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Commercial Real Estate Insider Only New Castle County News

NAI Emory Hill welcomes new partners

Katie Tabeling
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NAI Emory Hill Partners, left to right, Carmen Facciolo Jr., Clayton Hill, Neil Kilian and company co-founder Bob Hill. Bob Hill stepped down as partner in July 2022. | PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

NAI Emory Hill Partners, left to right, Carmen Facciolo Jr., Clayton Hill, Neil Kilian and company co-founder Bob Hill. Bob Hill stepped down as partner in July 2022. | PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

NEW CASTLE — At NAI Emory Hill, the new year brought major change, as long-term partner and president Bob Hill is stepping down as a partner, and two new partners are stepping up to lead.

While Hill will remain a general partner and retain some small stock options and an office, Neil Kilian and Clayton Hill have been named as the new partners of the 42-year-old commercial real estate brokerage, construction and property management firm. Bob Hill stepped down in July.

NAI Emory Hill Director of Property Management Clayton Hill and Director of Brokerage Neil Kilian were named partners in mid-January.

“I love the company and being a part of it, but I want to give these guys an opportunity,” Bob Hill told Delaware Business Times. “They’ve been patiently waiting in the wings for a few years, and they deserve an opportunity to take the ball and run with it. I think it’s better to have somebody that’s been involved in the company for years to step in rather than have a third party, especially one that doesn’t have a history with us.”

Bob Hill has more than 45 years of experience in commercial real estate, and first joined with Clay Emory in 1981 to form Emory Hill & Company. The venture was fueled by the  Financial Center Development Act signed by then-Gov. Pete du Pont that same year, luring out-of-state banks to establish offices and subsidiaries in the First State. Over the years, the company has built and developed more than 15 million square feet in four states.

In 1983, Bob Hill became president of the company and vice president of Emory Hill Real Estate Services. His long-term business partner, Carmen Facciolo Jr., who joined Hill 40 years ago, said the changeover was smooth and was looking forward to what the days ahead bring.

“We have our ideas on how to expand the business, and we’re ready to hit the ground running. To me, it’s fun because now [Neil and Clayton] are getting involved in every phase of the business. I’m just letting them run with it and let them tell me what they want to do,” Facciolo said. “So far, it’s working.”

Kilian has been with NAI Emory Hill since 1998, starting out in management and brokerage, but he quickly zeroed in on the brokerage side of business. In addition to working with his own pool of clients on leases and sales, he worked side by side with Facciolo to manage both offices in New Castle and Rehoboth Beach and its 10 brokers.

Clayton Hill, the son of Bob Hill, started his career in real estate in 2001 in Washington, D.C., focusing on commercial mortgage brokerage. Clayton Hill later went to Johns Hopkins University for a bachelor’s degree in commercial real estate investment to brush up on the financial side of the business. 

He joined NAI Emory Hill in 2004, first starting in brokerage, and then switching to property management in 2009. He also focuses on acquiring new investments and occasionally working with outside investors for acquisitions.

Both Clayton Hill and Kilian worked for Emory Hill’s construction division in their high school and college years in short periods. 

“This has been the goal for our entire lives,” Kilian said. “The timing just worked out now, and I think Bob was ready.”

Looking to the future, Clayton Hill and Kilian hope to continue to grow the company holistically. NAI Emory Hill has diversified in residential, construction, property management and leasing, and the new partners are hoping to continue natural growth in the existing divisions.

“In the past year, there’s been so many examples of growth. From the actual business in what we do in property management, brokerage and the like, but also building acquisition, getting deeper into residential properties and venturing into the locksmith business,” Clayton Hill said. “We’re not focusing on one area, we’re trying to take a broader approach.”

In the big picture, NAI Emory Hill is interested in expanding its portfolio of properties, and there may be opportunities to add more services – and staff – to the firm down the line.

“I do see an opportunity where there’s people who have amassed a fair amount of property over their lives and have a need for our services. We have that expertise and we do run like a well-oiled machine in terms of management,” Kilian added. “People who are a little tired of self-managing are looking for a company like us. And with that, comes all the other services in brokerage, maintenance and construction.”

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