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and its evolution from a passive investment vehicle for his family to a full-service real estate firm.
“Assuming a more active role in development projects has become central to the firm’s growth strategy,” said Kokes, the firm’s president, “and rebranding to Kokes Properties is a logical progression that will help our team achieve our business initiatives, and build upon
the legacy established by my father and grandfather.”
Prior to founding his business, Kokes worked side-by-side with
his father Jan, who led The Kokes Organization for more than 35 years. The company developed more than 21,000 homes throughout New Jersey between 1964 and 2016, building an extensive network of real estate industry connections and relationships that have continued
to grow under the younger Kokes’ stewardship.
At Kokes Properties, the third- generation leader continues to develop projects launched by Homestake Capital, including
The Townhomes at Eden & Main,
a 64-unit housing community
near downtown Southington, Connecticut. Eden & Main welcomed its first homebuyers in November, he said, noting that the firm also embraced the town by sponsoring Southington’s 51st Apple Harvest Festival in October 2019, which drew more than 100,000 area residents and visitors.
“We value every relationship, from trade partners and residents, to government officials,” Kokes said. “Our aim is to develop communal relationships that span decades
to benefit our children and our children’s children.”
estate operating companies in select urban and transit-oriented suburban markets throughout the United States.”
The Columbia transaction also
calls for Normandy co-founder Jeff Gronning to become executive vice president and chief investment officer of the REIT. The company, meantime,
A third-generation developer has rebranded his firm, highlighting his family’s well-known name in the industry as it seeks a more active role in ground-up construction projects.
The Brielle-based developer, Michael J. Kokes, announced that the firm known as Homestake Capital is now Kokes Properties. He said the move showcases the company’s long-term aspirations, coming five years after its founding,
 Michael J. Kokes, president of Kokes Properties
professionals and our solid track record of committed investing and value creation.”
Columbia announced in October that it would acquire Normandy Real Estate Management LLC.
As part of the transaction, Welsh will serve as chairman of the investment committee for Normandy’s funds
III and IV, which are part of the acquisition, while Wentworth is slated to join Columbia’s board of directors.
“This is an exciting time as we embark on our next chapter through the formation of our new investment firm,” the Senlac principals continued. “Senlac Ridge Partners
is an entrepreneurial private equity firm targeting a broad range of investment opportunities spanning real estate and non-real estate
assets and businesses. We’ll look to utilize our extensive network and
80 years of combined experience to directly acquire real estate assets
as well as undertake strategic
entity level investments and pursue programmatic commitments with real
Having completed the sale of the Normandy Real Estate Partners platform, three of the firm’s former principals have offered a glimpse at their next business endeavor.
Finn Wentworth, David Welsh and Giorgios Vlamis are launching a new investment company known as
Senlac Ridge Partners, Welsh wrote in late January in a post on his LinkedIn page. While they expect to share more details
in the coming
weeks, he noted that the entrepreneurial private
equity firm will target a broad range of investment opportunities spanning real estate and non-real estate assets and businesses.
The announcement came as Columbia
Property Trust, a New York-based real estate investment trust, said it had closed on
its $100 million
acquisition of
platform and
an interest in
three funds,
expanding its
footprint in New
York, Boston and Washington, D.C.
“We are very grateful to our many business partners, colleagues and friends who worked with us and shared in our collective success during the past two decades,” the Senlac partners wrote on a landing page for their new firm. “Our business and reputation have been driven by the longstanding relationships we share across the industry, the mutual trust we enjoy with so many talented
announced several other new leadership positions for former partners and leaders of Morristown- based Normandy: Gavin Evans has
   Finn Wentworth
been named executive vice president, acquisitions, while Paul Teti will serve as senior vice president, leasing and asset management.
Other appointments of senior employees from Normandy include Steve Trapp, senior vice president, construction and development; and Steve Smith, senior vice president, property management.
David Welsh
Giorgios Vlamis
Courtesy: Kokes Properties

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