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NORTHBROOK, IL-After finding its new CEO and CFO at Ernst & Young’s real estate advisory practice, Grubb & Ellis Co. has gone back to New York City a third time to find a new chief operating officer. Mark R. Costello, formerly partner and East Coast director for Ernst & Young’s real estate advisory practice, joins the company July 23.

Barry Barovick was hired as president and chief executive officer in April, capping a nearly year-long search for a successor to CEO Neil Young, who also was the company’s chairman. CFO Ian Bress was next.

“This is a great opportunity,” Costello says. “Grubb & Ellis is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the changing landscape in the global commercial real estate arena. There’s a great deal that we can accomplish here, and I want to be a significant part of the growth story. I am genuinely looking forward to meeting and working with all the talented professionals at Grubb & Ellis.”

Costello was executive managing director with CB Richard Ellis in charge of the firm’s operations in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey before joining Ernst & Young. An attorney and real estate broker, Costello was recently recently president of the New York chapter of NAIOP.

“He’s been involved in various facets of the commercial real estate business for more than 20 years, including hands-on experience in transactions, property management and investment sales,” Barovick says. “This gives him an excellent perspective of the day-to-day challenges that our real estate advisors face in the field. Mark understands the path that Grubb & Ellis needs to pursue in order to continue growing, and I have complete confidence in him.”

Grubb & Ellis stock closed Wednesday at $5.02 a share, up 12 cents from Barovick’s taking over as president and CEO.

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