Universe Holdings has announced that veteran commercial real estate professional Jonathan Cohen has joined the firm as Chief Operating Officer to help oversee the firm’s growth and national expansion.
Cohen brings a strong 30-year record of multifamily experience and performance to his new role at Universe. Previously he was a consultant to the multifamily industry working with family offices and real estate investment firms underwriting and performing due diligence on more than $350 million of multifamily assets. Prior, he was senior vice president with Westminster Management Division of Kushner Companies. Over the course of his career, Cohen has managed multi-state portfolios in the Midwest and East Coast totaling approximately 50,000 units.
As a key member of the executive committee, Cohen will be responsible for the overall business operations of the company, including sourcing and analyzing potential acquisitions, aiding in the financial and physical due diligence and overseeing all property operations post-closing.
“I’ve managed portfolios that stretch half way across the country so I’m well aware of the processes and procedures needed to facilitate Universe’s growth to the next level,” Cohen said. “The goal is to double our portfolio within the next two to three years and double it again within five years.”
Under Cohen’s direction, Universe will focus on expanding its existing California portfolio, by identifying value-add assets of 150-units and larger, initially in the Western United States. Eventually, Universe will tap Cohen’s experience to acquire assets in the Midwest and Eastern United States.
“Jonathan’s expertise gives us an experienced professional to lean on as we identify potential properties in markets where we have not previously been active,” said Universe Founder and CEO Henry Manoucheri.
Cohen is the most recent significant addition to the firm, which has more than doubled in size to 95 employees in the past three years. To accommodate its planned regional and national expansion, the firm has focused primarily on building its asset management and construction management teams.
Other key recent hires include:
- Art Castillo as new regional facilities manager. Castillo is responsible for all capital expenditures, rehab, tenant improvements and maintenance projects for all assets owned and managed by Universe.
- Danielle R. Baines, M.S. has been hired as the Regional Training Manager for Universe, and will be responsible for employee training and organizational development.
Universe Holdings, is a privately held multifamily investment, ownership and management firm focused on value-add and off-market transactions. Founded by Chairman/CEO Henry Manoucheri in 1994, the company has completed investment transactions of more than 7,500 apartment units throughout the United States and abroad. Universe strives to achieve long-term value through strong fundamentals meeting institutional quality ownership strategies.