Founder of GFI Retail Group heads to CBRE

June 01, 2011 12:35PM

[Updated 3pm on June 2 with comments from Lon Rubackin.]
Lon Rubackin, previously founder and managing partner of GFI Retail Group, has joined CB Richard Ellis Group’s New York Tri-State Retail Services department as a senior vice president, CBRE announced today.

“Adding a seasoned broker like Lon, with his deep retail experience on both the agency and client side — including, notably, Forest City Ratner and Bowlmor Lanes, among others — will help further bolster our retail platform throughout the New York tri-state region,” said Nina Kampler, senior managing director of CBRE’s tri-state retail arm.

Rubackin previously headed up the day-to-day operations of GFI retail, overseeing a unit that averaged nearly $800 million annually in commercial real estate transactions over the last five years. Before founding GFI Retail Group, he was senior vice president of developer Forest City Ratner, handling leasing and acquisitions and working out of the company’s MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. In a major coup for the company, he leased a $900 million mixed-use project in Ridge Hill.

“The advantage I have now,” Rubackin told The Real Deal, “is that, being in the industry for 25 years, I’ve been principal on one side of a transaction and the other… I know how both sides look at a deal.”

He said he picked CBRE because of its “stellar reputation,” adding, “it’s the best platform out there.”TRD