Movers and Shakers Week Ending 06.09.23

St. Charles Expands Workforce Housing Platform with the Addition of Jason Battista

Jason Battista

St. Charles Town Company, LLC, a Denver-based socially responsible real estate development firm, is thrilled to announce the hiring of Jason Battista as development partner to expand the company’s workforce and affordable housing efforts into the mountain sunbelt region.

Battista joins St. Charles after 14 years at Mercy Community Capital, serving as its president for the past eight years, as well as the senior vice president of Mercy Housing, Inc., one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations.

Battista’s experience leading a national community development financial institution (CDFI) in the affordable and workforce housing space — combined with his previous role as SVP of Mercy Housing, Inc. — wields him with a unique ability to assess the risks and opportunities of entering and operating in new markets. Additionally, his capacity to forge new capital relationships has yielded substantial expertise in structuring complex financing arrangements and providing critical, often unavailable pieces to a project’s capital stack. Having worked more than a decade in the leveraged finance, capital aggregation, and credit risk management space, Battista’s experience complements St Charles’ skillsets in development, entitlement, and construction management, which will help the firm grow its unique platform outside Colorado to provide quality homes to deserving families.

As housing affordability issues continue escalating in communities across the country, workforce housing is becoming an increasingly urgent need to sustain local economies and stabilize at-risk and moderate-income households. As Development Partner at St. Charles, Battista will focus on new construction project sourcing and execution in high-growth areas that have historically maintained ample affordable housing stock but are now feeling the cumulative effects of job creation and population growth outpacing housing production.

“This is a major milestone for the firm — Jason is a highly respected and successful leader in the affordable housing community who deeply understands the complex needs of developers,” said Charlie Woolley, founding principal and president of St Charles. “Now he’ll get a chance to contribute at the ground level of new housing production.” Jason joins St. Charles at an exciting time
as the company celebrates the 30th anniversary of its first project, a historic factory conversion to affordable, entry-level artist condominiums in Downtown Denver’s Arapahoe Square neighborhood.”

Battista holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Northern Colorado, an MBA from the University of Colorado — where he graduated summa cum laude — and a Certificate in Real Estate Development and Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Battista is a recipient of the 40 Under 40 Denver award and sits on the board of the Religious Communities Impact Fund, a sponsored ministry engaged in community development investing around the globe.


Peter Merrion Appointed to Co-Lead JLL’s Denver Capital Markets Team

Peter Merrion

JLL Capital Markets announced today that it has appointed Senior Managing Director Peter Merrion to co-lead its Denver Capital Markets team. Merrion, along with Senior Managing Directors Eric Tupler and Leon McBroom, oversees the region’s investment sales and advisory, and debt and equity advisory platforms.

“Peter has been an integral part of the Denver team over the past six years, and we are really excited for him to take the next step in his career into a leadership capacity,” said Tupler. “Our Denver office has grown over the years, and we anticipate this to continue in the near future. Peter is perfectly positioned to be part of the local leadership team as we navigate through a challenging time in the capital markets space and continue to focus on adding best-in-class team members.”

Merrion has nearly 20 years of experience in commercial real estate and has spent the last 10 years at JLL and HFF. He specializes in office and life sciences investment sales and advisory transactions and has completed more than $2.8 billion on behalf of numerous institutional and private wealth owners of real estate. Merrion is an active member on the Economic Development Council for Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). 

“Our Denver office has enjoyed tremendous success since its founding,” said Merrion. “I am excited to help lead the market and continue building upon our firm’s culture of collaboration and relentless focus on client service.”

JLL’s Denver Capital Markets team closed more than $12.7 billion in total volume in 2022 and has been consistently ranked the #1 Debt Intermediary by the Mortgage Bankers Association since 2012 (2012 – 2019 operating as HFF, which was acquired by JLL in July 2019).


Norris Design Promotes Team Member in Denver

John Kohl

Norris Design, a national planning, landscape architecture and branding firm, has announced the promotion of John Kohl to associate in their Denver office.

John joined Norris Design as a brand strategist in 2021 after spending nearly six years in the branding industry and earning his master’s degree in landscape architecture. He specializes in bridging the gap between branding and landscape architecture. John has experience with a variety of project types, including affordable housing, multifamily residential and master-planned community design. Currently, he is working on Aspen Grove, a mixed-use redevelopment in Littleton; The Moor at Marina Bay, a hospitality brand design project in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Trailstone, a master-planned community design in Arvada.

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