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Move reflects rapid growth

A slew of development projects—including multiple sites downtown—has prompted Morgan Management LLC to add to its executive team.

The firm has named Scott Cresswell to the newly created position of chief operating officer, effective May 2.

Robert Morgan, founder and CEO of Morgan Management, said Cresswell’s industry experience and expertise will help the firm move forward with a managed growth plan.

“Honestly, we need help managing the growth,” Morgan said, likening Cresswell’s role to that of a football quarterback.

Morgan Management, founded in 1976, owns and manages apartment communities, commercial buildings and self-storage facilities.

The Perinton firm has roughly 140 properties in 14 states, totaling over 30,000 apartments. Morgan employs more than 1,300 staffers, including roughly 500 people in the Rochester area.

Cresswell will support the daily operations of Morgan Management, as well as oversee special programs and upcoming development projects. He also will lead many of the groups that compose the operations side of the business, including marketing, information technology and training.

Cresswell, 49, joined the Bonadio Group after graduating from St. John Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

He has worked for 28 years at the accounting firm, performing financial statement audits and special project consulting, including strategic planning, restructuring, forensic accounting, projections and financing.

He is a partner with Bonadio’s commercial practice, focusing on the construction and real estate industries. Cresswell will continue his relationship with the firm as a consultant to certain clients after taking the job at Morgan Management.

Cresswell is a past recipient of the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award.

Cresswell, a Pittsford resident, said the experience he gained working with clients at Bonadio, as well as learning from Thomas Bonadio, the firm’s CEO and managing partner—whom he calls a mentor—have prepared him for his new role at Morgan Management.

The Bonadio Group ranked first on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of CPA firms, ranked by the number of local CPAs.

Bonadio agreed knowledge of the local market will serve Cresswell in his new role. He noted Cresswell has helped Bonadio grow.

“Not only can he do the deal, but he can also account for it,” Bonadio said.

At Morgan Management, Cresswell said he initially will focus on meeting the firm’s department heads locally and at sites out-of-state to help guide him on what he can do to help the business succeed.

Robert Morgan said he expects growth to continue locally and outside of the state, particularly in the Carolinas.

He also will continue to make investments in downtown.

This week, Morgan and Christa Cos. closed on a deal to buy the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown for $16 million. They plan to put another $15 million into the property for renovations and upgrades.

Morgan Management’s other work includes several projects with Christa, including renovations to the Century Club on East Avenue and development of the Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort.

The firm is also working with LeChase Construction Services LLC on Pinnacle North, a mixed-use development on 21 acres near Canandaigua Lake.

In addition, Morgan recently announced plans to create luxury apartments at 933 University Ave., with the project slated to begin in the spring, and is working with DHD Ventures LLC on redeveloping the Gannett Co. Inc. building on Exchange Street downtown.

While traveling to cities such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh, where his firm has other projects, Morgan said that Rochester seems to be the last place that has not been developed.

“Now’s the time,” he said, noting he likes what he sees with the preliminary development of several downtown projects and interest, particularly among the millennial generation, in living there.

Tower280, for example, a project Morgan is doing with Buckingham Properties LLC, is generating interest, he said.

The $59 million mixed-use project at the former Midtown Tower includes 181 luxury apartments, a fitness center, underground parking, Branca Italian restaurant and office space, including Bergman Associates’ corporate headquarters.

Several residential tenants have moved in and a grocery store could be another tenant at some point, he added.

“The footprint downtown is really going to change,” Morgan said.

Several local developers are helping drive that growth, he said.

“We all want to do the right thing” Morgan said. “We want to keep people in Rochester.”

2/5/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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