Duke Realty Corp. is building a 216,892-square-foot speculative industrial building at 1570 South Washington Ave. in Piscataway, as depicted in this rendering. — Courtesy: Duke
By Joshua Burd
Duke Realty has bolstered its team in the region with the hiring of a new vice president of leasing and development, the real estate investment trust announced.
Based in the company’s Jersey City office, Mikki Columbus will focus on growing Duke Realty’s portfolio in New Jersey and New York City through new development and leasing. She will work alongside Ben Rosen, also a vice president of leasing and development, and will be responsible for identifying new development opportunities, executing land acquisitions and managing all aspects of leasing the properties in her region.
“As demand remains at all-time highs for industrial space especially in markets with proximity to active ports, Duke Realty is committed to growing our 9.6 million-square-foot portfolio in New Jersey,” said Art Makris, president of the REIT’s Northeast region. “To do that, we must expand our team with experienced associates that have a reputation for driving profitable results in the industry. Mikki has the reputation and a proven track record for identifying development opportunities and closing deals. She is a much-needed and very welcome addition to the New Jersey team.”
Columbus previously spent seven years in various roles at The Rockefeller Group, most recently as director of real estate development, according to a news release. In that role, she was responsible for evaluating new development opportunities in New York and New Jersey, with a focus on larger deals worth $25 million to $250 million, while negotiating all aspects of purchase and sale contracts, overseeing analysis, conducting due diligence and managing the entitlement process.
Before Rockefeller, Columbus worked for the nonprofit Greater Jamaica Development Corp., as a director of real estate and economic development, where she performed feasibility studies, due diligence and contract negotiations on a $300 million, 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development. She started her career in the financial side of commercial real estate with a post at HSBC Amanah, a global asset management platform.
With an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Columbus holds a certificate in real estate from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.