CRG expands residential services with three new hires

CRG, the real estate development and investment arm of Chicago-based Clayco, expanded its residential business unit through three strategic hires aimed at offering new specializations and services within its integrated platform.

The firm has added Tom Shanabruch as vice president of capital markets, Louie Colella as vice president of leasing and operations and Bob Barton as senior project manager. These hires continue the growth of CRG’s residential services to support a plan for $1 billion in multifamily developments over the next two to three years.

“We have big ambitions to grow our residential platform, and these hires will allow us to quickly ramp up across our target markets,” said J.J. Smith, CRG managing partner and residential group leader. “This group brings a wealth of experience and adds some familiarity which will help us shortcut a traditional learning curve.”

Both Colella and Barton previously worked at CA Ventures with Smith, where he successfully developed more than $6 billion in residential communities across 100 cities over a 13-year span. Shanabruch joins the firm after nearly 10 years at McCaffery Interests, where he financed assets and development projects worth over $1 billion. In his new role, he will lead capital procurement and financing new residential developments and acquisitions.

“CRG has brought in an exceptional group of leaders to grow its residential business, and this feels like an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something special,” said Shanabruch. “CRG has had considerable success leveraging its integrated platform for industrial development, and we feel confident it can do the same with residential.”

Colella brings seven years of strategic marketing and leasing experience to CRG’s residential group. He joins from 29th Street Capital, where he served as director of marketing, leading corporate marketing and leasing efforts across the firm’s portfolio.

“We’re going to use data and technology to influence our design decisions and residential market strategy,” said Colella, who created a new business line to manage branding, marketing and leasing of new development assets while at CA Ventures. “We’re here to create communities for people, and the more informed we are, the more successful we will be as our platform evolves. When you can plug those insights into CRG’s current integrated platform, it’s going to position each of our assets for success. That’s why I was excited for this opportunity.”

As part of CRG’s residential business expansion, it has also promoted Andrew Savoy as a vice president of design and development. Savoy joined CRG in 2017 as a development associate and has executed $250 million in projects and 600 residential units throughout his decade-long development career.

“Andrew is an extremely talented developer with great real estate instincts,” Smith said. “We’re grateful to have had his experience as we crafted our strategy and in this new role, he’ll lead our firm’s design and entitlement strategies and overall development activities.”

CRG has continued to add residential talent since Smith was hired to lead the business unit in April 2020. The group has hired six total, including Struan Robertson in May 2020 as senior vice president of investments and Jeff Schroeder as a vice president of asset management in November 2020.

Each of the new team members will be based in Chicago, home of two of CRG’s residential assets: A.M. 1980, a 132-unit building in the Logan Square neighborhood, and Upshore Chapter, a 149-unit building in the Uptown neighborhood. In his role, Barton will manage residential projects under construction, like Broadway Chapter in Fort Worth, Texas, while preparing active developments in Nevada, South Carolina and Minnesota.