On April 14, 2011, Broadway 4D Theater NY LLC signed a long-term net lease with The New 42nd Street. In December, Mr. Kory posted his full security deposit, and the lease that seemed so tenuous for two decades had finally become “hard.”
When it came time to submit applications to REBNY for the 2012 Retail Deals of the year, the two felt they had enough to frame an intriguing narrative around.
“What no broker does is keep a deal log of all the things that happened over the course of a deal, so when you decide to submit these things, you go through your files and your notes,” said Mr. Schmerzler. “When you get into that process, you can’t believe all that you went through to finally pull it together and get a deal done.”
But Mr. Mendelson was skeptical. The year before, he submitted his work on the Uniqlo deal that brought the Japanese retailer to 57th Street, which he believed was a sure-fire winner. It lost.
The two sent in their submission, presented and packaged like a treatment for a Hollywood movie, crediting the piece with a nice cinematic touch: “Written, Produced & Directed By: C. Bradley Mendelson and Alan Schmerzler.”
On a late May morning inside REBNY’s conference room, a group of judges assembled for the standard corporate breakfast fare of bagels and juice. Among those present were Robin Abrams of the Lansco Corporation, Chase Welles, Peter Braus of Lee & Associates and Andrew Schulman of Thor Equities. For three-and-a-half hours, they pored through each submission, eventually narrowing down to a few finalists.
The deal that proved to be the most intriguing—and the most befuddling—was Schmerzler and Mendelson’s.
“The deal was ephemeral at best, in its early stages. It was just a daydream and a conversation,” said Mr. Welles. “To harden that up and make it real is difficult.”
The narrative’s twists and turns proved complex for the seasoned panel of judges. Richard Frome, a real estate attorney and a judge on the panel, helped guide the group through the deal. But even he was stumped, and the judges phoned both brokers to get clarifications on certain points.
“It was a very complicated deal, so we needed to understand ‘did this guy fund the construction deposit?’ There was a lot of different aspects to the deal,” said Mr. Braus.
Ultimately, the judges selected The Times Square Theater deal for the award.
“I think this deal won because we felt that the brokers stuck with it for 10 years, to make a deal under impossible conditions,” said Ms. Abrams.
Weeks later, the Cushman & Wakefield duo received their prize.
“I was surprised, but it was very nice to win. It’s very gratifying,” said Mr. Mendelson.
“It’s very hard to capture everything that happens in the course of a big transaction in 10 pages,” Mr. Schmerzler added.
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