Gotham’s New York roots, like its personal and long-lasting relationships, run deep, and infuse the company with the same dynamic energy as the city that shares its name. Gotham takes a community-minded approach to development, enhancing the city and its neighborhoods with every new project by focusing on artfully designed buildings that lean on neighborhood materials and skyscapes, and thoughtful amenities that add energy and create a locals’ destination.
Gotham’s rich legacy began in construction; for over a century, Gotham Construction Company has built projects including office buildings, hospitals, schools, retail centers, and apartment buildings. The company’s innovative approach and leadership continues to reshape the NYC skyline, streetscape and industry, while its ethos remains grounded in construction and an ability to build projects on time and on budget. Examples of Gotham's innovation include the transformation of Hell’s Kitchen through the development of Gotham West, the first 50/30/20 affordable housing development in New York City; the launch of Gotham West Market, the trendsetting food hall that garnered two stars from The New York Times; leadership in dormant markets, such as the development of New Gotham, the first luxury residential building constructed out of the slowdown in the 90’s; and large urban retail centers in historically underserved neighborhoods: Harlem USA, which helped transform the 125th Street corridor, and DC USA, the largest retail development in the District of Columbia.
These are the people behind the most dynamic developments and neighborhood projects that have helped shaped New York City’s changing skyline. Collectively they infuse their imagination, creativity, energy, vision and passion into every project to bring some of the most distinctive properties and communities to life. While different in backgrounds and diverse in experience, the collaborative group share one thing in common: an organic way of thinking about development.
Joel I. Picket is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gotham Organization, Inc., and its subsidiaries including Gotham Construction Company. Mr. Picket assumed leadership of the company in 1965 and to the present day has overseen the direction of this fourth-generation, 104-year-old, family-owned firm. Mr. Picket is responsible for growing Gotham into a major developer and one of the largest, privately held construction contractors in the country; with construction of more than 35,000 residential units in the New York metropolitan area.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Picket has spent his career shaping the city that he loves with significant contributions in the institutional, commercial, hotel and residential sectors. Mr. Picket graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Picket has been actively involved in various real estate trade organizations. He is a member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York, a former director of the National Housing Conference and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Building Contractors Association. Mr. Picket’s philanthropic endeavors involve a number of educational, medical and arts institutions. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Continuum Health Partners, which consists of Beth Israel Medical Center, at which he is Vice Chairman; Long Island College Hospital; St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, where he is Vice Chairman; and the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; the Advisory Board of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, where he is also on the University Council and a trustee fellow of the Board of Trustees of Fordham University. Mr. Picket is a member of the Boards of the New York Philharmonic, Overseas Shipholding Group, the Park Avenue Armory, and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. An astute history buff, Mr. Picket is also the Vice Chairman of The Foundation for the National Archives in Washington DC.
David L. Picket is President of Gotham Organization, a vertically integrated real estate development company providing services throughout concept, financing, design, building, lease-up and ongoing management phases. Since joining the company in 1991, David has led Gotham’s new project development business through a period of unprecedented growth. He became responsible for Gotham’s development and property operations businesses in 1998, and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Gotham Development. David represents the fourth generation of Picket leadership in Gotham’s 100-year history, continuing the firm’s dedication to multifamily housing in New York City.
Under David’s direction, Gotham has developed over 5,000 housing units and over 1.7 million square feet of urban retail. The majority of the firm’s developments have utilized public/private partnerships, combining public funds, tax benefits and/or reduced land prices in exchange for the creation of affordable housing, schools, community facilities, job programs and other public benefits.
David was one of the first developers to capitalize on the resurgence of the multi-family housing market in New York in the mid-1990s and to recognize the untapped potential of the Midtown West neighborhood. In addition to Gotham West, which transformed an entire block in Hell’s Kitchen and includes the celebrated Gotham West Market, he is responsible for the development of several award-winning properties, including The Nicole, Atlas New York, The Foundry, New Gotham and The Corner, and retail projects that include Harlem USA and DC USA. Harlem USA was the first development to utilize funds generated by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and, at the time, represented the largest private investment ever made in Harlem. Prior to joining Gotham, David was a banker in the real estate division of Citicorp and a real estate attorney for what is now Bryan Cave LLP.
David holds a law degree from Columbia and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. David is a member of or affiliated with a number of boards and organizations, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Member, Board of Trustees), Breaking Ground (Member, Board of Directors), Cornell University (Member, College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Board), the Real Estate Board of New York (Member, Board of Governors; Member, Housing Committee; Director, Owners and Builders Division), Realty Foundation of New York (Member, Board of Directors), The Fashion Center BID (Member, Board of Directors), Jewish National Fund (Tree of Life Award, 2007) and UJA- Federation of New York (Honoree, 2011).
Chris is responsible for the company operations, including the management of Gotham’s portfolio of residential and commercial properties which provides living and work space for 4000 residents and 35 commercial businesses.
Christopher joined Gotham in 2003 after representing the company as an outside lawyer. In 2006 he became Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for transactions, commercial negotiations, human resources, risk management, contracts, litigations and crisis control, while also leading the company’s retail and commercial portfolio. Jaskiewicz was the executive in charge of launching Gotham West Market in 2013, a first-of-its-kind marketplace named "one of America's best food halls" by Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine and others. Chris continues to oversee the operations and marketing of Gotham West Market and is now developing Gotham Market at The Ashland opening in the Fall of 2016. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, the Urban Land Institute and others call on Chris as an expert source in real estate and hospitality trends.
Jaskiewicz was an associate in the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP where he worked from 1999 to 2003 on mergers, acquisitions and transactions in the technology, hospitality, and real estate sectors. He has litigated entertainment, franchise, trade secrets, and professional sports issues. Prior to law school, he worked two years as a PepsiCo District Sales Manager.
Chris is a member of the boards of the Greater New York City Construction Users Council, the Garment District Alliance, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and he served as president of the Florida State University Alumni Association of New York.
As Gotham’s Chief Financial Officer for over 20 years, Lawrence W. Feiner has seen the company through impressive growth. Feiner has more than 40 years of experience running financial operations in the real estate industry and oversees a talented accounting team. Clients benefit from Feiner’s hands-on approach and commitment to the company’s values throughout the project lifecycle—from start to successful finish.
Prior to joining Gotham, Feiner was partner in a leading certified public accounting firm specializing in real estate and construction. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Construction Financial Management Association. He has served on various real-estate committees and has spoken before numerous trade organizations on industry-related issues pertaining to real estate and construction, accounting and taxation. Feiner’s complete understanding of the financial workings of the industry has earned him respect as a recognized leader.
Bryan Kelly joined Gotham in 2016 as Executive Vice President, Development, where he leads the Gotham Development division, including oversight of the acquisition process, entitlements and approvals, design, deal structuring, capital raising, marketing strategy and stabilization and refinancing.
Prior to Gotham, Bryan successfully led numerous development projects for Fisher Brothers, a private firm focused on investment, asset management and development for its real estate portfolio. As Project Executive, he oversaw more than $400,000,000 of development, including the condo conversion of 101 West 87th Street and the design and development of 225 East 39th Street, projects spanning luxury market rate homes, 80/20 affordability, amenities and retail spaces.
Bryan began his career as an Originations Manager at First Sterling Financial, a privately held firm specializing in tax credit syndications, focusing on the origination, structuring and underwriting of tax credit investments to create or preserve affordable housing, followed by time as a Senior Project Manager with Atlantic Development Group, a leading NYC developer of affordable and mixed‐income housing. During his tenure with Atlantic, he oversaw the planning or financing of more than 1,000 new affordable homes for New Yorkers.
Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, College at Rose Hill and pursued Graduate Studies in Economics at the Fordham University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Bryan was a five‐year scholarship athlete and member of the Fordham University Baseball Team. He is also currently a member of the Advisory Board for the New York Housing Conference.
As Vice President, Gotham Properties & Hospitality, Matthew Berenson runs Gotham's Asset Management and Property Management departments. Since joining the firm in March 2012, he has been responsible for overseeing the multi-family residential and retail portfolio, and handles all facets of the properties, including daily supervision of operations.
Prior to Gotham, Mr. Berenson started his career in Corporate Treasury with a metal merchant in Stamford and then Morgan Stanley. While pursuing a Masters of Science in Real Estate Investments from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, Mr. Berenson obtained a position as Asset Manager with a private investment real estate company overseeing a multifamily residential and retail portfolio in New York City. Mr. Berenson received a MS from NYU Schack in 2009, and a BS in Financial Economics from Binghamton University in 2002.
Emily Cohen joined Gotham in 2015, bringing more than 20 years of experience in strategic branding, marketing and communications across companies in luxury and consumer goods, technology, wine and spirits, including Moet Hennessy USA (LVMH), Revlon, TiVo and Bain & Company. She received her BA from George Washington University and her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Emily leads marketing for the corporate organization and all of Gotham’s businesses, including development projects, leasing and food markets.
As Vice President of Development, Simeon manages the design and construction for Gotham’s new developments, and oversees and coordinates architecture, engineering and construction teams from preliminary feasibility studies through construction. Current projects include 250 Ashland Place in Brooklyn, 44-28 Purves Street in Long Island City, and the Inkwell at 520 West 45th Street in Manhattan.
Simeon previously worked in the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. He was instrumental in a number of urban projects, including master plans and towers from design through construction. Projects were international and domestic mixed-use buildings with residential, hotel, office and retail components. Simeon has led large design, technical and consulting teams, demonstrating strength in team management. He oversaw the design and documentation of International Gem Tower, a 685,000 square-foot office tower in New York City; BBVA Bancomer Operations Center, a 1.7 million square-foot office complex in Mexico City; the W Hotel & Residences, a 1.2 million square-foot hotel and residential building in Kuala Lumpur; and the Haeundae Beach Resort Project, a 2.2 million square-foot hotel and residential complex in Busan, Korea.
Previously, Simeon handled design proposals at Dattner Architects for Seward Park, including the 1.65 million square-foot development in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Bronxchester, which includes close to 1,000 units of mixed-income residential and commercial development in the Bronx.
Simeon earned his Masters in Architecture from the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT in 2004, and his Bachelors of Science in Architecture from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in 2001. He is a Registered Architect in New York and New Jersey, and a LEED Accredited Professional with the United States Green Building Council.
Tristan Nadal serves in a development project management capacity specializing in financing and acquisitions. Since joining Gotham in 2013, Tristan has been responsible for all underwriting and diligence for new and existing developments, acquisitions and financings. Prior to joining Gotham, Tristan spent five years at Prudential Real Estate Investors, where he started with the firm’s core-plus account managing a $1.3 billion portfolio of diversified assets through the economic downturn. He also helped establish the equity joint venture development platform, and closed 18 new developments nationally.
As a member of the transactions group, Nadal was responsible for sourcing, underwriting and executing new deals of all investment types in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Tristan received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Urban Studies and minored in Urban Real Estate and Development.
Charles Scarlatos joined Gotham in 1999. As Controller, Charles handles the accounting and tax reporting on a multitude of investment properties as well as overseeing corporate finance. Scarlatos works with Gotham’s public accounting firms to streamline audit and tax packages so financial statements and tax returns are prepared in accordance with varying investment loan requirements. One of Charles’ first assignments was to compile a complete accounting report for investors and equity partners of a 38-unit, 22-story luxury condominium with gross sales of $75 million.
At Gotham, Scarlatos has established several new procedures and accounting controls to ensure timely and accurate reporting. He migrated the development division’s accounting to a job and cost-based computer software system, at a time when development deals had grown significantly in number and size. The latest development deal is an over $520 million, 1238-unit residential rental property, completed over a three-year period.
Charles is also responsible for the financial and tax reporting on Gotham’s portfolio of rental properties with gross revenues of approximately $65 million. He has diligently and expediently managed the accounting processes during transitions to the third-party property management company. His other duties include administering a real estate tax petition process with outside counsel, various compliance reporting for tax incentive programs and debt-service payments.
Prior to Gotham, Charles had a career in public accounting with a construction and real estate emphasis. He is a New York State CPA and a long-standing member of the New York State Society of CPA’s. He received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Adelphi University in 1982.
Felix Vaynberg is the Controller for Gotham Real Estate Managers, LLC. He is a new addition to the team, and will be responsible for overseeing and managing all phases of transactional accounting and financial reporting on the multi-family residential and retail portfolio.
Prior to Gotham, Mr. Vaynberg held several other positions of various levels with real estate development and management firms. Most recently he worked for The Durst Organization, managing their multi-family mixed-use residential portfolio. Mr. Vaynberg received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting with a minor in Finance from Queens College in 2000.
At 53 stories, this is the latest residential high-rise being completed in an area marketed as the Brooklyn Cultural District. Located at 250 Ashland Place, it's called The Ashland. Nearly half of the 586 apartments are affordable. In addition, the building offers plenty of amenities.
A recent report claims that nearly 40,000 new market-rate apartments are coming to New York City in the next three years, but it’s unclear if the spike in supply will overwhelm or barely faze the market.
FORT GREENE — As leasing is set to launch at Fort Greene’s newest luxury tower, the high-rise’s developers have released new images of the 53-story building and the ground-floor food hall set to open there this fall.
Construction is wrapping up on the The Ashland, a 53-story mixed-use skyscraper in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In anticipation, the building’s website has launched ahead of the July 19 opening of its leasing office.
The rapid change of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill is continuing apace, with major real estate developments sprouting seemingly everywhere.
At the crossroads of Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn, and the BAM Cultural District, The Ashland rises. Next Tuesday, July 19, the 53-story, 586-unit tower will open its leasing office to prospective renters interested in its one-, two- and three-bedroom no-fee apartments, priced from $2,600/month for studios to $7,500/month for three-bedrooms.