By Joshua Burd
Senlac Ridge Partners has added a longtime development executive as its newest principal, as the firm looks to ramp up its pipeline of ground-up projects in the region.
The Morristown-based firm said Christopher K. Richter joins its team as principal, development and construction. He most recently served as senior vice president of development in Avison Young’s New Jersey office, having managed the development of more than 20 million square feet of office, residential and retail space over his career.
Richter will now work alongside Senlac partners Finn Wentworth, David Welsh and Giorgios Vlamis, who founded the firm early last year after the sale of Normandy Real Estate Partners.
“We have worked with Chris on various projects for over 20 years and are excited to welcome him to the Senlac team, as we execute on a growing pipeline of development projects,” Vlamis said. “His strong reputation in working with varied parties across the industry and in managing complex development projects and bringing them to successful fruition will further strengthen our resources as we embark on a substantial growth phase, while continuing to selectively pursue opportunities that meet our investment criteria and provide a path toward compelling value creation. We also look forward to continuing to work with the talented team at Avison Young on future projects.”
With Richter in place, Senlac will now look to activate a pipeline that includes a 450-unit residential project in Englewood Cliffs and a mixed-use apartment and retail development in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The firm is also planning a 1.1 million-square-foot residential and life sciences project in Newton, Massachusetts.
Richter noted that his relationship with Senlac’s founders dates back to their days at Gale & Wentworth, in the early 1990s, when the development firm was his client at Bohler Engineering. That relationship has only grown, both professionally and personally, through his time at Avison Young.
“These guys are great friends,” said Richter, a licensed professional engineer and planner, “and when you can work with great friends, it’s always the best of both worlds.”
All told, Richter has more than 35 years of experience in the areas of civil engineering, land planning, project management and real estate development, according to a news release. He holds a master’s in civil engineering and construction management from Stevens Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Vermont.
“This is an optimal opportunity and time for me to bring my experience, relationships and skillsets to contribute to Senlac’s success as it moves forward in capitalizing on its impressive portfolio of development projects,” Richter said. “I am thankful for my time at Avison and look forward to collaborating on future projects as I join the Senlac team at this exciting period in the firm’s growth.”
The Senlac founders, who boast more than 80 years of combined experience, launched the private equity firm after selling Normandy to Columbia Property Trust. Wentworth and Welsh founded Normandy in 2002, working along with Vlamis as chief operating officer to build the firm into a leading institutional real estate investment manager and vertically integrated operator with 120 employees and more than 38 million square feet of acquisitions.