Jay began his Real-Estate career over 20 years ago, working with his family in managing a portfolio of multi-family apartment buildings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. During this period, Jay learned the technical skills needed to operate properties as well as the importance of strong tenant relations. He took this knowledge with him when he moved into the commercial Real Estate sector, joining Circle Realty Group over 12 years ago, where, working alongside his mentor and former CEO Michael J. Close, Jay has been directly involved with over two billion dollars in Real Estate transactions.
Under the leadership of Michael’s successor, Nancy L. Close, Jay assumed the reigns of Circle Realty Group’s brokerage division in 2013. Through his vast relationships in the real estate industry he has been involved in several million square feet of office and retail leasing as well as “off market” sales for a variety of different companies and has often been referred to as the “Leasing Machine” by his clients. Jay takes a “hands-on” approach to each deal and uses his extensive knowledge of the real estate market to obtain the best possible deal for his client. Together with his team of seasoned real-estate professionals, he has built Circle Realty Group into a full service brokerage business offering clients and landlords his expertise, commitment and dedication.
Jay has been instrumental in building Circle Realty Group’s portfolio and solidifying its exemplary tenant roster with higher rents and credit tenants. He has fostered solid relationships with the portfolio’s tenants and has demonstrated admirable dedication in all areas of the operations of the company. Through his leadership he has created an unparalleled level of excellence for his team and the organization.
Karen Close Clarke
A graduate of Amherst College, Karen joined Circle Realty in 2008 and, after gaining her license as a Real Estate Salesperson in 2012, has quickly risen to become one of the firm’s greatest assets in its brokerage division. Under the tutelage of industry veteran, Jay Futersak, she has helped raise occupancy rates across the portfolio to record levels, having closed deals totaling almost 200,000 square feet of Circle-owned space within the last year alone.
Her expertise includes Tenant and Landlord representation, extending to all aspects of commercial real estate, including retail and medical, in addition to traditional office space.
Lawrence B. Brownridge
Larry has been a practicing lawyer in New York for over 30 years and is also a licensed real estate broker. Before joining Circle Realty Group, Larry was a partner at the law firms of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Thelen Reid LLP where he specialized in real estate law. During the period he spent in law firm practice, Larry served as the primary real estate counsel to Circle Realty Group and assisted the company in the acquisition and leasing of all of its buildings. Larry has substantial experience in the acquisition, disposition, development and financing of various types of properties. He has also represented some of the largest landlords and tenants in New York City in the leasing, subleasing, ground leasing and master leasing of millions of square feet of office, retail, shopping center and mixed use space. In addition, Larry has lectured on leasing and related subject areas at St. John’s University and at other continuing legal education venues. He is a graduate of Tulane University Law School and became a member of the New York Bar in 1981.
Lawrence C. Shields
Chief Financial Officer
Larry has worked with the Circle Realty Group since 2002. As the Chief Financial Officer, he oversees financial planning, reporting, compliance, credit reviews and financial analysis in support of short and long term financing. Larry’s expertise has added to the improvement of Circle Realty’s bottom line. Prior to joining the Circle Realty Group, he was a Managing Director in the investment banking division of The Chase Manhattan Bank, NA (now JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA), working with specialty chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to that, he was a Senior Accountant with Price Waterhouse & Co. (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP) working with clients in the legal, financial and advertising industries. As a Captain in the US Army Finance Corp, he served in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He holds a BBA from Hofstra University and an MBA from New York University in International Finance. Personal interests include sailing and cross country skiing.
Vice President of Operations
Chris recently joined the Circle Realty Group in March 2014. As the Vice President of Operations, he works with building managers on all building matters, including day to day operations, capital improvements, tenant alterations. Chris’ talents and diversified background has also provided Circle with improvements in marketing and technology. Prior to joining the Circle Realty Group, he spent 20 years in the field of Higher Education in the Student Affairs division, where he held position as Director of Residence Life and Associate Dean of Students. He specialized in operations, risk management, student discipline and staff training. He holds a B.A. from LeMoyne College and then went on to get his Masters in Education from Manhattan College and his J.D. from Pace Law School. Chris also has certificate in Commercial Property Management from NYU.
Vice President of Finance
Amanda joined Circle Realty Group LLC in July 2015. As the Vice President of Finance/Director of Payroll Services, Amanda is responsible for accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting for all real estate properties under management and for providing all Company payroll services. Additionally, she coordinates numerous building-related projects including due diligence efforts for new tenants and lease renewals and also manages specialized tax reporting requirements. She is dedicated to exceeding the expectations of both her team members as well as our tenants in the buildings we manage. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Accounting from the University of Florida. Amanda’s career in Real Estate began at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009 in the Real Estate Tax Group. In 2013, she joined the Real Estate Group at Marks Paneth LLP as a Senior Associate where she refined her New York City commercial real estate knowledge and was quickly promoted to Supervisor in 2014. Amanda is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and licensed as a CPA in the State of New York.