Holiday Giving, Commercial Real Estate Style


The holiday season and the sense of community it can evoke is sometimes enough to pry even the most voracious macher’s focus away from the all-consuming adventure of buying, selling and leasing square footage for retail and office use. This year, firms executed their seasonal giving in various ways. Here are a few …

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A New York Cares coat donation box (photo courtesy of Related Companies).
A New York Cares coat donation box. (photo courtesy of Related Companies)
  • Related Companies  announced a $500,000 donation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The firm also has partnered with New York Cares to create donation sites for the 2012 New York Cares Coat Drive in prominent retail locations in New York City and New Jersey. Donations will be accepted at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, the Bronx Terminal Market, the College Point Retail Center in Queens, the Gateway Shopping Center in Brooklyn and the Clifton Commons Mall in Clifton, New Jersey. Donations will be accepted at all locations through December 31, 2012.
  • Paramount Group continued their holiday coat and food drives, which the firm spearheads in all eight of its New York buildings, its five Washington, D.C., buildings and 1 Market Plaza in San Francisco. “You’ve got a lot of good people in New York that want to help and we try to provide that opportunity,” said Ralph DiRuggiero, vice president of management for Paramount. Organized by building managers, the efforts have collected some 625 coats this year.

Paramount also held a Toys for Tots drive as well as a blood drive. Since January, the firm has collected about 355 units of blood. The firm also made an effort to assist those put out by tropical storm Sandy, collecting food and clothing for those in need.

  • Cassidy Turley ran a company-wide fund-raiser for New York Cares, Jersey Cares and Habitat for Humanities, with the company matching up to $25,000. In total, Cassidy Turley raised over $60,000. The New York office also ran a Jeans for Sandy campaign, wherein employees were allowed to wear jeans for two days for a donation to the fund.
  • Douglas Elliman retail group chair Faith Hope Consolo made a donation to the St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters at last week’s Doodle for Hunger fund-raiser, under the umbrella of her own charity, “Real Estate Has a Heart.”

Ms. Consolo was also part of a group from the AREW Charitable Fund that hosted a dinner for clients of Women in Need at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx. She delivered and distributed hundreds of pink goodie bags filled with cosmetics and treats for the mothers. The kids were treated to a magic show, manicures, crafts projects and a dinner. The AREW Charitable fund, which also provided “Secret Santa” gifts to hundreds of kids this year, arranged the evening.

  • CBRE participated in its second annual National Shoe Collection Drive—held in conjunction with the international charity Soles4Souls—and collected more than 15,330 pairs of shoes for people in need. CBRE Cares, the company’s corporate philanthropy program, donated $7,668 to the international charity, the equivalent of an additional 7,668 pairs of shoes. As a result, the drive will enable Soles4Souls to provide shoes for more than 23,000 adults and children around the world—doubling last year’s collection. A total of 109 CBRE locations, including 57 offices, 14 affiliate offices and 38 CBRE-managed properties, participated in the nationwide effort, which was sponsored by CBRE Eco Knights, the company’s sustainability group.
  • On Thursday, November 29, a team from Jones Lang LaSalle participated in the New York Cares coat drive, which was held in donated space at 11 Penn Plaza. The group sorted through more than 3,000 coats, gloves, blankets, canned goods and other items that were primarily intended for people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Platinum Properties announced that half of the proceeds from its 50/50 raffle, conducted Saturday at the company’s holiday party, will be donated to the Alliance for Downtown New York’s Back to Business Small Business Grant Program. The program provides aid to small businesses of lower Manhattan that suffered great setbacks due to Superstorm Sandy. Grants are awarded to qualifying small businesses below Chambers Street that are located within flood zone A.
  • Cushman & Wakefield held a toy drive at the Midtown Manhattan office Tuesday, Dec. 18, to collect new, unwrapped toys, gloves, hats, scarves and socks for children in need for the Volunteers of Americas Toys for the Holidays charity. The firm also held a holiday party at its N.Y. Midtown office which included a holiday 50/50 raffle to benefit The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City – Hurricane Sandy Recovery.