Gottesdiener Remains Chairman Of Development Company
By ERIC GERSHON, Courant Staff Writer
September 12, 2007
Northland Investment Corp., the developer of the Hartford 21 apartment tower and the city's biggest landlord, has hired a new chief executive as it makes plans for dramatic growth, the company said Tuesday.
Steven P. Rosenthal will join Northland, based in Newton, Mass., on Oct. 1. Rosenthal is co-managing partner of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, a 500-lawyer Boston firm. Rosenthal has been Northland's chief outside lawyer for about a decade.
He succeeds Lawrence R. Gottesdiener, Northland's principal owner and current CEO. Gottesdiener will remain chairman of the board.
Gottesdiener said giving up the CEO post will allow him to "focus on the part of the business that I'm strongest at - setting the strategic vision for the company and overseeing development and acquisitions. Those are my strengths."
Northland, which is privately held, buys, develops and operates multi-family and commercial real estate nationwide. It has a $1.5 billion portfolio that covers 14.5 million square feet and is now assembling its biggest real estate investment funds yet, Gottesdiener said.
Northland has not disclosed the size of the funds, called Northland Funds III and IV, but each will be "significantly larger" than Northland's earlier funds, he said. Those funds totaled $50 and $100 million.
Northland began investing in Hartford aggressively about 10 years ago, when real estate was cheap. The company's Connecticut holdings total about $500 million, including the Bigelow Commons apartments in Enfield; Pavilions at Buckland Hills apartments; and, in downtown Hartford, Metro Center, the Crosthwaite Building, CityPlace II, Goodwin Square, Trumbull Place at 242 Trumbull St.
Hartford 21, on the former site of the Civic Center mall, has 262 luxury apartments.
Northland also manages the Hartford Civic Center and Rentschler Field in East Hartford, and has proposed a multi-use complex at the site of the former Norwich Hospital in Preston and Norwich.
Connecticut will remain a key part of Northland's strategy, according to Gottesdiener.
The firm wants to develop mixed-use properties in New Haven, something "like Hartford 21," said Gottesdiener, a native of New London who also remains focused on attracting a professional sports team to Hartford. Initially focused on ice hockey, Northland is also exploring major league soccer, as well as indoor soccer and lacrosse, he said.
Northland may also buy entire real estate firms, Gottesdiener said.
Rosenthal, who has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Boston University, will be instrumental in those efforts.
"He's a businessman trapped in a lawyer's body," Gottesdiener said. "He's truly the best negotiator I know."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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