Todd Bassen, a former top executive at Invesco and co-head of real estate at WeWork, is joining Metropolitan Realty Associates as a managing principal.
“After 15 years of organic growth, the time was right to bring in a seasoned New York investment expert to advance the expansion of the company,” the firm’s founder Joseph Farkas said in a statement.
Bassen was a top acquisitions executive at Vornado Realty Trust, and then spent five years as head of New York real estate acquisitions for asset manager Invesco. In May 2015, he jumped ship to co-working space giant WeWork, becoming its co-head of real estate, but left the firm a mere three months later.
The hiring of Bassen signals a stronger focus on core New York City for Metropolitan Realty Associates, and potentially on bigger projects. The 15-year-old firm, which in the past focused primarily on the outer boroughs and suburbs, is opening a Manhattan office at 555 Madison Avenue and will move its headquarters there from Long Island. Its most recent major project is Riverdale Crossing, a 159,000-square-foot shopping center in the Bronx which it completed in 2014 and sold to the Vanbarton Group in October 2015 for $133 million.
The firm also developed the Garden City Square complex in Long Island, which it sold for $82.7 million in 2013.
Bassen told The Real Deal that the company will focus on projects between $50 million and $250 million, but could go higher. “After 20 years of institutional investing, working with great companies like Vornado and Invesco, I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial,” he said.