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CEO Power Breakfast Discussion: Commercial Real Estate

James W. Shindell, Partner, Bilzin Sumberg

James W. Shindell serves as Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Group. His practice involves the representation of developers, owners, private and institutional investors and lenders in a broad range of real estate matters, including acquisitions, sales, financings, leasing, joint ventures, workouts and restructurings. These matters have involved office, retail, hotel, warehouse, industrial, residential, mixed-use, telecommunications and development properties.

Jim has been consistently recognized by legal publications including Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, and Florida Super Lawyers.

Mr. Shindell received his law degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his bachelor’s degree, graduating summa cum laude from University of South Florida.

Edward Easton, Chairman, The Easton Group

Mr. Easton is Chairman of The Easton Group, a real estate brokerage, management and development firm located in Miami, Florida since 1974.  He oversees a company managing, leasing or owning over 4.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in South Florida.  In 2016, The Easton Group acquired over 600 apartments in Texas and also owns properties in North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama.

Educated at the University of Miami, BBA 1966, MBA 1976, Mr. Easton majored in Finance with a minor in Accounting.

Mr. Easton was appointed to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees by President George W. Bush and appointed to the Board of the U.S. National Parks Foundation by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.  He is currently an Emeritus Trustee of University of Miami, a Trustee of Ave Maria University, as well as a Member of Florida Council of 100.  Additionally, he has served as Chairman of the Master Planning Committee at the University of Miami, Chairman of The Salvation Army of Dade County, President of the SSJ Mercy Health System, Inc., and Trustee of Mercy Hospital.

Matthew Whitman Lazenby, President & CEO, Whitman Family Development, LCC

Matthew Whitman Lazenby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Whitman Family Development, LLC, is the fourth-generation leader in the family owned business that began developing commercial real estate in Miami in the early twentieth century.

Lazenby represents his company in development, leasing, operational and asset-management issues, including for the international, luxury shopping destination Bal Harbour Shops, located on Miami Beach, and for the more-than-500,000 square feet of retail space planned for Brickell CityCentre, a $1.05 billion, mixed-use development scheduled to open in downtown Miami’s Brickell area in 2015.

Before joining his uncle, Randall Whitman, and grandfather, Stanley Whitman, as a leasing agent at Bal Harbour Shops in 2003, Lazenby had been employed by Robert K. Futterman & Associates, where he was immersed in New York City’s retail industry and came to appreciate the tenant’s perspective in selecting sites and negotiating with landlords. Lazenby had also been a leasing agent for The Taubman Company, a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

At Bal Harbour Shops, Lazenby soon rose to director of leasing/general partner and then to operating partner. Meanwhile, the International Council of Shopping Centers in 2012 named Bal Harbour Shops the world’s top-producing shopping center, based on its annual sales per square foot. Since then, Bal Harbour Shops has surpassed its own record. In 2013, Lazenby was named President and CEO of Whitman Family Development.

Of the decision to partner with Whitman Family Development at Brickell CityCentre, Steve Owens, president of Swire Properties, told the Miami Herald, “What better way to complement our team than bringing in the number one shopping center developer?”

Lazenby holds a master’s degree in real estate development and urbanism from the University of Miami and an undergraduate degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He previously taught English at his alma mater, St. Thomas Episcopal School in Miami.

Andrew Dickey, Senior Vice President, JLL

Andrew Dickey works with the Hotels & Hospitality investment sales team of JLL in Miami. Mr. Dickey is primarily responsible for leading investment sales (asset/portfolio sales) and the general disposition, financing or UCC foreclosure of client’s asset(s). Mr. Dickey covers the Southeast US markets, Caribbean and Latin America.

Mr. Dickey is currently involved in investment sales projects in the Southeast US, Caribbean and Latin America and has been involved in over $5.1 billion of hospitality transactions over the last 15 years. Notably, $3.4 billion of transactions and financings in Florida, over $544 million in the Caribbean / LatAM and over $850 in UCC Foreclosures. Notable projects include the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, financing and disposition of the SLS South Beach, Royal Palm Miami Beach twice (2010/2015), $600 million in hotel sales in Ft. Lauderdale in 2014-2015, Gansevoort Miami Beach UCC Foreclosure and Sale and numerous projects abroad including Aruba, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and several Caribbean islands.

Mr. Dickey holds a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University’s School of Commerce & Finance, as well as a M.B.A. from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain with a concentration at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Jay S. Jacobson, Founder, President & CEO, EDEN Multifamily

Jay S. Jacobson has, over his 30-year career in the multifamily industry developed over 25,000 multifamily units and invested in/acquired over 40,000 units located in over 30 sub-markets in 22 cities nationwide.

Prior to forming EDEN Multifamily with Jay Massirman, Mr. Jacobson served as the President of Stiles Residential Group in Fort Lauderdale and is a former national partner with Wood Partners. He was also a senior director of multi-family investments for Goldman Sachs Real Estate Services (fka Archon Group) and a managing director of Archstone Communities Trust. Jay received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Florida and Masters of Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Colorado.

Jay grew up in south Florida and learned the development/construction business from the ground up-literally—starting at the age of 12 digging foundation ditches for his fathers construction company. Jay lives in Delray Beach Florida where he serves on the City of Delray Beach Planning and Zoning Board, is a member of ULI MF product council and the NMHC Board of Directors. Jay uses his rare spare time flying around the world chasing any of the 12 types of billfish in the ocean—at last count he is up to 6.

Danet Linares, Vice Chairman, Blanca Commercial Real Estate

Danet Linares is Vice Chairman of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc., the leading independently owned commercial real estate services firm in Florida. With more than two decades of experience in the commercial real estate industry, she has been involved in some of the largest commercial real estate transactions to take place in South Florida in recent years, including major office leases at 1450 Brickell Office Tower, 396 Alhambra and One Park Square at Doral as well as part of the team that negotiated The Miami Herald Media Company in its relocation to Doral.

On behalf of the firm, Ms. Linares has worked on behalf of owners such as Banyan Street Capital, Lincoln Property Company, Codina Partners, TA Realty and FECI. She also serves as the real estate advisor to notable clients such as The Miami Foundation, Kairos, Knight Foundation and Schwartz Media.

Prior to joining Blanca Commercial Real Estate in 2009, Ms. Linares led leasing efforts for the owners of 600 Brickell, Miami Tower and Southeast Financial Center. Throughout her career, Ms. Linares has successfully completed over 3 million square feet of office lease transactions.

The event is sponsored by Bilzin Sumberg, TD Bank and Blanca Commercial Real Estate.

Media partners include: Capital Analytics Associates and The Real Deal.



Mar 23 2018


Conrad Hotel
1395 Brickell Ave, Miami
Miami Finance Forum


Miami Finance Forum
[email protected]
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