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The Power Broker

The Power Broker

Coming Up Roseman

Jeffrey Roseman (Photo: Mike Nagle)

On an otherwise ordinary winter day last month, a group of Barneys New York executives met across the street from 101 Seventh Avenue along with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman to reflect on something that was in fact rather remarkable.    

Barneys would officially come back to the landmark Chelsea address it had Read More

The Power Broker

Banking on Hospitality: Hidrock Realty’s Hotel Play

Jack, Eddie, Steven and Abraham Hidary

Every day, Jack Hidary walks the same Garment District streets that his grandfather, an apparel businessman, walked in the 1940s. “We probably go to the same shoeshine guy,” he said.

Mr. Hidary, the founder and CEO of Hidrock Realty, works out of a building on West 36th Street, and the family bonds are far more palpable than the Hidarys’ garmento history in the Midtown neighborhood. Jack works alongside his sons Abraham, Eddie and Steven at the 31-year-old company. Read More

The Power Broker

Art of the Deal: Colliers International’s Christel Engel on Butterflies & Brokers

Christel Engel

The mere mention of “the need for creativity in real estate” sparks a sudden shift in Christel Engel’s otherwise stoic demeanor, as a wide smile overtakes her face. It’s a necessity in today’s real estate world, she says, raising a finger.

“You want to see? I’ll be right back,” says the Colliers International team leader, who oversees a portfolio comprising 1.5 million square feet, springing up from her chair, dashing from the room and returning in a matter of seconds with a large black scrapbook. Read More

The Power Broker

Joe Sitt: International Man of Mystery

Joseph Sitt: International Man of Mystery.

Joe Sitt reclined in his office wearing the sly little smile of someone who knows something more than we do.

“Another retailer that we represent asked us if we could find them a space in Tehran,” he said.

Mr. Sitt seemed fascinated, not appalled (Mr. Sitt’s family is Syrian Jewish) or the least bit bewildered by the request.

“So many of the European retailers are operating stores in Iran,” the head of Thor Equities explained to The Commercial Observer. “We’re a little bit in a bubble in the U.S. Adolfo, Desigual, Mango, Diesel, I don’t remember which ones, but two out of four already have stores there. [In] Saudi Arabia, Mango already has 50 stores there. I have another request for Equador. Zara wants more stores in Venezuela. I’ve had requests for Russia. Those are some of the examples that show you the world is changing.”

Mr. Sitt can relate to clients like these, which he caters to through a relatively new arm of his real estate empire, a brokerage business called Thor High Street.
He too ventured off the beaten path to get where he is today; by many accounts one of the city’s most prolific and successful investors with a focus on retail properties. Read More

The Power Broker

Winick Realty’s Far West Side Shepherd

From the Far West Side to...

Steven Baker built a life, and staked his career, on the Far West Side of Manhattan at a time when the High Line still languished as an abandoned freight track and nearly every block west of Ninth Avenue included a warehouse, garage or parking lot.

While other brokers followed dollar signs in Midtown and across Madison Avenue, Mr. Baker, then a young broker living in a Ninth Avenue bachelor pad, saw potential in the dusty warehouses and loading docks he walked past in the summer of 2000.

“I knew I wanted to control the neighborhood,” recalled the 40-year-old Mr. Baker, now a managing partner at Winick Realty, who has played a leading role in transforming the area. Read More

The Power Broker

The (New) Wizard of Menlo Park

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In January, a leak to the Bergen County Record revealed that Panasonic, a tenant in New Jersey since 1973, was considering fleeing the state in search of modern facilities and with an eye toward shrinking its North American headquarters. New York, Atlanta, Chicago and California were all on the table. Read More

The Power Broker

The Online World's Brick-and-Mortar Man

The broker techies (and venture capitalists) trust.

The fastest way to an emerging tech company’s heart is through its venture capitalist.

Such has been the modus operandi of Jack Petrie, a senior vice president at CresaPartners who has amassed a list of clients that reads like a veritable who’s who of Silicon Alley. He’s found these clients through contacts and clients of his in venture capital.

“I [find] that usually I can connect the dots with a lot of these companies with relationships I have with V.C. firms and people I have met through the community,” said Mr. Petrie, 50. Read More

The Power Broker

The Number Cruncher: The JLL Powerhouse on Her BBC Deal

Lisa Kiell has inked deals for Cisco Systems, Microsoft and BBC

When the British Broadcasting Corporation began its search for new office space for the executive and sales staff in Manhattan last year, its focus was on finding space that had a newsroom feel, free of the labyrinthine private offices and barriers so common among law firms, doctors’ offices and corporate accounting firms.

Like the bullpen made famous by Mayor Bloomberg, the company envisioned a Manhattan office with open space that would inspire transparency and collaboration while eschewing privacy. Read More

The Power Broker

The Underdog

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If Leon Manoff were to sketch his nine-month search for office space on behalf of ASME, the 131-year-old association of mechanical engineers, it would look like a swirl of concentric circles, with each spiral extending farther from the organization’s space at 3 Park Avenue.

Over the course of his search, in fact, the Colliers International tenant agent toured floorplates 20 blocks north and more than three miles south, all across Lower Manhattan. In total, Mr. Manoff and his clients considered more than 30 buildings over the span of roughly 10 tours.

But as is so often the case, the building that ASME executives liked most of all was hiding in their own backyard, at 2 Park Avenue, directly out the window. Read More

The Power Broker

Gerald Kiley of Grubb & Ellis: The Fisherman of the Suburban Markets

On a sun-kissed Thursday afternoon, Gerard Kiley arrived at Grubb & Ellis’ new Manhattan headquarters. It was the broker’s first visit to the Avenue of the Americas office, but it certainly wouldn’t be his last.

Indeed, for a broker who focuses squarely on Westchester and Fairfield counties, the 25-year commercial real estate pro’s thrice-weekly, 45-minute Read More