John Kusmiersky has been involved in the real estate industry for almost 40 years and is the founding partner of Brickstone and the Chairman of Brickstone Senior Living. Brickstone is a related group of privately held real estate companies with development offices in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Andover, Massachusetts, and corporate offices in Los Angeles. Mr. Kusmiersky is actively involved in all aspects of Brickstone’s operations and travels regularly to visit the regional offices.
Between 1974 and 1982 Mr. Kusmiersky successfully acquired, renovated, managed and sold approximately 17,000 apartment units nationwide, then worth more than $350 Million in the aggregate, many of which he converted to condominiums. During that period he also founded a closely held mortgage lending and brokerage company that financed construction and short-term real estate loans in California and elsewhere in the United States.
Mr. Kusmiersky, together with his Brickstone partners, then turned his energies to developing commercial office, industrial and high-rise residential projects, with special emphasis on large-scale historic renovations. Brickstone also developed Minuteman Park, a modern, class-A, 1 million square foot, architecturally significant suburban office park in Andover that it owns and operates in partnership with J.P. Morgan. Brickstone developed The Loop, a new regional shopping center in Methuen, Massachusetts, anchored by a 20-screen Sony movie theatre and national retail tenants.
In Atlanta, Brickstone developed and marketed luxury high-rise condominium buildings under the “Park Signature” brand. Park Place on Peachtree, a 294-unit, a 40-story tower, was Brickstone’s first venture in the mid 1980’s. Brickstone completed 750 Park Avenue, a 123-unit, 42-story tower adjacent to Phipps Plaza in Buckhead in 1999, and then, in 2001, Park Regency, a 140-unit, 25-story tower. These residences set the prevailing standard for Atlanta high-rise luxury condominium living.
Mr. Kusmiersky holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California and has served as a Trustee of the University since 1986. In addition he serves on the Governing Boards of USC Hospital and the Norris Cancer Hospital, USC Hospital, the USC Keck School of Medicine Board of Overseers, and on the Board of Trustees for Research to Prevent Blindness. He resides in West Los Angeles.
John G. Baker
John G. Baker is a founding partner with Mr. Kusmiersky of Brickstone and its related group of privately held companies. He holds the office of general counsel and has general management responsibility for business operations of the companies and for communications with joint venture partners and lenders.
Mr. Baker brings to Brickstone over 35 years of experience in various facets of the real estate industry, with emphasis on property management and the legal aspects of construction contracting, secured lending, condominium law, property acquisition and sale. He is also responsible for construction management and financial reporting related to the construction financing of three condominium towers in Atlanta, office building and hotel construction in Philadelphia and retail and commercial office construction in New England.
Mr. Baker serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Health Care Foundation at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. He is an active member of the California State Bar and the Los Angeles County Bar Association and a retired veteran of the California National Guard. He serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Annual Fund of Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.
Mr. Baker holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Catholic University, a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor degree from Gould School of Law. Mr. Baker resides in a suburb of Los Angeles.
Martin Spagat has been Brickstone’s managing partner in the New England region since 1981. He has consistently proven his ability to lease large spaces to credit tenants on favorable terms, and often has been recognized for successfully negotiating and closing the largest lease transaction in a given year in New England. As a property manager, he has enabled Brickstone to maintain and expand its tenant base even during difficult market periods.
Mr. Spagat has over 35 years of experience as an attorney and real estate developer. Practicing as an attorney, he specialized in representing real estate developers and financial institutions. He served as a Director of the Northwest Realty Board of Chicago and as a Director of Northwestern Savings and Loan Association.
Mr. Spagat has developed and syndicated numerous large apartment and condominium complexes and shopping centers in the Chicago area. He teamed with Mr. Kusmiersky and Mr. Baker to form Brickstone in 1981 and begin its first renovations of historic mill sites in New England. Since then, he has devoted his energies full time to these developments, which comprise well over 3 million square feet of commercial office and retail properties.
Mr. Spagat holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Spagat resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
John J. Connors
John J. Connors has been Brickstone’s managing partner in Philadelphia since 1985, and brings extensive experience in the fields of commercial and investment banking and finance, and real estate acquisition, development and leasing. He is Brickstone Senior Living’s Vice Chairman. Mr. Connors joined Brickstone to oversee the acquisition and development of Mellon Independence Center in Philadelphia, and since then has guided the expansion of Brickstone’s Philadelphia portfolio to include The Wanamaker Building and 101 Penn Square East. Mr. Connors is responsible for both the direction of these development efforts and the ongoing operations of all Philadelphia projects.
Mr. Connors was employed first as a commercial banker with Provident National Bank in Philadelphia, and then as a merchant banker with Merrill Lynch Private Capital, Inc., specializing in the structuring and oversight of real estate investments with many of the country’s largest private developers.
Mr. Connors holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Connors sits on a number of municipal boards including the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Market East Improvement Association. Mr. Connors resides in St. Davids, a suburb of Philadelphia.
David A. Miller
David A. Miller is involved in all aspects of Brickstone’s operations, and concentrates on structuring, documenting and consummating the company’s joint ventures, acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leases. Mr. Miller’s extensive experience and legal talents permit Brickstone to efficiently handle the largest and most complex real estate transactions in-house, and, when necessary, to closely supervise and coordinate outside counsel. Mr. Miller brings to Brickstone over 30 years of experience as a real estate attorney and principal.
Before joining Brickstone as a partner, Mr. Miller was a partner at Greenberg & Glusker, a major Los Angeles law firm. In his private practice he specialized in all aspects of sophisticated real estate development, leasing, finance and syndication, and represented some of the West Coast’s largest real estate developers.
Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University Law School. Mr. Miller resides in New York City.
Mark Merlini joined Brickstone in 1987 and has served as Vice President and Director of Operations in the Philadelphia Office since then. He is responsible for preparing and implementing annual budgets, leasing plans and other business initiatives for properties in the Delaware Valley market and Center City Philadelphia. Among his operations responsibilities, Mr. Merlini negotiates leases and construction contracts for tenant improvements and capital building improvements. He also awards all building services contracts and supervises performance by contractors. Mr. Merlini coordinates with counsel and the liability insurance company on insurance and lease matters on Philadelphia-area properties in the Brickstone portfolio.
Mr. Merlini is a Certified Property Manager and a Licensed Pennsylvania Real Estate Broker. He is active in many industry organizations such as BOMA, The Urban Land Institute, Central Philadelphia Development Corporation, the Institute of Real Estate Managers and the Center City District. He has served on the Board of Directors for BOMA and CCD and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation.
Prior to joining Brickstone, Mr. Merlini worked for Halloran Equities as a General Manager of various properties and later as an executive in the acquisitions and diversification department.
Mr. Merlini holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Wyncote, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Patricia Lara joined Brickstone in 1988 and has since headed the Treasury Department. She is significantly involved in all Brickstone affiliate financial transactions and is primarily responsible for cash management and investment, the preparation and submission of annual operating budgets, budget variance analysis and long and short-term financial planning and projections. In addition Ms. Lara is primarily responsible for communications and monthly financial reporting to Brickstone’s institutional lenders and investment partners. Ms. Lara also supervises the Human Resources Department, and corporate employee benefit and retirement plans.
Upon graduating from college in 1985, Ms. Lara joined Price-Waterhouse, one of the “Big Eight” accounting firms, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987. She is a member of the AICPA and California Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Patricia Lara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in accounting, from Loyola Marymount University. She resides in Redondo Beach, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Debra D. Yocum
Debra D. Yocum has been employed as the Controller at Brickstone since 1988 supervising the accounting functions of all Brickstone affiliates. Ms. Yocum is responsible for planning, staffing and completing accounting assignments to meet the objectives of Brickstone’s institutional lenders and investment partners. She oversees the independent audits and tax return preparation for all Brickstone affiliates and communicates with partners and investors regarding accounting and tax return issues. Ms. Yocum interprets loan documents for construction projects and prepares bank loan requisition packages for lender funding. She prepares cash flow projections for buildings under construction. Ms. Yocum prepares escrow closing statements for a variety of real estate transactions, including purchase, sale, refinancing and other transactions to account for them accurately. She also oversees the Brickstone computer network administration.
Upon graduating from college, Ms. Yocum worked for Arthur Andersen and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. She is a member of the AICPA and California Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ms. Yocum holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Yocum resides in a suburb of Los Angeles.
James V. Henderson
A recognized leader in the Atlanta real estate market, Jim Henderson has more than 35 years experience in land and condominium development, home building and marketing of residential real estate.
A lifelong resident of Atlanta and a graduate of the University of Georgia, Jim began his career serving a major Atlanta lending institution. After a few years, Jim opened his own home building and real estate company. In 1981, Jim joined Georgia's largest realtor to launch the New Homes and Condominium Division. It was at this time that Jim first began working with John Kusmiersky on the development of Park Place on Peachtree, Buckhead’s first luxury high-rise condominium. While leading the New Homes and Condominium Division to a prominent position in the Atlanta marketplace, Jim also served as the General Manager of Park Place on Peachtree, seeing it through a successful sell-out. Jim is also president of Park Signature Properties, the Atlanta affiliate of Brickstone.
Through Jim’s career he has received numerous honors, including being named Realtor of the Year and Marketing Director of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders’ Sales & Marketing Council. In addition, Jim has served his profession in such prominent positions as Trustee of The Builder Marketing Society, Charter Member of The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association’s of Sales & Marketing Council and president of a local Board of Realtors.