Rockefeller Group hires Equity Office’s Michael Goldban to head up development

Exec spearheaded retail leasing at EOP's Bryant Park buildings

A rendering of Flushing Commons and Michael Goldban
A rendering of Flushing Commons and Michael Goldban

The Rockefeller Group, co-developer of the $850 million mixed-use Flushing Commons project in Queens, has hired a top retail leasing executive from Equity Office Properties to head up regional development efforts, The Real Deal has learned.

Michael Goldban, EOP’s former vice president of leasing, is now the Rockefeller Group’s new senior vice president and regional development officer for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England.

Goldban’s first day on the job was last Monday, when he attended the International Conference of Shopping Centers’ convention in Las Vegas.

The hire is the most recent in a string of developers poaching retail experts. In April, Vornado Realty Trust hired Edward Hogan away from Brookfield Office Properties to head up retail leasing after former leasing director Sherri White decamped for Witkoff.

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Rockefeller Group president and CEO Atsushi Nakajima said Goldban’s experience “will be instrumental as we become increasingly active throughout the Northeast over the next few years.” In his new position, Goldban will oversee projects such as the redevelopment of a 5.5-acre municipal parking lot in Downtown Flushing into a mixed-use project with some 600 residential units and 420,000 square feet of retail and office space.

While at EOP, which is wholly owned by the giant private equity firm the Blackstone Group, Goldban oversaw leasing of the company’s retail properties, including 5 Bryant Park, “the Cubes” nearby at 120 West 42nd Street and 1095 Sixth Avenue – otherwise known as 3 Bryant Park – which Ivanhoe Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties bought last year for $2.2 billion. Prior to working at EOP, Goldban spent a dozen years at Forest City Ratner.

Late last year the Rockefeller Group gave up plans to develop a Times Square site when it sold a pair of parcels for $49 million.

The developer found itself in the headlines last year alongside New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer claimed Christie’s lieutenant governor, Dawn Zimmer, denied the city Hurricane Sandy-rebuilding funds because the mayor would not sign off on Rockefeller Group’s plans to redevelop a three-acre site it owns across the Hudson River.