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Power Broker

Power Broker

Bet on Brett Maslin, Adams & Co.’s No-nonsense Broker

Brett Maslin, Senior Managing Director of Adams & Company, LLC

A lot has happened since Brett Maslin of Adams & Co. made Commercial Observer’s 30 Under 30 list in 2012. He’s fully blossomed into one of the firm’s top-producing brokers. He also got married, so after eight grueling years climbing the company ladder, he finally got a break with a skiing trip in Vermont at the end of January—the first of two trips he and his wife would take to celebrate their vows. Read More

Power Broker

Ready to Launch: Jerry Larkin’s Vision for Manhattan West

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Earlier this year, a machine known as The Launcher got to work on the foundation upon which Brookfield Office Properties’ 7.2-million-square-foot mixed-use Manhattan West project will rise.

So far, the metallic-yellow workhorse has methodically placed three of 16 concrete bridge spans atop a set of uncovered Amtrak tracks that lead to Penn Station, the rest of which are expected to be in place by year’s end.

As The Launcher continues to work ahead of schedule at the task, the “neighborhood of the future” is becoming more and more of a reality, as marketing efforts to land an anchor tenant for the development’s first commercial tower intensify. Read More

Power Broker

EVO’s Ira Fishman Talks About Acquiring Winoker and Growing the Family Business

Ira Fishman

Ira Fishman is walking around his office with carpet and base molding samples in his hand. EVO Real Estate Group President Dana Moskowitz wants his input on the color scheme for the company’s new offices. He says Ms. Moskowitz has better taste than him, but she wants him to weigh in on the color scheme anyway. He is her father after all.

In the end, he agrees with Ms. Moskowitz: White walls and light gray tones (including gray base) with blue accents are the way to go. Read More

Power Broker

Family Matters: Tara Stacom on 1 World Trade Center

Tara Stacom. (Credit: Cushman & Wakefield)

The Stacom name has become almost synonymous with the country’s biggest real estate projects and deals. The foundations of that reputation were laid back in 1962 when the late Matthew Stacom brokered the sale of the development site that would become the Sears Tower, the Chicago office property that would later be declared North America’s tallest building.

Mr. Stacom’s daughters, Tara and Darcy, grew up with a constant reminder of their father’s landmark transaction: a photo of the Sears Tower on the wall of the family’s home. Read More

Power Broker

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Andrew Scandalios Makes HFF a Contender

Andrew Scandalios, senior managing director at HFF. (Credit: Elizabeth Graham)

With competitors like CBRE and Eastdil Secured seemingly closing deals on high-quality institutional assets every week, HFF’s New York office could be forgiven for operating with an inferiority complex when it comes to the Big Apple’s investment sales market. But in a testament to the firm’s commitment to steady growth, the Houston, Texas-based real estate firm is slowly but surely catching up to its more high-profile competition in the city.

Since closing just $700 million in regional business in 2010, $400 million of which was in New York City, HFF’s investment sales group has grown by nearly 200 percent, to $1.2 billion of business in the New York market last year.

At the head of it all is Andrew Scandalios, the senior managing director and newly minted co-head of HFF’s New York office, who is keen to see the business continue to grow. Read More

Power Broker

Adding Value with Neil Kessner

Photo by Mike Nagle

On June 17, 2013, the head of SL Green’s in-house legal team, Neil Kessner, hopped on the subway with the firm’s president, Andrew Mathias, and headed to 1 Saint Andrews Place to meet retail bigwig Jeff Sutton for a meeting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s head of forfeiture, Sharon Cohen Levin.  

The SL Green/Sutton team had won an RFP issued in October 2012 to purchase the 49-year leasehold interest on the roughly 32,000-square-foot retail condo at 650 Fifth Avenue, signing a letter of intent for the leasehold on January 2013.  Read More

Power Broker

Grade A Meatpacking: Michael Shah of DelShah Capital

Michael Shah

After graduating first in his class from Harvard Law School in 2003, Michael Shah was seemingly destined for the very top of the legal profession. A post-graduate position in the mergers and acquisitions group at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz led to key roles in a number of high-profile and complex deals, including the $4.5 billion initial public offering of financial advisory firm Lazard.

But despite early success, something was missing. Working between 80 and 120 hours per week, Mr. Shah knew his future lay elsewhere. Read More

Power Broker

May the (Work)Force Be With You: Phoenix Realty Group’s Keith Rosenthal

Keith Rosenthal

Jaws continue to drop around the city with what seem to be weekly announcements of new skyscraping luxury apartment developments from 57th Street to the Financial District. And the drumbeat of stories about the low-income housing crisis should only build with the incoming mayor’s arrival at City Hall. 

But a third sector of the residential market—working-class housing—hasn’t received as much attention at this pivotal juncture in the city’s recent history. Phoenix Realty Group, an owner and fund manager of multifamily properties across the city and country, has made Class B and C residential buildings its bread and butter over the past 15 years. And its New York-based management is eager to see how Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio approaches the housing of New Yorkers who are neither oligarchs nor impoverished.  Read More

Power Broker

Silver Foxes: Massey Knakal Turns 25

Messrs. Knakal and Massey at their firm's 275 Madison Avenue headquarters. (Credit: Will O'Hare)

In the midst of the Savings and Loans Crisis of the early 1990s, Massey Knakal, a three-year-old commercial sales brokerage, was facing the prospect of going out of business for the second time in a matter of months.

By late 1990, the commercial sales market had all but dried up. Rather than pounding the pavement closing deals, Paul Massey and Robert Knakal were instead sitting in the office cold calling and playing solitaire—not on a computer but with a real deck of cards. Things got so bad that the firms’ partners had to fill out applications for numerous credit cards—$60,000 worth—to make ends meet. Read More

Power Broker

Welcome to the Bio-Dome

ACNYC

When it announced it would close its research facility in Nutley, N.J., Swiss biotech company Roche went out to the market in search of a new state-of-the-art facility.

Courted by cities across the Northeast, including established pharmaceutical hubs in New Jersey and Cambridge, Mass., Roche officials added an unlikely option to the list of potential locations: New York City. Read More

Power Broker

On Top of the World: Durst Organization Director of Leasing Eric Engelhardt on Leasing Up 1 WTC

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In 2010, with 1 World Trade Center rising slowly in the skyline of Lower Manhattan, the Durst Organization had a problem. The developer and its ownership partners at Port Authority still hadn’t secured an anchor tenant for the project.

Eric Engelhardt, who had previously sat across the table from the Port Authority pitching the case for a role in the development, was then part of Durst’s acquisitions and development group, and this time was on the same side of the table as the government agency—pitching Condé Nast. Read More

Power Broker

The Tech Whisperer: ABS Partners’ Ashkán Zandieh

Ashkan Zandie (Photo by Will O'Hare)

Before he got involved with a nascent industry on the upswing, Ashkán Zandieh gave a boost to a business in its death throes.

Mr. Zandieh, 30, worked for Universal Republic, at the time an imprint of the giant Universal Music Group label. His role in a band while an undergraduate at Hofstra sparked his interest in the music biz even as digital piracy upended it.

“I went to school full-time and worked at Universal full-time,” Mr. Zandieh said in an interview outside of a Williamsburg coffee shop. “I didn’t sleep a lot.” Read More

Power Broker

Running For a Cause

48 Beginning

Last Monday, CBRE’s Eric Gelber showed up for work weighing 10 pounds lighter. After the physical feat he completed over the weekend, it was a wonder he even made it through the door.

“They all looked at me like, ‘Are you crazy?’” he said of his CBRE colleagues. Read More

Power Broker

The Suite Life: Campus Evolution Villages Reimagines Dorm Life For the 21st Century

Andrew Stark

Nearly 22 million students are currently settling into American college campuses as the fall semester gets underway. Chaotic move-in days, course catalogs and sloppy tailgates still help define this rite of fall. For many undergraduates, a more sobering element of homecoming is a return to dorm living, which for decades was synonymous with cinderblock walls, futon couches and grotty communal showers.

But starting in the 1980s and accelerating at warp speed during the go-go ’00s, off-campus student housing has offered a relatively plush alternative to college residential life, even if Van Gogh reproductions and John Belushi posters survive the transition to air-conditioned suites and private commodes. Read More

Power Broker

Doing Well by Doing Good

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Heidi Burkhart, president of Dane Professional Consulting Group, asks her staff to handwrite and mail three “thank you” letters each week.

The old-school approach is the key to the trust she earns from her clients in the affordable housing sector, allowing her to skip over heavy paperwork that needlessly complicates deals and focus instead on Read More