“Client first, firm second, self third.”
I grew up in Bronxville, just outside New York City. After graduating college, I found a job working on acquisitions for the real estate and development arm of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, working on the underground expansion of the tunnel under the Hudson. Known as the ARC project, it was at that time the largest commitment the federal government had made to any US transit project. I met many great people and helped acquire $500 million of real estate interests before the project was shut down.
I finished my Master’s in Real Estate Finance from NYU, got married the same week, and began working at Tishman for Joe Simone a few months later. I didn’t know it at the time, but these were some of the most important moments of my life. Joe was an extremely successful office broker early in his career and taught me so much. He is probably the most ambitious person I have ever met and instilled an incredible mentality into everyone who worked for him: “Work your butt off, and you will be compensated for putting in that hard work.” That set the tone for our group and continues to make us very successful.
The first project I worked on at Tishman was a deal to become the permanent asset manager at 275 Seventh Avenue. I lived and breathed this project, empowered by Joe to drive it: He gave me the authority and confidence to get from point A to point B and made sure I was making the right calls. We more than doubled NOI in a short period of time, and seeing the deal from inception through to completion was extremely gratifying. To this day, Joe is one of my good friends, and one of the best mentors I have ever had. We still play a lot of golf together, and he continues to give me great advice.
When I think about the future, I am excited about our group. We have a lot of smart people at the firm, and opportunities are available for anyone who has the drive. With patience, consistency, and smart decisions, I believe we will take this business to another level.
James Fitzgerald is Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Tishman Real Estate Services. Mr. Fitzgerald oversees the specialized tenant representation, leasing and management services for Tishman’s commercial office and retail assets as well as for TRESCO’s third party clients. Prior to joining Tishman James worked in the real estate and development department at the Port Authority of NY & NJ acquiring various real estate interests in support of the Access to the Regions Core tunnel expansion project. James is a graduate of Fordham University and holds an M.S. in Real Estate Investment and Finance from NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. James currently lives in Bronxville, NY with his wife and three young children.