NORTHBROOK, IL-Pine Tree Commercial Realty, based here, has recently hired Mike Lopata as senior project manager and Robert Gordon as vice president of design and construction for the company’s affiliate, Pine Tree Construction Services LLC. Todd Zinsmaster will start as vice president of Pine Tree Commercial Realty on Sept. 4. The company, which was founded in 1995, has been expanding consistently in its 12 years and particularly in the past 24 months, says Tim Roe, president of Pine Tree. The company began with three people and currently has 22 employees, Roe says.

Zinsmaster is currently senior director of development for Kimco Developers Inc., in Lisle, IL, and had previously worked for the Home Depot in addition to Bank South, in Atlanta. While at Kimco, he represented the company when it sold a property in near Vancouver, WA and “we were very impressed with his skills,” Roe says. Zinsmaster has headed construction teams and experience with leasing, contracts, sales, acquisitions and as a credit analyst. He will serve as a type of “quarterback” for the company, Roe says.

Gordon most recently was the construction director for Dominick’s Finer Foods and construction manager for Dominick’s parent company Safeway Inc. Besides his duties overseeing construction and design, Gordon will be handling the new tenant coordination as well as some lease negotiations and hiring the consultants, says Lee Pearson, senior vice president of Pine Tree Realty and president of Pine Tree Construction Services. Lopata most recently was senior project manager for Chicago-based Pepper Construction Co., where he worked for 11 years. Lopata has nearly 30 years of experience with real estate development and construction and has managed projects in excess of $150 million.

The company, which initially had a Midwest focus, has acquired and developed more than 50 properties valued at more than $450 million. The company recently launched an early acquisition program in which it will acquire shopping centers while they are still being developed and, in April, announced a joint venture with Oak Brook, IL-based Inland Real Estate Corp. to develop up to $400 million in shopping centers. Pine Tree also has equity partnerships with Chicago-based GEM Realty Corp., Newport Beach, CA-based Buchanan Street Partners and Chicago-based Henderson Global Investors, and plans on exploring joint ventures as well, Roe says.

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