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Chinese investor breaks ground on first U.S. apartment complex

BY Brae Canlen

A Chinese investment company listed on the NYSE has launched the first of several planned multi-family developments in the United States, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Xinyuan Real Estate Co. is constructing a 216-unit condo building in Brooklyn, in the Williamsburg section, its first U.S. residential development. The company is also scouting for other U.S. sites, and plans to sell 40% of the units to Chinese investors, the newspaper reported.

Two dozen Chinese real estate companies, both state-owned and private, are surveying the United States for potential properties, according to a real estate adviser interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Most of them are interested in residential projects.

Lennar Corp. is currently in talks with the Chinese Development Bank for about $1.7 billion in capital to redevelop two San Francisco naval bases into large housing complexes, the article said.

Metro markets of particular interest to Chinese investors are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami, where they can use the properties as rentals or second homes.

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Former Home Depot exec named new HoneyBaked VP, HR

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former Home Depot executive Michael Esposito has joined HoneyBaked as its new VP, human resources, a newly created position. Esposito previously served as director of associate relations for the Home Depot’s northern division.

“Michael brings an appreciation for the uniqueness of the HoneyBaked brand, a passion for people and an absolute alignment with our core values,” said Chuck Bengochea, CEO of HoneyBaked. “With him, I am confident we have found a strong leader for our team member strategies and look forward to Michael’s contributions across the organization.”

Esposito is a board member of the American Red Cross of Georgia, and serves as co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta and has a master’s degree from both Kent State University and the Ohio State University. Esposito earned his Senior Professional in Human Resources in 2008 and is a board member of the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“HoneyBaked is a great place to work and its associates are best known for their exceptional customer service,” said Esposito. “As the company grows, my goal is to help HoneyBaked associates realize their full potential and reach their career goals.”

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Lowe’s hires Best Buy executive

BY Brae Canlen

Lowe’s has announced the appointment of Marise Kumar as senior VP strategy and modeling. In this newly created role, Kumar is responsible for identifying opportunities that will positively impact the customer experience. She will work closely with leaders in the Customer Experience unit and across the organization to ensure these opportunities are practical, financially valid and create a compelling experience for customers across all channels. 

Kumar will report to Robert Gfeller, Customer Experience design executive. 

Kumar joins Lowe’s with more than 25 years of experience in brand management, general management and executive leadership, serving most recently as chief customer experience officer and chief marketing officer for Best Buy. Before her retail experience with Best Buy, she spent 13 years with Whirlpool, where she managed Emerging Brands and Businesses in the United States before leading Strategic Planning for North America and Global Customer Loyalty. Her career began in packaged goods, where she spent more than 10 years in Asia with Colgate Palmolive.

Kumar holds a B.A. degree in economics and statistics from Elphinstone College in Bombay, India, and earned an M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

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