Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mark Toro Loses Key Lieutenant to Rival Firm

Industry veteran jumps ship to rival. 

Dotan Zuckerman, who spent the past four and a half years with North American Properties, most recently as Vice President of Leasing, has left for rival firm Fuqua Development.  Zuckerman, seen by many as the right-hand man to Mark Toro of North American Properties, accepted the position of "Vice President of Leasing" with Fuqua, led by founder Jeff Fuqua, days ago.  

Zuckerman joined North American in 2011 following a stint as an independent broker. 

Many would not yet consider Zuckerman at a level where he would be seen as an "impact player," but his departure from NAP is still intriguing.  It's widely believed Zuckerman was being groomed as a protege to Toro, so his abrupt departure was likely not welcome news to his former boss. (Zuckerman told me by phone this week that his departure was "amicable.")  I thought better than to seek comment from Mark Toro. 

Zuckerman joins Fuqua at a busy time for the firm, as the company is actively developing seven mixed use projects around metro Atlanta with two others slated to begin soon. 

Fuqua's active projects in metro Atlanta include The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park, Decatur Crossing, Glenwood Place, Kennesaw Marketplace, Lindbergh Place and Sugarloaf Marketplace.  Work on Fuqua's  Northside & 17th and Peachtree Corners Town Center is expected to accelerate soon.  

I spoke with Zuckerman briefly this week at which point he said much of his immediate work will be on The Battery Atlanta.  The project, which is slated to open next spring, has deals in place with a number of restaurants and venues but has reportedly had difficulty in landing the higher end retail sought for the project.  Zuckerman will reportedly be charged with securing leases with some of the "Avalon-level" retailers that opened in the Alpharetta project.   Zuckerman also indicated he will be working on the new Leggett & Platt redevelopment on Memorial Drive. 

Whose developments do you prefer: North American Properties or Fuqua Development?  Would you rather work for Mark Toro or Jeff Fuqua?  What retailers would you like to see do you think will open in The Battery Atlanta?  

Please share your thoughts below.  


ImAndy said...

How you have someone in the c-suite without a non-compete at least in the same market is a complete lack of competent leadership. I probably wouldn't want to work for someone that incompetent either and would look to leave. (I don't know him so this isn't a personal comment)

Anonymous said...

I prefer NAP's developments. Fuqua's have absolutely no imagination unless someone else (e.g., Braves) are driving the bus and he's a fee developer.

His other mixed use projects going on are terrible. Just awful.

NAP has at least shown outside the box thinking and skating to where the puck is going, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Battery will be dominated by food and entertainment. I don't see it working as a retail destination. Other than licensed Braves apparel, you wont see any real fashion players in there.

Anonymous said...

You cannot keep people from making a living - non-competes have to be pretty limited to be enforceable. And having dealt with him, I can assure you that Toro is an extremely savvy businessman.

Also, high end retailers go where high end dollars are.

Greenwave said...

@Anonymous Because people who will go to Braves games at the Battery will scream "Let me get a 500 dollar belt with my 10 dollar hot dog." You're out of your mind if you think high end dollars would migrate from Buckhead and Midtown to Cumberland.

Frank Callaway said...

congrats dotan! you had a great run at NAP and I am sure you will be a huge success at Fugua.
frank callaway, esq.

Anonymous said...

@Greenwave - my post above was meant to show why Avalon works where it is. I agree with you that The Battery will not be a viable site for high end retail. It should be focused on food and drink because that is what people want before or after a baseball game.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to have that kind of TIME to arrive early for a Braves game OR stay afterwards at The Battery? The prices alone will make it a once or twice a season luxury for a family. The time spent to get TO AND FROM a game at this new stadium will have many running through The Battery. These type venues have all been a MISS (not a hit) at other ballparks, so why would a team like the Braves have success where other teams have failed?

Regarding non compete clauses, if you are that good or in demand that fine will paid by his new employer. No different than lawsuits that are always being setter out of court. If he jumps ship or fails to deliver in X amount of time then he will have to pay up. HR lawyers have to make $$ too.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that someone would want to jump ship from Mark Toro's camp. He just wants to open and sell off his developments as quick as he can and move on to the next one while he travels the world, allowing everyone else to do the work for him.

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