Chuck COBBCo-Chairman, Ambassador Charles “Chuck” Cobb, oversees Grass River’s real estate equity investment and development activities and chairs the Grass River Advisory Board. In addition to his roles at Grass River, Chuck also serves as CEO of the investment firm Cobb Partners.
Chuck is broadly recognized as one of the most accomplished real estate professionals in the United States. Prior to his current roles at Grass River and Cobb Partners, Chuck served as the CEO of Disney Development Company, Arvida Corporation and Kaiser Communities. He has overseen the development of more than 50 large-scale planned communities and associated commercial developments including Walt Disney World, Euro Disney, Boca Raton Resort & Club, Long Boat Key Club, Boca West, Sawgrass, Weston, Rancho California, McCormick Ranch, Fisher Island, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Durango Mountain Resort and many others. Chuck served as Chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s real estate companies and was a member of Disney’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.
Chuck served as the United States ambassador to the Republic of Iceland under President George H. W. Bush and as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Reagan. He is a long-time trustee and the past chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees and a former president of two Stanford University alumni organizations. He is a former trustee or board member of his church and many other charitable and professional organizations, including the Woodrow Wilson Center, Eisenhower Fellows, Council of American Ambassadors and the James Madison Institute. Chuck led the effort to create Miami-Dade County’s second charter school on the campus of Barry University and athletic facilities at the University of Miami and Stanford University, including Cobb Stadium and Cobb Track on each respective campus. He was an officer in the United States Navy and an alternate on the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team as a high hurdler. Chuck has been married for 56 years to Ambassador Sue M. Cobb, former U.S. ambassador to Jamaica and former Florida secretary of state. They have two sons and seven grandchildren.
Chuck was educated at Stanford University where he received a BA in economics in 1958 and an MBA in 1962.
Bill POWERSCo-Chairman, William “Bill” Powers, reviews and helps guide investment strategy and risk management with particular focus on commercial real estate debt investments. Bill has a long track record of investment success in real estate, mortgage and structured credit capital markets.
Bill recently retired from PIMCO after 19 years as a fixed income portfolio manager and member of its investment and executive committees. Bill played a leading role in PIMCO’s tremendous growth in assets under management to over $1 trillion from $28 billion when he joined in 1991. Bill initially led PIMCO’s highly regarded mortgage and structured products investment businesses. Beginning in 1998 as Head of Global Portfolio Management, Bill led PIMCO’s international expansion building and managing investment teams in London, Munich, Tokyo and Sydney.
Following Princeton, Bill began his career at IBM. After Stanford GSB, Bill joined Salomon Brothers in the mortgage finance business reporting to industry pioneers, Lewis Ranieri and Mike Mortara. Before joining PIMCO, he led the Bear Stearns mortgage business in the western U.S.
Bill is a generous supporter and active member of many education, arts and charity organizations. He is a current or former board member of St. Albans School, Stanford GSB Advisory Board, L.A. Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, UNESCO International Jazz Advisory Council, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Sonoma Jazz, and the Painted Turtle camp for special-needs children. At Princeton, Bill was a two-year football letterman and was named an All Ivy honoree; he recently made the naming gift for Princeton’s new football field.
Bill received an AB in economics from Princeton University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Justin KENNEDYCo-CEO & CIO, Justin Kennedy, leads Grass River’s investment activities and strategic direction. Justin’s 29 years of experience span real estate finance, investment and development across US and international markets.
Prior to founding Grass River, Justin served with Toby Cobb as Co-CEO of LNR Property, LLC; one of the world’s most influential and diversified real estate investment and services companies. Justin led LNR’s global real estate investment activities and its nationwide real estate development business. Justin and Toby led a firm-wide repositioning of LNR’s global operations, including start up of several highly profitable new business units, culminating with LNR’s $1+bn sale to affiliates of Starwood Capital in 2013.
Prior to LNR, Justin served as Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank. Justin was a founding member of DB’s market-leading, $50+billion Global Commercial Real Estate business unit (“GCRE”); he led trading, structuring, syndication and risk management across GCRE’s global finance, origination and servicing platform. Justin is credited as one of a few Wall Street traders who predicted the 2008 financial crisis; he designed and executed the 2006 strategy that hedged GCRE loss exposure during the crisis. From the onset of the crisis, Justin and Toby played significant roles with various regulatory agencies in design and implementation of several crisis response programs.
Prior to DB, Justin was Vice President and Head of CMBS Trading at Goldman Sachs where he co-led start up of the Archon CMBS conduit and Grande Loan origination and distribution platforms. Prior to CMBS trading, Justin was an early member of the Principal Investment Group, the firm’s proprietary asset based investment business led by Pete Briger.
Justin spent the first 8 years of his career in the real estate development business in California and Colorado focused on large planned community developments.
Justin received an AB in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.
Tobin COBBCo-CEO, Toby Cobb, leads Grass River’s acquisitions, capital raising and financing activities. Toby also serves as Managing Partner of Cobb Partners-Connecticut, the principal owner of a broad range of assets including: office, retail, multifamily, hospitality and skiing.
From 2010 to 2013, Toby and Justin Kennedy served as Co-CEOs of LNR Property LLC. Leading a global team of over 600 skilled commercial real estate professionals, Toby and Justin completed a firm-wide repositioning of LNR and its subsequent sale to affiliates of Starwood Capital in April 2013 for $1+ billion.
Prior to LNR, Toby served as a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank. During the crisis era of 2008 and 2009, he managed the bank’s interactions with the U.S. Government reporting to the CEO of DB Americas. Previously, Toby was a leader in DB’s market-leading Global Commercial Real Estate business unit (“GCRE”); his broad responsibilities included Co-Head of U.S. CRE, managing its broad banking, origination and servicing activities. During his tenure, GCRE grew to be the largest platform of its type with over $100 billion of serviced assets and $50 billion of annual origination.
Prior to DB, Toby spent 5 years in the CMBS Group at DLJ. Prior to DLJ, he spent years in CMBS and RTC/FDIC Loan Acquisition Groups at Citicorp Securities. He began his career at Southeast Bank in Miami, Florida.
Toby serves as Chair of the University of Miami’s Master of Real Estate Development + Urbanism graduate degree program. He is a ULI Trustee, sits the President’s Council at the Real Estate Roundtable and served for 13 years on the Board of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council. He sits on the Waterside School’s Board of Trustees. Toby also serves on the board of Durango Mountain and Kirkwood Mountain Real Estate Companies.
Toby holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from New York University.
Thomas ROTHTom Roth’s 27 years of experience spans the spectrum of commercial real estate. He has led the development and acquisition of over $2 billion in commercial assets in the U.S. and abroad.
In his 10 years at Hines, Tom’s acquisitions and development portfolio included office, retail and land properties in Chicago, South Florida and Barcelona, Spain. As Hines Project Officer in Miami, Tom acquired a full city block in Coral Gables, repositioned the existing office asset and developed the highly successful mixed-use 2525 Ponce de Leon. Tom subsequently led the sale of 2525 for the then-highest price paid per square foot for a Florida office building. He also acquired ~1.5 million sf of Miami area office buildings for Hines value add and core investors. For Hines in Barcelona, Tom led the development of Diagonal Mar Centre, a 3 million sf urban retail development on the Mediterranean Sea.
Prior to Hines, Tom served as Vice President of Acquisitions at Walsh, Higgins & Company in Chicago, where he acquired over 1000 acres for the company’s business parks and urban developments. He also developed numerous build-to-suit projects; these included a highly technical 400,000sf facility for the IRS in Detroit and a major hotel and conference center at the University of Cincinnati.
Tom has worked with several high net worth off-shore buyers in acquiring a variety of single tenant retail assets throughout the United States. He has been an integral part of numerous underwriting initiatives targeting large office buildings and multi-asset portfolios across the United States.
Tom received a B.A. in Economics and Urban Studies at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
George SPILLISGeorge Spillis brings over 28 years experience in real estate acquisitions, construction, development, leasing and asset management. George’s extensive planning, design, construction and development experience spans retail, office, multi-family, industrial and hospitality projects. He also has significant experience in distressed commercial asset acquisitions, asset management and special servicing.
Prior to Grass River, George was a division President at LNR Property in Miami Beach where he led a broad set of activities from distressed asset acquisitions to LNR’s highly successful The Nine high-rise residential tower in Miami’s fast growing Brickell neighborhood.
Prior to LNR, George spent 10 years as a Senior Vice President at Bayview Financial in Coral Gables, FL; he led real estate investment, development and asset management activities. At Bayview, George led repositioning, re-use and development of over $2 billion of commercial real estate.
George received an Associate in Science degree from Santa Fe College and continued studies at Florida International University, College of Engineering and Applied Science, Construction Management Program. He has been a licensed Florida General Contractor since 1987.
Christian COBBChris Cobb brings to Grass River over 23 years of experience spanning all phases of development from conceptual planning, land use entitlement, design, construction, marketing and sales.
Chris was former Vice President of Development for Flagler Real Estate Development Corporation, leading its joint venture with JP Morgan Strategic Property Fund to re-develop a 120-acre industrial property into the mixed-use community, Downtown Doral. Chris led the community master planning and land use entitlements process that included: 2,840 residential units, 400,000 sf of office, 180,000 sf of retail, 100,000 sf of civic space, a public park, and elementary school.
Prior to Flagler, Chris was Vice President of Development for the Ocean Club Development Company overseeing design and construction of its large residential condominium project in Key Biscayne, Florida comprising over 800 units in 11 residential buildings. Prior to Ocean Club, he was a Project Manager at Lennar Corporation in Miami, FL where he led planning and development of retail properties.
Chris also serves on the Board of Directors of the Durango Mountain Resort.
Chris received a Masters in Architecture from Tulane University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a licensed Architect and General Contractor.
Peter LAPOINTEPeter LaPointe is a real estate, finance and legal professional and brings to Grass River over 20 years in acquisitions, development and asset management experience.
Prior to GRP, Peter served as a division President at LNR Property overseeing distressed asset acquisitions, servicing and asset management for portfolios sourced from financial institutions and the FDIC.
Prior to LNR, Peter spent 10 years at Bayview Financial in Coral Gables, Florida where as a Managing Director he led investment and asset management activities for more than $10 billion in commercial real estate and loan assets with a team of 250+ finance, legal and real estate professionals across multiple divisions and business lines. During his tenure at Bayview, the firm participated in over 9,000 transactions with over 2,000 counter-parties.
Peter began his career as an attorney with several New England based law firms where his practice concentrated in banking & structured finance, real estate transactional and development law, commercial lending, creditor’s rights, corporate transactions and commercial litigation.
Peter earned a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from Ithaca College and his J.D. from Roger Williams University.
Andrew PAROWERAndrew Parower brings 25 years of commercial real estate investment, capital markets, and fund management experience to Grass River. His experience includes CMBS investing throughout the capital stack; portfolio management; structured CRE debt investing and origination; as well as property acquisitions, asset management, and dispositions.
Prior to Grass River, Andrew was a Managing Director at Marketfield Asset Management where he launched and managed a $300 million CMBS fund in 2009 to take advantage of the capital markets dislocation. Annualized returns, before performance fees, were 47% through 2010, and 22% over the life of the fund.
Prior to Marketfield, Andrew spent 5 years managing $23 billion in domestic and European CMBS portfolios for AIG’s core subsidiaries, mutual funds, and investment vehicles. He also invested in structured debt, and was an integral part of the whole loan and mezzanine loan teams. Andrew had no involvement in AIG’s Financial Products Group’s CMBS/CRE derivatives activities.
Prior to AIG, Andrew spent 7 years at New York Life Investment Management managing their $6 billion in CMBS portfolios. He helped launch a pre-eminent B-piece buyer and special servicer as a first stage investor and advisory board member. He invested in mezzanine loans, B-notes and syndicated loans; and advised the whole loan teams on strategy and pricing.
Andrew’s earlier CRE experience includes being co-lead banker on a CRE loan origination and securitization program; property acquisitions for a pension fund advisor; and a senior team member of Chase Manhattan Bank’s Owned Real Estate Group.
Andrew holds a B.S.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.
Daniel ANTONELLIDaniel Antonelli is a real estate professional with 10 years experience in commercial real estate development, acquisitions, dispositions, whole loan acquisitions, commercial lending, debt workouts and asset management. His responsibilities have included underwriting, modeling, structuring and closing of real estate investments in a variety of structures and asset classes.
Prior to joining Grass River, Daniel served as an Acquisitions Associate for Greenstreet Real Estate Partners where he was responsible for underwriting, acquisitions, dispositions and portfolio strategy. Prior to Greenstreet, Daniel was a Senior Portfolio Manager for LNR Partners where he was responsible for the day-to-day management and strategy of a distressed whole loan portfolio. Prior to LNR, Daniel worked for a national student housing owner/operator where he was responsible for acquisitions, dispositions, capital raising and operations.
Daniel obtained his B.S. in Business Administration from State University of New York at Albany.
Ronald BOBROWSKIRonald Bobrowski is a construction and development professional with over 22 years of real estate development and construction management experience.
Prior to joining Grass River, Ronald was Senior Preconstruction Manager for all capital improvement projects for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Prior to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Ronald was Senior Project Manager for Blackstone Group’s One Thousand Ocean condominium development located at the Boca Raton Resort and performed preconstruction services on Blackstone properties, including the Pier 66 and Bahia Mar resorts. Ronald was also Senior Project Manager on high-rise condominium projects for Terra Group (Quantum on the Bay), The Finger Companies (Cité on the Bay) and CMC Group (Porto Vita South Tower).
Ron previously worked for several general contractors in the Miami market, including Danville-Findorff and Balfour Beatty Construction – Heavy Civil.
Ronald received a B.S. in Building Construction Management from Michigan State University and is a certified LEED Accredited Professional – New Construction.
Will PIERCEWill Pierce is a real estate professional with three years of experience in financial analysis, construction and project management.
Prior to Grass River, Will served as a project manager for a regional communications company that serviced corporations, government agencies and universities. During his tenure, Will served as the principal coordinator for all project stakeholders including clients, engineers, project teams, subcontractors, procurement specialists, vendors, account managers and system end users.
Will received a B.S. in Building Construction from Auburn University and a M.S. in Real Estate Development + Urbanism from the University of Miami.
Brent THURNBrent Thurn is a real estate professional with four years of experience in commercial real estate development, asset management, acquisitions, dispositions, and construction management.
Prior to joining Grass River, Brent served as an Asset Manager for WhiteStar Advisors, LLC, a New York-based pension fund real estate investment manager. During his tenure Brent managed a variety of asset types (office, flex, retail, multifamily) within the Tri-State area, and was also involved with acquisitions, dispositions, debt placements, and construction management oversite.
Brent obtained his B.S. in Finance and his MS in Construction Management from the University of Florida.
Christopher BATEChristopher Bate is a real estate professional with experience in the acquisition, disposition, and financing of commercial assets.
Prior to Grass River, Christopher was an Associate at Continental Real Estate Companies (CREC) where he focused on the sale and financing of multifamily apartment communities, bulk condominiums, and land. While at CREC he completed over $100 million in closed transactions.
Prior to CREC, Christopher was an analyst at Bayview Financial working in Portfolio Management on residential loans and REO assets. He was responsible for monitoring and reporting investor returns for multiple real estate funds over $1 Billion. Chris was also responsible for the asset management of REO assets and implementing strategies to maximize sale proceeds to investors.
Christopher holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Central Florida and an M.B.A. from the University of Miami. Christopher has been a Florida resident for over 25 years and is an active participant in the University of Miami Mentor Program.
Alex SCHREERAlex Schreer is a marketing professional that brings over 25 years of expertise in real estate, retail and restaurant marketing and communications. As vice president of marketing leading Grass River’s assets, Alex oversees the branding and repositioning of several projects in the portfolio.
Prior to joining Grass River, Alex served as managing partner for ASAP Marketing and Communications for 14 years and was responsible for various projects in branding, media and asset positioning for The Related Group, Starwood Resorts, Terra Group, Peacock Properties and many other high profile South Florida developers.
Prior to ASAP, Alex spent 4 years at For Eyes Optical managing all marketing and advertising operations for 120 retail stores throughout the United States. Alex’s earlier marketing experience includes 10 years with Tony Roma’s as Regional Marketing Director for 130 restaurants and Director of Marketing for Florida.
Alex holds a B.S. in Communications from Florida State University.