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RUTHERFORD, NJ-Newmark Knight Frank has launched its Tri-State Capital Group, and has hired a trio away from Grubb & Ellis to head that effort, GlobeSt.com has learned. John Hoffman and Matthew Schnurr will head the operation out of NKF’s main New Jersey office here as executive managing directors, after 11 years of doing the same thing for G&E. And Lisa Adubato has been brought aboard as managing director of the new business unit.

All three had been with Grubb & Ellis in that firm’s Fairfield, NJ office. While based here, the new business unit aims to ramp up NKF’s investment sales presence in the larger tri-state suburban region encompassing New Jersey, Westchester County, NY and Connecticut.

“Growing this practice area is a high priority,” NKF president James Kuhn tells GlobeSt.com. “We are fully committed to building our existing capital markets group during 2008. We’re pleased to have this accomplished team in our ranks.”

And there’s apparently more to come. “We hope to have some additional major announcements in the next 60 days,” Kuhn says.

Together, the newly hired threesome has totaled more than $1 billion worth of transactions in the tri-state region over the past few years. Hoffman is a 30-year veteran, and as managing director of G&E’s institutional services group had been the nationwide point of contact for managing the Prudential Real Estate Investors and Sunbelt accounts. He’s credited with $16 billion worth of transactions over his career.

Schnurr, a 25-year veteran, had been with G&E’s institutional services group for more than a decade, has in recent years been credited with more than $4 billion in investment sales and maintains an inventory of more than $100 million of exclusives. Abudato had been with G&E for the past two years and focuses on the retail strip center investment market.

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