Managing Partner, Co-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.
Managing Partner and Co-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 and sits on the President’s Council at the Real Estate Roundtable. Toby is a long-standing Board Member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council and the chair of the membership committee. 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.
Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Jonathan Roth, brings 30 years of experience originating, structuring and servicing CRE debt and equity investments. Previously, Mr. Roth served as President of Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC. During his 18-year tenure at Canyon, Mr. Roth was instrumental in building a fully integrated investment advisor as well as the formation and the investment activities of several investment vehicles which collectively invested approximately $5.6 billion in over 200 transactions.
Prior to joining Canyon, Mr. Roth was a partner specializing in complex real estate transactions at the international law firm of Loeb & Loeb. Mr. Roth has served on multiple philanthropic boards and works with several leading medical institutions, including the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Hospital.
Mr. Roth currently sits on the Board of Governors for Cedars Sinai Hospital and the Advisory Board of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and the Board of Advisors for the Finance and Audit Committee of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Board. Mr. Roth holds a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA, and a J.D. from Loyola Law School.
Managing Partner and President, Peter LaPointe is a real estate, finance and legal professional that brings to Grass River over 25 years in acquisitions, development and asset management experience. Peter is a founding member of the firm based in Coconut Grove, Florida and is responsible for managing the Grass River team on all facets of the company including sourcing, capitalizing, delivering and managing all firm investments as well the day to day administration of a staff of over 30 real estate professionals who manage a diverse portfolio of investments that include several million square feet of residential, retail, office and hospitality assets. Peter is directly responsible for managing a diverse range of investors that includes public companies, pension funds, high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors.
Prior to GRP, Peter served as a division President at LNR Property, based in Miami Beach, Florida, overseeing acquisitions and asset management for a portfolio of real estate debt and equity investments in excess of $5 billion. Peter and his team sourced and managed a multitude of distressed investment opportunities during the global financial crisis directly sourced from financial institutions and the FDIC. At LNR Peter also worked directly with the senior LNR development team on the successful delivery, management and disposition of billions of dollars in commercial real estate investments throughout the country and across all classes of commercial real estate.
Prior to LNR, Peter spent over 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 debt and equity investments 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 thousands of real estate acquisition, disposition and financing transactions with hundreds of corporate and institutional counter-parties, including hundreds of millions of opportunistic real estate development projects.
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, land-use & development law, commercial lending, creditor’s rights, corporate structuring and commercial litigation. Peter held licenses to practice law in Massachusetts Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Peter earned a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from Ithaca College and his J.D. from Roger Williams University.
Managing Partner, John Sauter, is focused on investments, capital raising, and strategy. He brings over 30 years of private equity and real estate experience to Grass River.
John was the Founder and President of Tower 14 Capital, L.P., a Los Angeles based investment firm focused on opportunistic real estate investment. In August of 2019, Tower 14 made a $60MM commitment to acquire an interest in the real assets and operating platform of Middle Street Partners, a highly regarded apartment operator based in Charleston, S.C.
Prior to starting Tower 14, John worked at Iconiq Capital where he took a leading role in starting ICONIQ’s real estate division and was a founding member of the Iron Point ICONIQ data center fund series, IPI Data Center Partners, L.P.
Before Iconiq, John was a Senior Managing Director and Principal at CBRE Global Investors. At CBRE John completed $2.0B of investment transactions and was an integral part of raising nearly $2.5B of equity for its funds and separate accounts.
John was a partner in MSD Real Estate Investments, L.P. an affiliate of MSD Capital L.P., the family office for Michael Dell for eight years before CBRE. During John’s tenure at MSD, MSD Real Estate Investments, L.P. completed 22 separate public and private transactions involving properties, debt, and stock valued at over $5 billion and nearly $1 billion of equity.
Prior to MSD, John was a Vice President of Acquisitions at Starwood Capital and was President of Troon Golf, a joint venture between Starwood and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Sauter worked on land, hospitality, and private equity related transactions valued in excess of $300MM for Starwood Opportunity Funds II, IV and V and its Mezzanine Investors, L.P. In addition, in his role at Troon, he helped the firm to grow EBITDA nearly 20 fold and took primary responsibility for the opening of the company’s offices and operations in Japan, the UK, and Australia.
Mr. Sauter is also a senior advisor to 3650 REIT, a strategic partner of Grass River. John received a B.A. in political science from Duke University and an M.B.A. from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at The University of California, Los Angeles.
Chris Cobb brings to Grass River over 30 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.
Mr. Antonelli oversees Asset Management for Grass River Property and brings 15 years of commercial real estate, loan asset management and loan servicing experience. Mr. Antonelli has been with the firm since 2014 and during his tenure he and his team have managed over $3.5 billion in real estate investments and commercial real estate loans across all geographies and asset types, with diverse and complex capital and investment structures and related operational and administration responsibilities.
Prior to Grass River, Dan was a Senior Portfolio Manager for LNR Partners, where he directed a team of asset managers and analysts and was responsible for the day-to-day management and strategy of multiple whole loan and securitized CMBS loan portfolios with total assets under management in excess of $5 billion. Previously, Mr. Antonelli also oversaw acquisitions, dispositions and asset management for a Miami-based private-equity firm that acquired and managed over $1.5 billion in commercial real estate assets.
Daniel obtained his B.S. in Business Administration from State University of New York at Albany.
Brent Thurn is a real estate professional with ten years of experience in commercial real estate development, asset management, acquisitions, dispositions, loan asset management, loan servicing and construction management. Brent has been with the firm since 2016 and during his tenure has been involved in over $600 million of ongoing development projects.
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, and is a state licensed GC.
Jorge Espinal handles asset management, underwriting, and development efforts for Grass River Property and brings five years of commercial real estate, development, loan asset management and loan servicing experience. Jorge has been with the firm since 2018, and during his tenure has directly managed over $300 million in investments and developments throughout South Florida.
Prior to Grass River, Jorge was an Assistant Development Manager for Miami Design District Associates, a joint venture between Dacra, L Catterton Real Estate, and Brookfield, where he co-managed the development and construction of Phase II of the Miami Design District. Today this project is home to Gucci, Prada, Chanel and many other world-renowned brands. Previously, Mr. Espinal worked for Florida East Coast Realty assisting the Development Director in the construction and development of Panorama Tower, the tallest tower on the East Coast south of New York.
Jorge obtained his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Miami.
Sam Herrera assists with asset management and development efforts for Grass River Property. Sam joined the firm in 2019 as an intern, and he has played a supporting role for various facets of Grass River’s investment and development activities.
Prior to Grass River, Sam worked for 1.5 years as a Site Design Engineer for Langan Engineering & Environmental Services in Houston, Texas, where he prepared site development plans for large-scale industrial facilities and the redevelopment of obsolete retail centers. Additionally, prior to relocating to Miami, he interned with the Project Management division of Amarilo S.A.S., Colombia’s largest multifamily residential developer.
Sam received a Master of Real Estate Development + Urbanism degree from the University of Miami in 2020 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Rice University in 2017. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Ms. Maranon has three years of experience in development, loan asset management, tenant coordination, project monitoring, scheduling, and project management. Johanna has been with Grass River Property since 2018, and has been involved in projects totaling in excess of $200 million.
Johanna obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Public Relations at Florida International University, and is fluent in Spanish and English.