Brooklyn Buzz: From Spike Lee to Etsy, C&W’s Glenn Markman Has BK Down


Glenn Markman first began to pay attention to Brooklyn long before there was a Barclays (BCS) Center to crystallize the borough’s rise.

Like so many success stories in real estate, buying in early was key.

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Having done deals in Brooklyn for 20 years, Mr. Markman by now is known as an expert in office leasing in the borough, though he is also prolific in Manhattan. From his résumé, there’s no mistaking his prominence as a Brooklyn dealmaker.

In 2008, he represented Spike Lee in finding a Dumbo office for the film director’s advertising company, Spike DDB.

Earlier this year, when the Brooklyn Nets decided to relocate the team’s executive offices from New Jersey to be closer to the new Barclays arena, Mr. Markman, who is a leasing executive at Cushman & Wakefield (CWK), led a C&W team that brought the Nets into 35,000 square feet at 15 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.

rsz 1glennmarkman 20 Brooklyn Buzz: From Spike Lee to Etsy, C&W’s Glenn Markman Has BK Down
Glenn Markman.

Along with C&W’s chairman of global brokerage, Bruce Mosler, Mr. Markman is currently in the process of conducting a search for a large new practice facility for the team.

Mr. Markman has done notable deals outside of Brooklyn, too. In the late 1990s, he convinced the NBA to open a prominent store where it could both sell its merchandise and broadcast its brand at 666 Fifth Avenue, one of city’s most storied retail addresses. He represented the fashion apparel company Michael Kors in taking office space at 11 West 42nd Street, where it has grown to about 100,000 square feet. He has also done jumbo-size leases: in the late 1990s he was part of a Grubb & Ellis team that represented the New York City Housing Authority in a roughly 500,000-square-foot deal at 90 Church Street.

But it has been Brooklyn with which Mr. Markman’s reputation has become closely linked; it both paved the way for his career and has kept his pipeline flush with the kinds of creative deals he prizes.

At about 7 million square feet, the commercial office neighborhood in the borough is a fraction of the size of the nearly 400-million-square-foot Manhattan market. Yet command of the Brooklyn market has never been a better skill set to have as more companies are crowding into an area increasingly considered the pinnacle of culture and lifestyle in the city.

“Brooklyn is igniting this incredible passion from creative companies in Manhattan,” Mr. Markman said. “Brooklyn buzz combined with scarcity of space and increasing rental rates in areas like Midtown South are pushing more companies to come to the borough and providing the opportunity for the area to land blue-chip creative firms.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Markman represented one such company, a firm called MakerBot, which manufactures 3D printers, in a deal to take about 35,000 square feet at 15 MetroTech. The lease was typical of the kind of transaction Mr. Markman has sought to focus his career on: an innovative tenant coming to a space that could help unlock its potential and spur its growth.