Trading CRE

ETRE Financial Files for IPO


On Monday, ETRE Financial filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of ETRE REIT (proposed ticker is ECAV) on the NASDAQ exchange. Operating as a limited liability corporation, ETRE REIT would allow public investment in individual commercial real estate properties with the properties held as separate real estate investment trusts. Read More

The Lobby

C&W Promotes 11 Brokers

Rob Lowe

Cushman & Wakefield promoted a group of top producing leasing dealmakers the company announced this morning.

Eleven brokers were named vice chairmen at the firm, its highest executive title for brokerage professionals.

Michael Burgio, Joseph Cabrera, Samuel Clark, Louis D’Avanzo, Augustus Field, Gary Greenspan, Jay Hruska, Robert Lowe, Stuart Romanoff, Dale Schlather and Fred Smith were the brokers awarded the promotion according to a release issued by C&W. Read More

The Lobby

Oelsner Jumps to JLL, Carrega Team Rumored Heading to Avison Young

Yoav Oelsner

Yoav Oelsner, an investment sales broker formerly with Grubb & Ellis, joined Jones Lang LaSalle the company announced this afternoon.

Mr. Oelsner will work with JLL executives Richard Baxter, Jon Caplan, Ron Cohen, Scott Latham and Glenn Tolchin, JLL’s investment sales group. The move will reunite Mr. Oelsner with the team, who he had previously worked with at Cushman & Wakefield over two years ago before leaving for Grubb & Ellis to join a sales group led by Vincent Carrega and Neil Helman. Months after Mr. Oelsner departed C&W, Mr. Baxter and the rest of the sales team separately left C&W in 2010 to go to JLL. Read More

Mortgage Beat

JLL Brokers $120 Million Sale of 10-14 West 57th Street

10-14 West 57th Street

An affiliate of the Solow Organization has purchased 10-14 West 57th Street, the former Henri Bendel building, for $120 million according to the seller’s law firm. Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the sale.

Trigon 57 LLC, an affiliate of Trigon Equities, sold the building and was represented by David Mandel, Christine McGuinness and Marina Rabinovich at law firm Schiff Hardin LLP. Nixon Peabody represented the buyer. Read More

The Sit-Down

The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo Knows Your Every Move


Since 1999, The New York Post’s Steven Cuozzo and his weekly “Realty Check” column have set the tone for each week’s real estate cycle. In addition to his column, Mr. Cuozzo is also the Post’s top restaurant critic and edits the paper’s Page 6 gossip page—a veritable one-man network. He sat down with The Commercial Observer last week to talk about his column, the buildings that excite him, and the reasons why restaurant folk are meaner than brokers and developers. Read More

Power Broker

Richard Baxter Dishes on the Drama Behind the Deals at Casa Lever


It was lunchtime at Casa Lever, the high-end restaurant in the iconic Lever House, and Richard Baxter was on his BlackBerry negotiating.

It was a busy year for Mr. Baxter and his colleagues at Jones Lang LaSalle. His four-man team comprised some of the city’s most prominent brokers of large-scale commercial office buildings, and as the Manhattan sales market’s post-recessionary thaw continues, Mr. Baxter estimated that the group had tallied an impressive $1.3 billion in deals this year.

Three days before Christmas, however, it wasn’t one particular skyscraper Mr. Baxter was bargaining over from his plum seat at Casa Lever. In a year-end rush, his group had loose ends to tie up, deals to close and transactions still in the works. And so, on this particular Thursday amid a bustling lunch crowd, Mr. Baxter was not negotiating with a buyer or a building owner, but rather one of his own assistants, whom he was asking to stay late to receive critical documents and to help get the team through the rest of the day. Read More

Building Expectations

Joseph Chetrit, the Most Mysterious Big Shot in New York Real Estate

The Chelsea.

One summer Friday in 1994, Ron Cohen, one of the top commercial brokers in New York City, picked up the phone in his office at the old Insignia/ESG, a precursor to today’s mega-brokerage CB Richard Ellis. A man named Joseph Chetrit was cold-calling him about a 16-story office building at 19 West 44th Street that Mr. Cohen’s client was selling.

“Sorry,” Mr. Cohen said. “We don’t work with people we don’t know.”

He hung up and went back to work.

Minutes later, three men walked into Mr. Cohen’s office. They were Joseph Chetrit, his father Simon, and his brother Jacques.

“Well, now you know us,” Joseph said matter-of-factly. Read More