Can The Commercial Observer party at its own party? You bet! The CO got down at its annual Power 100 celebration, which honors its picks for the top 100 most powerful, influential and successful real estate figures in the city. Held at the Core Club in Midtown on Monday night, the gathering featured a collection of the most distinguished owners, brokers, executives and politicians. After the jump, a minute-by-minute color commentary on the city’s most powerful human beings.
6:40: The Commercial Observer steps into the Core Club and bumps into a coterie of high-powered public affairs executives in the elevator, Michelle Adams of Tishman Speyer and the Committee to Save New York, Stephen Sigmund, formerly of the Port Authority now with Global Strategy Group and John Gallagher who just stepped down as a communications executive at Tishman Construction. The CO trusts its nose, top real estate executives must be near.
6:45: Bruce Mosler, Cushman & Wakefield’s chairman of global brokerage, bumps into his former brokerage partner Arthur Mirante, who recently left C&W to head Avison Young’s New York branch. Mr. Mirante pats Mr. Mosler on the cheek and the two give each other a hug.
6:50: The room is full of Power 100 executives, a who’s who of New York City real estate. Marc Holliday, the chief executive of SL Green, who along with colleague Andrew Mathias was ranked number one in the Power 100 makes his way through the crowded room. Jon Mechanic, chief of the law firm Fried Frank’s real estate practice, gives him a hug.
6:55: Jared Kushner, owner of The New York Observer and The Commercial Observer, takes the microphone. “For anyone who had a problem with their ranking in the Power 100, Jotham, please raise your hand so that they can talk to you,” he half-jokes, referring to The CO’s editor-in-chief Jotham Sederstrom.
7:00: Christine Quinn, speaker of the City Council and the city’s leading contender to become the next mayor, takes the mic and
addresses the room. She explains she’s on a tight schedule. “From here I’m going to Central Park to kick off summer theater and then down to the West Side pier for an LGBT event,” Ms. Quinn explains. “What could symbolize a great night in New York better than these three events?” She goes on to thank the city’s real estate industry, which she recognizes as the city’s biggest tax payer and a huge sector of
employment even in difficult economic times, for participating in the city’s rigorous land use review process. “I want to congratulate Marc
and Andrew,” she adds, referring to the SL Green chiefs.
7:09: The CO bumps into Jeff Sutton and asks him how he managed to woo the retail tenant Express away from a deal it was in talks to do at 4 Times Square and sign them at a building he owns in partnership with SL Green, 1552 Broadway. “That’s an incredible story actually,” Mr. Sutton tells us. “Give me a call.” Jon Mechanic chimes in: “Call him and tell him it’s new business!”
7:15: Howard Lutnick, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald and the public sister company BGC Partners, chats with Bruce Mosler, who was just elected co-chair the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, on which Mr. Lutnick is also a board member. “We bought Newmark only last October so it’s been an exciting few months,” Mr. Lutnick said, referring to his meteoric rise on the Power 100 list, entering the list this year for the first time at a lofty number 13. “We will make more acquisitions,” he added.
7:19: Speaking of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s big moves in recent months, Jimmy Kuhn, one of the company’s top executives strolls by just as The CO parts ways with Mr. Lutnick. “We’re going to add to our capital markets and investment sales teams nationally,” Mr. Kuhn says, adding that the national Grubb platform has helped him branch out to other markets. “I’m doing a deal in LA right now.”
7:24: Gary Barnett, the enigmatic and ultra-prolific developer and investor who sat at number two on the Power 100, mingles in his
typical low-key style. So what is it like to be in a room with all the top real estate players in NYC? “No comment,” Mr. Barnett jokes with
The CO. Mr. Barnett is cautious but we’re starting to get the feeling he likes us. “No I find it amusing,” Mr. Barnett says. He mentions the
summer will not be quiet for him. “I have eight deals I’m working on right now so I won’t be taking a break,” Mr. Barnett says.
7:31: Ofer Yardeni, Bob Knakal and Bob’s beautiful wife Cynthia stop to say hello to Jared Kushner who is chatting with a swarm of guests next to his wife Ivanka Trump. “We have lunch in a few weeks,” Seth Pinsky, president of the New York Economic Development Corporation and number 30 on the list, says to Mr. Kushner. “I want to bounce a few ideas off you.”
7:40: Stu Loeser, Mayor Bloomberg’s press extraoridinaire, types away at his Blackberry. With his hands full, he manages to shake The CO’s hand with two fingers before going back to his phone. “I just heard about a real estate deal from a guy that I had heard earlier and I saw him again and he was talking about it with someone else… anyway, it was good intel.”
7:46: Frank Sciame is ranting about interest rates. “You can get a loan for practically a zero percent interest rate but you have to put
in 40 percent equity and who has that?” Mr. Sciame says. “You wind up making up for it by taking a 20 percent mezz loan, I’d rather just
have the banks start making regular loans again.” Gregory Fierce a banker with U.S. Bank turns to The CO. “If Frank wasn’t acting like
the world was coming apart I’d think he was sick,” Mr. Fierce says.
7:55: Shawn Rosenthal, an executive with Ackman Ziff, riffs on Bob Knakal’s golf clubs. “Those things looked like they were from the 1970s Bob,” Mr. Rosenthal jokes, referring to a recent game they played. “But Bob’s a great golfer.”
8:20: Michael Lehrman, a top executive at BGC Partners who has overseen the company’s acquisition of Newmark and Grubb & Ellis, chats on the Core Club’s outdoor deck space. He explains some of the key tenets of time management he’s picked up through the years. “We all do business with the people we love. If someone doesn’t love you, they just like you, you better come to them with a great idea. But if they don’t know you, don’t bother because they’re going to want to do business with the people they love.” Fair enough. So what if the city put out a big RFP because it wanted to dispose of 10 million square feet? “I don’t anyone at the city so I wouldn’t bother. Going after something like that is like trying to hit the lottery.” So he would just let a huge opportunity like that slip away? “No, I would buy a broker that the city loved.”
8:45: The party is winding down and Christopher Barnes, president of The Observer Media Group and one of the brainchilds behind The CO is hanging by the bar. “So… did you have a good time?” He asks.
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