched up perfectly with the roles we were looking to fill. We look forward to strengthening our portfolio and relationship with tenants even further, while also boosting leasing activity overall at a critical time when many companies are solidifying their plans for the return to the office.”
In her new role, Arrabito will lead tenant relationships across The Birch Group’s portfolio, managing all renewals and expansions while working closely with current tenants to gather feedback to inform capital improvements, the firm said. She will also work with all brokers to market the company’s buildings to prospective tenants.
Prior to joining The Birch Group, Arrabito was a leasing director at John Hancock/Manulife Investment Management’s real estate platform. She also worked at Wyndham Worldwide as a transaction manager of corporate real estate, where she oversaw the company’s portfolio of more than 3 million square feet of leased and owned properties throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Earlier in her career, Arrabito held broker positions at firms including Cushman & Wakefield and Grubb & Ellis.
“Throughout my career, I’ve demonstrated a prominent track record of success in executing strategies that align with corporate, business and stakeholder objectives,” Arrabito said. “I’m thrilled to join the team at The Birch Group, which has quickly become one of the largest real estate owners in New Jersey, particularly at a time of immense growth and opportunity.”
For his part, Silverman will assist the asset management team in analyzing the performance of the company’s portfolio and identifying new opportunities for expansion, according to a news release. He previously worked at Pan Am Equities, a developer and property management firm in Manhattan, where he supported the acquisitions team.
Earlier in his career, was as a consultant at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
“I had been following The Birch Group’s recent acquisitions and I was incredibly impressed with everything the team has been able to accomplish to date,” he said. “I look forward to leveraging my skillset to work collaboratively with the team to chart a path for new opportunities and achieve even more at such an exciting time.”
The moves follow the company’s October 2020 hiring of Drew Rosenberg, an associate on its acquisitions team. He was previously an associate at Bijou Properties in Hoboken, having worked on acquisitions totaling more than 2.4 million square feet.
The Birch Group’s high-profile additions in New Jersey include this year’s $255 million acquisition from Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of a four-building, 843,300-square-foot portfolio at 51, 101, 103 and 150 John F. Kennedy Parkway in Short Hills. Most recently, it purchased 600 and 700 Alexander Park, a two-building, 213,000-square-foot portfolio in West Windsor, for $47.3 million.