The 7th Annual Power 100
The Editors April 30, 2014, 8 a.m.
Many of the people featured in Commercial Observer’s seventh annual Power 100 issue are power perennials. But despite the long list of mainstays, the ranking says as much about what’s changed as what’s stayed the same in the real estate capital of the world.
And that’s nothing new. After all, the inaugural Power 100 list came out a few months before the global economy cratered, leading former editor Tom Acitelli to write in May 2009, in his introduction to the sophomore Power 100 issue, that New York had “devolved from a city of infinite victory and possibility to one of survival and recrimination.”
What a difference five years makes. The city is awash in tectonic development projects, many of them belatedly breaking ground after languishing for years during the economy’s sputtering rebound. The sprouting of hyper-luxe high-rises along 57th Street—to this point most closely associated with Extell President Gary Barnett, last year’s Power 100 victor—has so far had the most tangible effect as it alters the Midtown skyline and crystallizes New York’s status as a safe harbor for the global elite—or at least their money.
Some argue that a neighborhood chockfull of $90 million pied-à-terre is no neighborhood at all. They may hold out hope for Related Companies’ Hudson Yards, the most hyped commercial development in recent city history, as it attempts to create a new neighborhood in an area that even the most sentimental “I miss the old New York” New Yorkers are unlikely to grieve.
While those two—and many other—sprawling projects reshape Manhattan, activity outside “the city” will likely hasten the demise of the “outer” boroughs pejorative. It’s old news that Brooklyn now competes with Manhattan for cool cred and family appeal. But Kings County is now wooing commercial development royalty and investors in addition to the residential brokerages.
Just witness the dense thicket of towers that’s grown seemingly overnight in Downtown Brooklyn. Or the skyline that continues to form along the eastern banks of the East River and, in the wake of recent bureaucratic approvals, could soon stretch more or less uninterrupted from the 59th Street to Williamsburg Bridges. Even the least glamorous boroughs are feeling the rush (and potential bluster), with what’s been billed as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel headed to Staten Island and the planet’s largest ice center coming to the Bronx.
A good chunk of this bonanza was spurred by, and will form the legacy of, the departed Bloomberg administration. Despite that, Michael Bloomberg did not make the Power 100 for the first time since its inception. His successor Bill de Blasio’s inclusion was inevitable, even if it upsets some industry leaders still choked up over Mr. Bloomberg’s departure. Of course, it’s too early to tell what impact the new mayor will have on New York real estate. But his indefatigable emphasis on creating and maintaining affordable housing has already reshaped tentpole projects like Two Trees Management Company’s redevelopment of the old Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg.
Two Trees made relatively minor concessions to its plan and won City Council approval just before this issue went to press. But shadows—including those cast by One57 over Central Park—loom over New York real estate. The Midtown East rezoning proposal hit a major roadblock in the waning days of the Bloomberg era. And the “tale of two cities” mantra that helped propel Mayor de Blasio to victory has emboldened the anti-development crowd as never before.
The city doesn’t quite brim with the sense of “infinite victory and possibility” that it did before the recession. And there’s plenty of recrimination to go around. But revitalized neighborhoods are drawing New Yorkers to previously ignored corners of town and new buildings are piercing the sky en masse. The city once again claims America’s tallest skyscraper, which speaks to not only New York’s survival, but its stubborn insistence on supremacy—a trait it shares with the Power 100.
Stephen Ross, Jeff Blau, and Bruce Beal (No. 2 last year)
Chairman, CEO and President, Related Companies
The top spot on our Power 100 list this year belongs to Related Companies due to the rousing momentum of the massive Hudson Yards development taking shape on the Far West Side, as well as the personal intrigue of a man who is the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins. The first commercial tower at Hudson Yards is slated to rise next year following commitments from Coach, L’Oréal and SAP that gave the project an even more prominent spot on the map. And that was before this year’s banner headline news that Time Warner would relocate to an 80-story Hudson Yards skyscraper in 2018 after selling its Columbus Circle headquarters for $1.3 billion to a partnership of Related and two sovereign wealth funds. More than a development in the traditional sense, the 26-acre Hudson Yards site promises an entirely new 24/7 neighborhood, with more than 6 million square feet of commercial space, 750,000 square feet of retail, some 5,000 residences, a new school and a luxury hotel. Neiman Marcus is reportedly in talks to become the premier retailer at the 37-million-square-foot, $20 billion project, and the first residential building is set to open in 2017. Meanwhile, Mr. Ross’ selfless philanthropy continues. Worth an estimated $5.4 billion, he pledged last year to give half his wealth away to charity.
Marc Holliday and Andrew Mathias (3)
CEO and President, SL Green Realty Corp.
Shares in SL Green, New York’s largest commercial landlord, are up over 15 percent year-over-year. The performance may be due to some of the marquee deals done by the real estate investment trust in the past 12 months. In August 2013, SL Green agreed to acquire The Olivia, a mixed-use residential and commercial property on the West Side, from Stonehenge Partners for $386 million. Then, just three months later, the REIT teamed with Jeff Sutton to acquire a 49-year leasehold interest in the retail portion of 650 Madison Avenue. This year, the firm has picked up right where it left off. Last month, SL Green agreed to acquire Ivanhoe Cambridge’s stake in the Citigroup headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street for $783 million. Once that deal closes, SL Green will assume full ownership of the Tribeca office building, which is triple-net leased to Citigroup through 2035. The REIT is expected to continue to be a vocal proponent of Midtown East rezoning, a proposal that stalled in the waning months of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral reign but is expected to be revived. SL Green has a significant stake in the matter—it has ambitious plans to develop 1 Vanderbilt, a 65-story office tower.
Steven Roth (7)
Chairman-CEO, Vornado Realty Trust
Some uncertainty surrounded Vornado Realty Trust after Mike Fascitelli surprisingly stepped down last year. But Mr. Roth stepped back into the CEO position, which he previously held for 20 years, without missing a beat. Despite losing his right-hand man, Mr. Roth continues to make unwavering decisions that will chart the course of his company’s future. Vornado recently announced a plan to spin off its non-Manhattan portfolio of 81 strip shopping centers and four malls, located mostly in the Northeast, into a new, publicly traded real estate investment trust. The move will likely influence a movement among retail REITs to simplify business plans and raise capital to reduce leverage. Mr. Roth will serve on the board of directors of the spin-off company. Though criticized in the past for investments seen as too diverse, Vornado remains one of the largest real estate businesses in the nation. It is one of the biggest owners and managers of commercial real estate in the United States, with a portfolio of over 100 million square feet primarily located in the New York and Washington, D.C. areas. Vornado’s core businesses include New York, Washington, D.C. and retail properties primarily in the northeast states, California and Puerto Rico.
Gary Barnett (1)
President, Extell Development
“New construction is the lifeblood of major cities, providing dynamic renewal and serving as a major economic engine and revenue generator for city and state coffers,” Mr. Barnett recently wrote in a New York Observer guest column. And he sure is a developer focused on the new, including his controversial One57 and the Nordstrom tower at 217-225 West 57th Street. In addition, Extell has bid $39 million for a site at 160 East 125th Street in East Harlem. In February, Mr. Barnett was one of a few developers to receive a beating from a panel of New Yorkers worried about the shadows that rising skyscrapers—like One57—will cast over Central Park. But beyond a shadow of a doubt, Mr. Barnett is still erecting the 90-story One57 at 157 West 57th Street and turning that thoroughfare into a billionaire stomping ground. At 217 West 57th Street, the former diamond trader scored a major victory in February when the Art Students League approved Extell’s divisive plan to cantilever a 1,424-foot skyscraper above the school’s landmarked French Renaissance building. A month prior, Extell closed on a $90 million ownership stake in a Ring brothers building at 212 Fifth Avenue. And this month, Kaufman Organization and Principal Real Estate Investors acquired four former Ring buildings for between $175 million and $200 million.
Jerry and Rob Speyer (9)
Co-CEO-Chairman and Co-CEO-President, Tishman Speyer
Tishman Speyer has long been considered New York City’s largest family-run landlord, but since Rob Speyer joined the family business in 1995 he has helped his father turn the family firm into one of the world’s largest owners of real estate, delving aggressively into North America, China, Europe, India and Brazil. The company announced earlier this year that it was investing in a nearly 10-million-square-foot mixed-use project in Shanghai known as The Springs, and the firm has already cut a deal with Nike as its anchor office tenant. Stateside, the firm has reportedly purchased a 1.2-million-square-foot site at 435 10th Avenue, at Hudson Yards, that could spawn a 1,800-foot-tall super-skyscraper (marketed by Massey Knakal as Hudson Spire). The firm may also be considering an adjacent parcel belonging to Sherwood Equities, which could help the firm create one of the city’s largest and tallest buildings. The youngest chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the younger Speyer became the third successive generation of his family to hold the post—a first in the organization’s 117-year history. The firm’s signature assets include New York’s Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Center and Yankee Stadium, São Paulo’s Torre Norte and Ventura Corporate Towers in Rio de Janeiro.
Anthony Malkin (8)
Chairman-CEO-President, Empire State Realty Trust
A number of lawsuits, investor squabbles and multiple bids to purchase the Empire State Building didn’t stop Mr. Malkin, his father, Peter Malkin and the Empire State Realty Trust from going public. Last September, the company’s shares began trading during an initial public offering that valued 71.5 million shares of Class A common stock at $13 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ESRT.” The public offering allowed the Malkins to consolidate the buildings they control throughout Manhattan and in Stamford, Conn. As the company’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, Mr. Malkin now oversees all acquisitions, capital markets activities, leasing and corporate strategy. Among notable recent news, LinkedIn signed a 160,000-square-foot lease at the Empire State Building. The Malkins’ portfolio includes 11 million square feet of trophy office property in the greater New York City area, including a portfolio of nine prewar trophy buildings in Midtown Manhattan, as well as 1.9 million square feet of retail space, 1.4 million square feet of warehouse/distribution space and 2,700 multifamily units.
Jonathan Gray (6)
Global Head of Real Estate, Blackstone Group
Mr. Gray reportedly said in February that Blackstone is planning to plunk down $80 million in international real estate over the next year. The private equity firm ended 2013 with a bang due in large part to its real estate portfolio headed up by Mr. Gray. Blackstone had a fourth-quarter profit of $621.3 million compared with $106.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Mr. Gray’s division is credited with bringing in about 60 percent of the firm’s profits, according to The Real Deal. The real estate group reported that its fund value rose 13.1 percent in a January report. The relatively new billionaire told Commercial Observer: “As we get bigger, one of my priorities is to make sure that we maintain the same standards and continue to have open communication and integration. Whether you’re in our New York office or Mumbai office, it’s a must that we focus on our people and our standards and that we continue to do things the same way across the business.” Mr. Gray is someone to be reckoned with as speculation has continued to swirl that he will take over as chief executive or chief operating officer at the company at some point in the future.
Scott Rechler (5)
Chairman-CEO, RXR Realty
Last summer, Mr. Rechler made the savvy move of appointing Seth Pinsky, the former president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, as investment manager of RXR’s newly established Metropolitan Emerging Market Strategy. The former civil servant is expected to assist RXR in the pursuit of development projects in under-invested areas and near transit nodes throughout the region. The company is examining opportunities along the Brooklyn waterfront and in Queens as well as the Bronx and Staten Island, two boroughs that the firm realizes have lagged behind the city’s others in attracting institutional capital. On the leasing front, RXR secured Mediaocean to a 14-year, 88,387-square-foot lease at 620 Avenue of the Americas in a prime example of the company’s cultivation of media and tech tenants. But Mr. Rechler’s role as vice chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is arguably where he has exerted the most influence over the past 12 months. Mr. Rechler has strongly advocated for new subsidies for Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center. Under the revised proposal, the Port Authority would guarantee Silverstein a $1.2 billion construction loan. The board delayed its vote on the proposal shortly before Commercial Observer went to press.
Douglas and Jody Durst (4)
Chairman and President, The Durst Organization
It’s been an eventful 12 months for The Durst Organization, particularly at the developer’s 1 World Trade Center site. Last May, the final component of the lower Manhattan skyscraper’s spire was installed, touching the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. Durst later unveiled 1 WTC’s marketing center to the media, just two weeks before the building was officially declared the tallest skyscraper in America, besting Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). In more troubling news, a 16-year-old New Jersey boy snuck his way past security to the top of 1 WTC earlier this year, prompting both that boy’s arrest and the resignation of The Durst Organization’s top security official. Condé Nast will begin moving into 1 WTC in November, but talk of new leases there has gone quiet. The building’s leasing team, spearheaded in-house and by Cushman & Wakefield, remains optimistic, with Tara Stacom declaring herself pleased with the leasing momentum earlier this year. On a brighter note, there looks to be a new beginning at one of the developer’s other properties: 4 Times Square. Major space at that property, which has been inextricably linked to Condé Nast for nearly two decades, is being made available for lease as the publisher prepares to vacate.
Barry Sternlicht (12)
Chairman-CEO, Starwood Capital Group
As one of the world’s largest property investors, the Greenwich, Conn.-based private real estate investment firm Starwood Capital Group is looking to go public. To that end, Mr. Sternlicht appeared to be preparing to sell off shares of the company in an initial public offering as he started talking with banks, according to media reports in February. And the W hotel chain founder may be looking for a way to partially cash out, the Wall Street Journal noted. The company, which Mr. Sternlicht founded in 1991, has been setting record room occupancy rates due to a shortage of luxury hotels in the country, giving the company leverage in setting room rates. The firm owns many hotels, apartment complexes, office buildings and shopping malls and has hired more employees to help with acquisitions. Starwood has raised about $23 billion in equity since its inception and bought more than $45 billion in assets, according to a January statement. In March, Starwood and GFI Development Company closed on the $195 million sale of a ground lease for a Brooklyn office tower. The same month, Starwood also acquired, through a controlled affiliate, the retail building at 150 West 34th Street. The price was reportedly $250 million.
Bill Bratton (New)
Police Commissioner, New York City
It’s the police commissioner’s top priority to ensure that the streets are safe—and safer streets translate into more valuable real estate. It will be no small order for Commissioner Bratton to keep crime at historically low levels, but he’s already proven that he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in his second tour as the city’s top cop. Commissioner Bratton reportedly went on a ride earlier this month during which he and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller accompanied housing cops and members of a warrants squad in storming numerous tactical hot spots in the area, nabbing more than 25 gang members from the rival Young Bosses and the Forest Over Everything gangs. Mayor Bill De Blasio has referred to the law enforcement veteran as a “visionary” capable of fulfilling a central campaign promise of his: repairing the Police Department’s rapport with residents and leaders in minority communities while keeping crime low. Meanwhile, Commissioner Bratton has earned high marks from real estate bigwigs often wary of the new City Hall—Bruce Mosler described the commish as “exceptionally tuned in” to the business world’s needs while Bob Knakal called him “a stud [who] makes the industry feel as if the expected wave of crime may not happen.”
Dennis Friedrich (New) and Mitch Rudin (13)
CEO and President, Brookfield Office Properties
With the revitalized Brookfield Place (née World Financial Center) set to reopen later this year, there is quite a bit on the Brookfield executives’ plates. But with Time Inc. said to be eyeing relocation to the Downtown Manhattan office complex and the developer’s fast-casual dining collection, Hudson Eats, continuing to draw tenants and buzz, there’s still work to be done. Blue Ribbon Sushi joined the food hall’s imposing roster this year and will open later this spring alongside Umami Burger, Dos Toros Taqueria, Chop’t, Dig Inn, Num Pang, Skinny Pizza, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Little Muenster, Mighty Quinn’s, Tartinery and Olive’s. Just last week, Brookfield added three new names to its retail tenant roster at Brookfield Place, including J. Crew. The retailer will join Hermès, Ferragamo, Michael Kors, and more when the retail corridor opens next year. Brookfield Place isn’t the only spot in the city the developer has been active in over the past year. In 2013, the real estate investment trust agreed to acquire the NYMEX Building at 1 North End Avenue and unveiled a $200 million redevelopment plan for 450 West 33rd Street on the Far West Side.
Donald Trump (14)
CEO, Trump Organization
No doubt the most publicly visible member of New York’s real estate community, Mr. Trump’s business pursuits are often secondary to his various entertainment ventures and political aspirations. Indeed, reports indicate that The Donald could be getting back into sports franchise ownership with the Buffalo Bills. Any deal with the N.F.L. would elevate Mr. Trump into the elite club whose membership also includes Stephen Ross of Related Companies. In the Bronx, Mr. Trump completed the course at Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point Park. The latest addition to Mr. Trump’s impressive stable of golf courses is slated to open next year. More publicity-friendly news aside, commercial real estate remains the central focus of the Trump Organization, which continues to draw tenants to its 40 Wall Street property. Early this year, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, signed a 20-year lease for nearly 50,000 square feet at the Financial District property. Elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard, Mr. Trump is expected to transform Washington, D.C.’s Old Post Office Pavilion into a luxury hotel after signing a 60-year lease to redevelop and manage the property.
Andrew Cuomo (11)
Governor, New York
Governor Cuomo has been busy touring the state while touting his nearly $140 billion 2014-15 budget. And laste last month he abruptly announced that he is disbanding the anti-corruption commission he formed just last July. In an election year, it doesn’t behoove Mr. Cuomo to raise ire, but Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is challenging the governor, saying that his office will take over outstanding political corruption cases from the now-defunct Moreland Commission. Despite other disagreements with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mr. Cuomo has sided with the new hizzoner when it comes to creating and preserving affordable housing in the city and state. At his State of the State address, Mr. Cuomo announced that he would invest $100 million from federal Superstorm Sandy recovery funds to create and preserve 3,000 affordable housing units in multifamily developments. That’s in addition to the $1 billion House NY program he initiated that invests $1 billion in affordable housing units over five years. “The additional $100 million investment in affordable housing will not only give 3,000 low-income families the support they need to stabilize their lives … but also help drive the economic development necessary to help revitalize local communities,” said Rafael E. Cestero, the president and chief executive of The Community Preservation Corp.
William Rudin (15)
Vice Chairman-CEO, Rudin Management
The former home of Goldman Sachs’ headquarters at 55 Broad Street in lower Manhattan is likely to be redeveloped as a 53-story mixed-use property. That’s according to plans that Mr. Rudin had architecture firm FXFOWLE draw up for the site, which call for a 742-foot tower instead of the current 402-foot office building. The project would include office, retail and residential components. The third-generation Rudin family business claims 10 million square feet of commercial space. Projects include (controversially) co-developing the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital into a five-building condominium development called Greenwich Lane and redesigning the lobby and public areas of the 22-story office building at 560 Lexington Avenue. The redesign, intended to spruce up and modernize the property, is slated for completion this fall. Mr. Rudin may be looking to build more. This month, the Rudin family received a $110 million loan against its office tower at 1 Battery Park Plaza. The Rudin and Rose families began assembling the site in 1962 and jointly built the 885,645-square-foot tower in 1970. Rudin Management bought out Rose Associates’ 50 percent stake in 1 Battery Park Plaza for about $80 million in January 2012, gaining full ownership.
Andrew Farkas (17)
Chairman-CEO, Island Capital Group
Mr. Farkas, who runs the versatile international real estate merchant bank Island Capital Group, has fared well since the bygone ’90s days when he bought up distressed properties. He was ranked number 13 in Mortgage Observer’s “50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance” this February. He is also the chairman and chief executive of C-III Capital Partners, an Irving, Tex.-based affiliate of Island that nearly doubled its invested capital in 2013 to $3.6 billion. Island’s largest subsidiary, C-III Capital, controls C-III Asset Management, which is one of the largest commercial mortgage servicers in the country. C-III Capital ranked near the top of several commercial and multifamily servicing volume surveys from the Mortgage Bankers Association. U.S. Residential Group LLC, a full-service, fee-based multifamily management company affiliated with C-III Capital, was named one of the top apartment management companies in the country by The National Multi Housing Council. NAI Global, the world’s largest network of owner-operated commercial real estate firms, was ranked fifth in the 2014 Lipsey Survey of Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brands. C-III Capital Partners acquired NAI Global in 2012. Through another subsidiary, Island oversees several real estate-related investment funds with more than $3.7 billion of assets under management.
Richard LeFrak (16)
Chairman-President-CEO, LeFrak Organization
The LeFrak Organization is perhaps best known for the sprawling 5,000-unit LeFrak City apartment complex in Queens, but with Mr. LeFrak at the helm it continues to upgrade and expand its portfolio across the country. The firm recently completed a $30 million capital improvement program at 40 West 57th Street, where earlier this month it leased high-end, pre-built office suites to Two Creeks Capital Management, Incline Global and Darsana, a new hedge fund. The 34-story tower’s tenants include Northern Trust, JPMorgan/Highbridge, Elliott Management Corporation, Tocqueville Asset Management, VF Corporation and Givaudan Fragrances Corporation. The company is over a century old and owns more than 400 buildings, most of which were self-developed. In addition to extensive real estate holdings, the firm has actively invested in energy since the 1970s and currently has interests in hundreds of on-shore oil and gas wells.
Owen Thomas and Mortimer Zuckerman (25)
CEO and Executive Chairman, Boston Properties
Though Mr. Zuckerman stepped aside and was replaced by Mr. Thomas as chief executive of Boston Properties last April, the septuagenarian real estate tycoon continues to be a major force, whether at industry conferences or during his frequent appearances on The McLaughlin Group. Though some analysts have expressed concern over the varying levels of executive leadership at the real estate investment trust, it doesn’t seem to have slowed Boston Properties down. In 2013, the company joined the growing list of landlords to have teamed up with Norges Bank Investment Management’s burgeoning real estate platform. The REIT joint ventured Times Square Tower in a deal that saw the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund acquire a 45 percent stake in the property for $684 million in cash. More recently, Boston Properties’ 250 West 55th Street development welcomed its first tenant, the law firm Morrison & Foerster, which moved in earlier this month.
Jeff Sutton (29)
President, Wharton Properties
Mr. Sutton owns stakes in more than 120 properties citywide, including 717 Fifth Avenue and 650 Fifth Avenue (in which he, along with SL Green Realty Corporation, acquired a 49-year leasehold in the retail portion last November), and has signed names like Giorgio Armani and Abercrombie & Fitch into flagship stores. He reportedly told a group of Baruch College students recently that his real estate career took off following a chance encounter with a man who had ties to Payless ShoeSource at a time when the shoe store didn’t exist in New York. “My career has been like dominos. Each thing led to the next. Payless became the king of New York, putting all its competitors out of business,” he said. Mr. Sutton’s retail investments have been reported to total more than $2 billion. In a joint venture with long-term trading partner SL Green, Mr. Sutton’s Wharton Properties just last month closed on the $326 million acquisition of 530 Broadway (at the corner of Spring Street) in Soho. Apparel giants to lease space at Mr. Sutton’s properties have recently included Alexander McQueen, which signed at 747 Madison Avenue, a retail co-op where Mr. Sutton last year bought SL Green’s 33.3 percent stake.
Mary Ann Tighe (19)
Regional CEO, CBRE
Ms. Tighe, who last year signed off from her post as REBNY’s first-ever female chair, continues to exert immense influence on the New York real estate community. From her representation of Condé Nast in its move to 1 World Trade Center to her brokering of the deal that brought Coach in as the anchor tenant at Hudson Yards, Ms. Tighe is without question one of the most influential brokers in New York City, and the past 12 months have done nothing to change that perception. She was a key member of the tenant representation team that brought Sony to 11 Madison Avenue in a blockbuster 525,000-square-foot lease. More importantly, Ms. Tighe brokered the anchor-tenant lease for GroupM at Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center—a deal that will presumably allow the developer to move forward with construction. Elsewhere, Ms. Tighe and a team of CBRE brokers are working to lure tenants to RFR Realty’s revitalized 285 Madison Avenue, the former Y&R headquarters that suffered a catastrophic elevator failure in 2011.
Keith Gelb and Tom Gilbane (23)
Managing Members, Rockpoint Group
Rockpoint Group has been doing a lot of big deals in partnership with other companies. Rockpoint started 2013 off with a bang, having had the largest final closing of the first quarter, with a $1.95 billion fund for distressed and value-added property in the U.S., U.K. and Japan, according to Preqin. Then, in December, the New York REIT bought the 750,000-square-foot office tower at 1440 Broadway from Rockpoint and Monday Properties for $528.6 million. This year, Rockpoint and Fisher Brothers together acquired an approximately 50 percent interest in the Class A office buildings 1345 Avenue of the Americas and 605 Third Avenue. And Rockpoint, along with Highgate Hotels, sold the retail portion of the former Milford Plaza at 700 Eighth Avenue for $64 million earlier this month. The firm has been run by several managing members including Mr. Gelb, who co-founded the Boston-based company more than 18 years ago, and Mr. Gilbane, who joined as a managing member more than 14 years ago. The former oversees the overall operations and management of investment firm Rockpoint, and manages the origination, structuring and asset management of all Rockpoint investment activities. The latter is responsible for Rockpoint’s eastern U.S. investment deals.
Jeffrey Gural, Jimmy Kuhn, Barry Gosin and David Falk (21)
Chairman, President, CEO and President New York Tristate Region, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Industry mainstay Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, backed by BGC Partners, continues to grow and expand at a pace that Mr. Gosin has stated could help the firm become one of the country’s top three commercial brokerages. NGKF has aggressively expanded and is poised for continued national growth in order to make gains on the reigning big three: CBRE, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield. The high profile acquisition of Grubb & Ellis in 2012 was followed this year by NGKF’s announcement of BGC’s agreement to acquire Cornish & Carey Commercial, one of northern California’s preeminent commercial real estate companies. Meanwhile, NGKF continues to make its mark in New York City, with an army of prolific brokers that continues to land marquee deals. Last month, a fifth technology company took a full-floor of pre-built office space at 292 Madison Avenue, where NGKF serves as exclusive leasing agent, and the firm represented veteran journalist Dan Rather in his office relocation to 1180 Avenue of the Americas earlier this year.
David and Jed Walentas (30)
Principals, Two Trees Management
The Domino Sugar Factory continues to dominate the conversation when it comes to Two Trees Management’s current projects. Well known for its development of Dumbo, Two Trees branched out into other parts of Brooklyn in 2012 by winning the right to develop the former industrial site on the surging Williamsburg waterfront. The debate in early 2014 has centered on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to add more affordable housing units to the project. In March, Messrs. Walentas conceded to the newly elected official by agreeing to add 40 more units—an additional 110,000 square feet—of affordable housing to the development. As a result, the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the developer’s plans for the site. Last week, the New York City Council’s Land Use Committee approved Two Trees’ plan to construct two 55-story towers at the site, 15 stories taller than anything else on the Brooklyn Waterfront. In Manhattan, Mercedes House, the condo project spearheaded by the younger Walentas, continues to generate buzz. The project made headlines this month when The New York Times reported that it would become home to some of the NYPD’s horses and mounted officers this summer.
Michael Lehrman (18), Howard Lutnick (18) and Anthony Orso (New)
CEO, BGC Real Estate; Chairman-CEO, BGC Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald; and CEO, Cantor Commercial Real Estate
BGC Partners is a global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets. It has been on a buying spree even after picking up the debts of Grubb & Ellis in 2012 and entering the commercial real estate industry a year prior when it acquired the brokerage firm Newmark Knight Frank. This year, BGC acquired Cornish & Carey Commercial, a California-based commercial real estate brokerage with approximately $135 million in revenues in 2012. BGC was named in honor of B. Gerald Cantor who, in 1945, founded what became Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Lutnick is also the chairman and chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald. He made headlines last month for filing a $20 million lawsuit against the planning board in the town of Southampton, N.Y. after twice being denied permission to construct a barn on his land. In the fourth quarter 2012, BGC reported that it brought in $432.9 million in revenues for distributable income, a slight drop year-over-year from $436.3 million in fourth-quarter 2013. But for all of 2013, revenues were $1.77 billion, a bit higher than the $1.75 billion the previous year.
Charlie Garner, Justin Rimel, Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh, and Richard Ressler (20)
Principal, Vice President, Co-Founders/Principals, CIM Group
Founded in 1994, CIM Group has systematically made its mark across the country by repositioning and developing projects in both established and emerging areas. The company manages three distinct portfolios that include opportunistic, stabilized and infrastructure funds, each of which are diversified by geography, property and risk profile. CIM Group and Magnum Real Estate Group recently announced the acquisition of a condominium interest consisting of floors 11 through 31 at 140 West Street, a 32-story office tower in Tribeca where the firms will convert the upper floors of the building to luxury condos. Late last year, CIM in a partnership with L+M Development Partners and Citi Community Capital bought 265-275 Cherry Street, a two-building residential property consisting of 449,000 rentable square feet located on the Lower East Side. CIM Group also recently purchased 5 Hanover Square, a 25-story, approximately 338,000-square-foot office building located in the Financial District from the New York-based Savanna. Among other recent news, Sony Corporation of America signed a 15-year lease with CIM Group and The Sapir Organization for approximately 525,000 square feet of space at 11 Madison Avenue.
Christoph Kahl, Matt Bronfman and Michael Phillips (26)
Principal, CEO and COO, Jamestown Properties
Chelsea Market is surely the jewel in Jamestown’s New York City crown. But a burgeoning outer boroughs portfolio is going some way toward challenging the office-food hall hybrid for that distinction. Most notably, the developer is transforming the Industry City site in Sunset Park, Brooklyn into a commercial and light manufacturing complex. So transformative has the work been that The New York Times dubbed Industry City the “Soho of Sunset Park” earlier this year. Meanwhile, in Queens, Jamestown is turning the Falchi Building, a 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Long Island City, into a mixed-used property with retail, office and light manufacturing components. The developer has already brokered a 10-year lease with Juice Press to establish the raw juice purveyor’s distribution center there. Back in Manhattan, Jamestown continues to rake in revenue of more than $23 million per year from the advertising signage at 1 Times Square, despite the fact that the building sits largely vacant.
Mitchell Steir and Michael Colacino (31)
Chairman-CEO and President, Studley
Following rumors at the end of last year that Savills was slated to buy New York City-based Studley, the tenant representation specialists appear to be on firm footing. Studley has handled sizable deals like negotiating an 18,134-square-foot lease at the GM Building on behalf of J.C. Flowers & Co and representing the law firm Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer in a deal for 39,293 square feet at 100 Wall Street. The company has recently been tapped to sell some big residential buildings including the 42-story Battery Park City rental complex Tribeca Pointe and Magnum Real Estate Group’s 81-unit luxury rental building, Bloom62, at 62 Avenue B. Studley helped make a great contribution to lower Manhattan with law firm Jones Day’s relocation to Brookfield Place. Mr. Steir, along with other company executives, represented Jones Day in its end-of-year signing of a 20-year, 330,210-square-foot lease spanning eight contiguous floors at Brookfield Place on the Hudson River waterfront. Also at the end of 2013, the elite Brearley School hired Studley to assist with its search for a possible expansion of its Upper East Side campus. Finally, Studley represented Walnut Hill Group in its sale of 31 West 27th Street for $80.8 million.
Jeffrey Feil and Jay Anderson (33)
CEO and Executive Vice President, Feil Organization
Over the course of six decades, The Feil Organization has become one of the nation’s foremost real estate companies. The firm owns, manages and has developed over 26 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial properties; over 5,000 residential rental units; hundreds of net-leased properties and thousands of acres of undeveloped land across the country. Mr. Feil and Mr. Anderson today count at least 13 properties in their Manhattan portfolio. The buildings, concentrated in Midtown and Midtown South, include 570 Lexington Avenue, the Fred French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue, 200 West 57th Street, 250 Park Avenue and 257 Park Avenue South. The firm also owns the Queens Atrium, a former industrial building in Long Island City that dates back to the first quarter of the century. It was redeveloped into a modern showroom, office and conference space and master-planned by Chinese-American master architect I.M. Pei. The New York City Department of Design and Construction recently renewed and expanded its space at that building with a 233,000-square-foot lease. The firm is also in the latter stages of developing a new five-story boutique office building on East 161st Street.
Blake Hutcheson and Andrew Trickett (New)
President-CEO and Senior Managing Director of Investments, Oxford Properties Group
Though the firm’s name is often mentioned in the same breath as its development partner, Related, when it comes to discussion of Hudson Yards, Oxford Properties Group’s top executive, Mr. Hutcheson, rarely gets the same billing as his Related counterpart, Stephen Ross. But that doesn’t mean the Canadian isn’t making his mark on New York. Mr. Hutcheson, who served as chief executive of CBRE in Canada for over a decade, left the Great White North to take over Mount Kellett Capital Management’s real estate unit in New York in the aughts. But he wouldn’t be away from Canada for long—he returned to run Oxford in 2010. The firm, a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, is aiming to develop and actively manage a $10 billion real estate portfolio in the United States by the end of the year and judging by recent activity, Oxford is well on its way. In addition to working with Related on the Hudson Yards development on the Far West Side, the firm also owns a stake in Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue and bolstered its portfolio last year with the $575 million acquisition of 450 Park Avenue from Somerset Partners and Michael Tabor.
Joseph Chetrit (24)
President, Chetrit Group
Chetrit Group, headed by Mr. Chetrit and his brother Joseph, is on a demolition tear. The firm is working on its fifth set of plans for the Cabrini Medical Center conversion project at 228 East 20th Street. Chetrit bought the Gramercy Park site last year from Memorial Sloan-Kettering for $150 million. In addition, Chetrit and Cornell Realty Management purchased two adjacent properties—245 and 247 West 34th Street—across the street from Madison Square Garden in January for $31.5 million. In March, the team got approval from the Department of Buildings to demolish them. Also this year, the city O.K.’d the demolition of four commercial properties—at 541-545 West 37th Street and 540-544 West 38th Street—on a prospective development site near Hudson Yards. Mr. Chetrit made a serious profit in selling a Tribeca office building to the investment firm Bridgeton Holdings for $42 million this year. He bought the 10-story, 61,000-square-foot building in 1994 for $1 million following foreclosure proceedings against former owner Fortune Smooth US Ltd. In February, Mr. Chetrit suffered a loss with Sony Corporation of America’s relocation from 550 Madison Avenue. The Chetrit-led partnership’s purchase of 550 Madison was the third priciest commercial deal in New York City last year.
Howard and Steven Rubenstein (New)
President-Chair, President, Rubenstein
Since founding the communications and media relations firm that bears his name in 1954, Howard Rubenstein, along with son Steven Rubenstein, has served as counselor to some of the world’s most influential organizations and leaders, many of whom conduct business within the commercial real estate world. The firm counts industry giants Tishman Speyer and Vornado among its clients and this month announced new clients including: ARK Development, which is currently developing The ARK at JFK airport; real estate auctioneer Sheldon Good & Company; and industrial designer Karim Rashid. Other marquee clients include Paramount Pictures, HBO, the New York Post, Lionsgate, the National Football League, Time magazine, Hearst, and Activision/Blizzard. The elder Rubenstein sits on the executive committees of the Real Estate Board of New York, NYC & Co. and the Association for a Better New York, which he helped to found. He also served on the Mayor’s Committee on Business & Economic Development for Mayors Beame, Dinkins and Giuliani. In addition to jointly overseeing the day-to-day operations of the firm with his father, the younger Rubenstein planned and coordinated communications for the Tribeca Film Festival, New Year’s Eve in Times Square and the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
Doug Harmon (35), Adam Spies (35), and Ben Lambert (New)
Senior Managing Directors and Chairman, Eastdil Secured
When a multimillion-dollar trophy office building trades, or a sought-after development site is acquired, the brokers behind the deals are quite often the gentlemen of Eastdil Secured. The firm, which boasts a potpourri of business offerings, including investment sales, investment banking and note sales, has brokered some of the biggest sales in Gotham in recent years, with the relatively small shop honing in on the business of corporate giants like CBRE. In the last year, Messrs. Spies and Harmon brokered the $1.1 billion sale of the Sony building at 550 Madison Avenue, helped trade 650 Madison Avenue for $1.3 billion and brokered the sale of a 49 percent interest in Worldwide Plaza, which sold to Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty for $660 million. In January, they repped Time Warner when the company sold its office space at the Time Warner Center to a venture of the Related Companies, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore’s GIC for $1.3 billion. None of this would be possible without Mr. Lambert, who founded the firm—now a subsidiary of Wells Fargo—in 1967. He is said to
step in and smooth things over when multimillion dollar trades step on bigwigs’ toes, such as when he reportedly took Harry Macklowe out to lunch after he lost out on his bid for the Sony building.
Leonard Litwin and Gary Jacob (27)
Chairman and Executive Vice President, Glenwood Management
Set to turn 100 years old later this year, Mr. Litwin is the oldest member of the Power 100 list. His firm currently owns and operates approximately 24 buildings in Manhattan and they share a reputation for being well-built, well-managed and offering a range of amenities that set the firm apart. Glenwood’s third project in the Lincoln Square area, a 48-story, 257-unit development coming to 175 West 60th Street, is underway and slated for completion in the spring of 2016 after winning approval from the Department of Buildings last year. The Manhattan-based company also built a 54-story tower at 160 West 62nd Street and a 30-story building at 1930 Broadway. Mr. Litwin was named the Real Estate Board of New York’s first-ever lifetime honorary chairman in 2012. He got his start in the nursery business and has continued to operate Long Island’s Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries, which he reportedly plans to preserve as a 200-acre arboretum. The firm recently forayed into the sustainable development sphere with the high-end Crystal Green apartments in Midtown at 330 West 39th Street. That property is Glenwood’s second “sustainably built rental,” according to the firm, following the example set by the Emerald Green. Mr. Jacob oversees many of Glenwood’s day-to-day operations.
Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan (40)
Vice Chairmen, CBRE
Ms. Stacom and Mr. Shanahan have brokered some of the largest deals in New York’s history, including the $5.4 billion sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village to Tishman Speyer and BlackRock Realty during the height of the market. The duo continues to work deals reminiscent of the boom years as the market nears full recovery. Last year, they brokered the sale of a 40 percent stake in the GM Building to Sungate Trust for $1.4 billion, which valued the building at $3.4 billion and ranked it among the most valuable properties in the country. That sale set off a string of large office buildings that reflected increased demand for the perceived safety of the city’s building stock. Also, late last year, the pair represented Gotham Organization and its investor AIG Affordable Housing in the reported $170 million sale of an apartment building at 520 West 43rd Street. And, earlier this month, news broke that the duo had nearly reached a deal to sell 1370 Broadway to the State of Florida Pension Fund for $186 million. Both Ms. Stacom and Mr. Shanahan have completed over $60 billion in sales, financing, joint venture, advisory, leasehold and development transactions, according to CBRE.
Bill de Blasio (New)
Mayor, New York City
It is no small task to fill the shoes of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who the real estate industry largely praised for his pro-development and pro-business stances and initiatives. So far, the industry is giving Mr. de Blasio mixed reviews, but relief did come with many of his administrative appointments that signaled less of a divergence from the Bloomberg administration than some businesspeople had feared. Mr. de Blasio tapped Giuliani-era Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, also featured in this year’s Power 100 list, for his second stint as the city’s top cop, giving the industry a familiar face and helping assure some people that crime will stay in check under this new administration. Several other picks the mayor made will be critical in shaping the future of the real estate industry in New York City. Another sigh of relief came with the decision to retain Bloomberg administration veteran Kyle Kimball, also a Power 100 winner, as president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation. Mr. de Blasio also tapped longtime Goldman Sachs executive Alicia Glen, yet another person on the Power 100 list to head his ambitious affordable housing plan. The results largely remain to be seen.
Joel Seiden and Ofer Yardeni (39)
Managing Partners, Stonehenge Partners
Originally focused on distressed assets, these days Stonehenge Partners is investing in the opposite: prime and trophy properties in Manhattan. Founders Joel Seiden and Ofer Yardeni in 2012 partnered with SL Green Realty Corp. and retail titan Jeff Sutton to buy a $416 million portfolio that includes eight prime Upper East Side properties and retail spaces. More recently, Stonehenge bought 103 East 86th Street, also on the Upper East Side, for $76 million and converted 555 Avenue of the Americas, a site at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital into a 180-unit luxury residential building. With that project, Stonehenge brightened what Mr. Yardeni has called the “darkest block on Sixth Avenue” with revamped retail and renovated apartments. In January, they signed their first tenant, a new high-end fitness concept, at the transformative Village project. Last August, Stonehenge sold, also to SL Green, the luxury Chelsea rental development The Olivia for $386 million as the part of the office landlord’s push into residential real estate. The Stonehenge portfolio is valued at $2.2 billion, according to the firm.
Edward Minskoff (42)
President, Edward J. Minskoff Equities
The 13-story, 430,000-square-foot glass building at 51 Astor Place, now known as the IBM Watson building, is among the most buzzworthy buildings to hit the market in recent memory. The property’s status as a “spec tower” garnered much speculation regarding potential leases (or lack thereof), with months of silence finally broken in October when 1stdibs set off a string of deals that would ultimately include St. John’s University, MailOnline and, of course, IBM Watson Group. IBM reportedly beat out Twitter as the building’s anchor tenant, with Mr. Minskoff and the JLL team marketing the property reportedly pulling in rents that stretch well beyond $100 per square foot. Known for his unique sense of style and a love of art, philanthropy, squash and golf, Mr. Minskoff last month told Commercial Observer that he was “optimistic” he would have the building fully leased up in less than two months, and that negotiations for the property’s final two floors were under way. He has developed close to 37 million square feet of property in 10 cities around the country. More than 30 years ago, he started construction on the sprawling, 7.5-million-square-foot World Financial Center without a single tenant in contract and patiently secured giants like American Express, Merrill Lynch and Dow Jones.
Kyle Kimball (New)
President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Welcome to the Power 100, Mr. Kimball! As president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, Mr. Kimball is tapped with growing the city’s economy, overseeing billions of dollars in capital investments and implementing area-wide redevelopment projects. And he has had his hands full since succeeding Seth Pinsky in August 2013 as Mayor Michael Bloomberg wound down his final term and tried to push through as many “legacy” initiatives as possible. In his current role and in that of executive director, chief financial officer and executive vice president and division head for real estate, Mr. Kimball has been instrumental in delivering outer-borough economic development projects including the Gotham Center Project in Long Island City and the transformation of the Bronx’s long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice center. He has been trying to reshape Willets Point, Queens, into a shopping destination and residential district and assisted in the development of the historic Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which resulted in the creation of four new applied science and engineering campuses. Mr. Kimball made a transition into public service in 2008 when he joined EDC and oversaw the Transaction Services Group.
Doug Shorenstein and Mark Portner (36)
Directors, Shorenstein Company
Shorenstein Properties, a private San Francisco-based real estate investment firm with an office in New York City, owns and manages 25.9 million square feet of office and mixed-use properties nationwide. It has a firm commitment to sustainability, owning more than 14 million square feet of property LEED-certified at the Silver level or higher. In March, Shorenstein announced that it had received LEED certification for three different buildings in California. The firm, founding in 1924, specializes in the management, leasing and development of office properties and has stakes in Park Avenue Tower, 850 Third Avenue and 477 Madison Avenue. Shorenstein purchased majority stakes in the former two from Macklowe Properties for a combined $930 million in 2008. The 615,857-square-foot Park Avenue Tower, at 65 East 55th Street, was built in 1986. It was designed as a “building-within-a-building” for IBM, the tower’s original anchor tenant. At the end of last year, Grocon, Australia’s largest privately owned development company, was seeking $500 million in financing for the acquisition of a majority stake in the 35-story office building, Mortgage Observer reported at the time. Shorenstein reportedly began quietly exploring a sale of its stake in the beginning of 2013.
Paul Pariser and Charles Bendit (52)
Co-CEOs, Taconic Investment Partners
Messrs. Pariser and Bendit founded Taconic Investment Partners, which is an owner and operator, in 1997. It has developed a major presence in the Meatpacking District as that neighborhood has embodied Manhattan gentrification. Currently, Taconic and Thor Equities are finishing up construction of 837 Washington Street, a six-story, 55,000-square-foot office building in the area. Mr. Pariser is leading the effort to establish a Business Improvement District called Meatpacking Area BID and is the BID’s steering committee chair and the founder of two local business organizations: the Meatpacking District Improvement Association (MPIA) and Chelsea Improvement Company (CIC). The proposed Meatpacking Area BID seeks to bring MPIA and CIC under one roof and one name, and to provide maintenance, development and promotional services. Last September, the city chose a proposal from Taconic and collaborators to reimagine the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, Manhattan’s largest swath of undeveloped land below 96th Street. The estimated $1.1 billion project on the Lower East Side near the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge will
add 1.6 million square feet of commercial and residential space to a neighborhood neglected for nearly half a century.
Larry Silverstein and Martin Burger (28)
Chairman and CEO, Silverstein Properties
Mr. Burger, who took over as Silverstein Properties’ sole chief executive officer in January, and Mr. Silverstein, who continues to guide Mr. Burger’s leadership as chairman, are as energized as ever. Their firm, which boasts a portfolio of more than 9 million square feet almost entirely in New York, has $8 billion in residential and commercial development in the works. Those projects include the new World Trade Center office towers, a Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. and a Four Seasons Downtown New York Hotel combined with luxury condos at 30 Park Place—due at 82-stories to become one of the tallest residential towers in the city. While New York has treated them well, the developers have faced several snags in finishing their new World Trade Center project. Most recently, the Port Authority board on April 23 postponed a vote on a proposal to extend $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to help Silverstein Properties complete 3 World Trade Center, now stalled at eight floors. Mr. Burger, who joined Silverstein Properties in 2010, has continued his predecessor’s efforts to expand the firm’s presence beyond Manhattan and Florida, including plans to develop in China and Israel. Doing so has long been a goal of Mr. Silverstein’s, a Brooklyn native who many continue to call the “Energizer Bunny of New York real estate developers.” Mr. Burger recently received a nickname of his own: “Energizer 2.0.”
Steven Spinola (38)
President, The Real Estate Board of New York
Mr. Spinola’s name has become synonymous with the Real Estate Board of New York. And that makes sense since after 28 years in the position, he’s the organization’s longest serving president. In the past year, REBNY has been busy. Following Superstorm Sandy, the board was working on recovery efforts. Indeed, the involvement of REBNY members in a series of initiatives changed city, state and federal regulations and policies, amended and improved codes and regulations to rebuild with greater strength and become more resilient. REBNY suffered a major disappointment last year, however, when the New York City Council struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sweeping Midtown East rezoning proposal. But REBNY maintains hope that this year, with a new mayor, it can push through the plan, which would have transformed and modernized 73 blocks surrounding Grand Central Terminal. The real estate group has aligned itself with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration’s focus on affordable housing initiatives. REBNY, which now has its youngest-ever chairman, Rob Speyer, has plans to petition the state in Albany for the renewal of leasing incentives downtown, many of which expired late last year. Also in Albany, REBNY will be petitioning for the extension of the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program.
Peter Riguardi (47)
New York Tristate Region President, JLL
Mr. Riguardi, who has been at JLL since 2002, heads up all operations for the company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas. He is responsible for broadening the Chicago-based commercial real estate brokerage’s New York platform and oversees a team of approximately 1,700 professionals in seven offices. Most recently, he has been one of the outside brokers to represent Edward Minskoff in leasing deals at the new, Maki-designed, 400,000-square-foot office tower at 51 Astor Place. The firm has been doing well in the downtown market. Within an 18-month period that started last month, JLL will increase the broker count by 50 percent in its lower Manhattan brokerage office at 140 Broadway. JLL recently scored something of a coup when Robert Gibson, a top producer at Cushman & Wakefield, came on board to head up the Manhattan retail division. Mr. Gibson spoke of JLL’s “extraordinary national reach and internal culture of collaboration,” when he made the move, the New York Post reported. His move came on the heels of a series of office leasing and capital markets specialists who made the same jump. Mr. Riguardi is formerly the vice chairman and principal of Colliers ABR Inc., a company that he helped form in 1994.
Harry Macklowe (48)
Founder/Chairman, Macklowe Properties
In the battle for supremacy on 57th Street, Mr. Macklowe stands to be the victor. While Gary Barnett’s opulent apartment tower One57 is presently regarded as the tallest residential tower in the city, Mr. Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue will, once completed in 2015, stand at 1,398 feet tall and lay claim to being the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. The property, co-developed with CIM Group, will boast 125 condos, with the 92nd floor penthouse carrying a price tag of $79.5 million. As for smaller, yet still significant stakes, Mr. Macklowe last month traded the retail condo at 150 East 72nd Street to RFR for close to $20 million. Outside of his day-to-day real estate dealings, controversy still swirls around Mr. Macklowe and his relationship with son-in-law and former business partner Kent Swig. Mr. Swig is in the midst of a divorce from his wife, Liz, Mr. Macklowe’s daughter, and contends that his father-in-law “has conspired to ruin him financially,” according to a February story in The New York Times.
Dottie Herman and Howard Lorber (49)
President-CEO and Chairman, Douglas Elliman
Ms. Herman has come a long way since her time during the 1980s as a lowly Long Island broker. And today, she needs little in the way of introduction. Having acquired the long-running Manhattan brokerage Douglas Elliman with business partner Mr. Lorber for $72 million in 2003, Ms. Herman walks point today for New York’s largest—and the nation’s fourth largest—real estate company. More than 4,000 agents strong, Douglas Elliman boasts roughly $12 billion in annual sales volume and more than 70 domestic offices. Through a partnership with London-based Knight Frank, the firm’s reach further extends to 43 countries and six continents. Occupying the top spot here for New York residential brokers, Ms. Herman and Mr. Lorber share influence that is truly international in scope.
Tommy Craig (51)
Senior Managing Director, Hines
As the regional officer for the Texas-based landlord giant Hines’ New York City office, Tommy Craig oversees development, redevelopment, acquisition and construction of some of the biggest commercial real estate projects in the city. He has served as the senior project officer for huge undertakings such as 7 Bryant Park, one of few speculative office towers currently under construction in Manhattan. The Pei Cobb-designed building should be ready for occupancy in 2015 and offers technologically up-to-date modern office spaces for financial firms, law firms and tech companies. Hines has had a more active role in New York City of late, developing 53W53rd with partners Goldman Sachs Real Estate Principal Investment Area and Pontiac Land Group of Singapore. The Jean Nouvel-designed residential condominium will rise adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. Last October, Hines secured roughly $1 billion in financing—mostly from Asian interests—to build the tower, which would rise more than 1,000 feet under Hines’ current plan.
Mary Callahan Erdoes and Hilary Spann (New)
CEO and Northeast Real Estate Executive Director, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Ms. Erdoes, the chief executive of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, received a nearly $5 million bonus at the end of 2012, reports said—a sum on par with what J.P. Morgan Chase Chairman Jamie Dimon received. Since taking over as CEO in 2009, Ms. Erdoes has seen revenue rise each year, reports show. And with the help of Hilary Spann, the executive director in charge of Northeast real estate acquisitions, the unit has become a force in New York City real estate. Institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management got in on the $1.3 billion purchase of 650 Madison Avenue last September, and Mmes. Spann and Erdoes’ firm nabbed a 23-story office building at 125 West 55th Street for $470 million in April 2013. The division has assets under management of $1.6 trillion, according to the company, so it’s unlikely we’ve seen or heard the last of Mmes. Spann and Erdoes. “She’s an astute investor and is helping J.P. Morgan put out a lot of money,” superbroker Adam Spies told Crain’s New York Business, of Ms. Spann.
Pam Liebman (50)
President-CEO, The Corcoran Group
Ms. Liebman was a star practically from her first day at Corcoran, when she joined the firm as an agent at the age of 23. It took her just five years to make partner and another 10 to occupy the big chair. Credited with the key role of expanding the company’s influence in downtown Manhattan, Ms. Liebman has more recently spearheaded the acquisition of Citi Habitats and, perhaps most importantly, overseen the merger of the Sunshine Group with Corcoran Group Marketing. Corcoran Sunshine—a preconstruction planning and marketing strategy operation with ties to the company’s elite sales teams—has its fingerprints all over many of Manhattan’s most coveted and deliriously luxurious new developments: The Greenwich Lane, 56 Leonard and Baccarat, just to name a few. As long as high-end developments and renovations are driving the residential market, as it appears they will do for some time, Corcoran Sunshine is sure to continue to grow its influence—and its parent company’s sales. As for digital expansions, now that Ms. Liebman finally has a Twitter account, very little seems to stand in her way.
Paul Massey and Robert Knakal (54)
CEO and Chairman, Massey Knakal Realty Services
Messrs. Massey and Knakal celebrated the 25th anniversary of their eponymous firm last November, marking a quarter century that saw the firm close over 4,500 transactions worth more than $17 billion. Now employing over 150 people in offices across New York City, Westchester County, Long Island and New Jersey, the firm has come a long way since early tests during the savings-and-loan crisis called into question Massey Knakal’s long-term viability. Now a firmly entrenched member of the city’s real estate community, Massey Knakal continues to broker significant deals across the five boroughs. Already this year, the firm has arranged the $78 million sale of an eight-building portfolio in South Brooklyn, the sale of a 12-story apartment building at 200 East 11th Street in the East Village for $57 million and the $47 million deal for the former St. John’s Hospital building in Elmhurst, Queens. After 25 years, there are few signs of slowing down. “We’ve got significant markets left in the core disciplines of the existing business, but, when those are filled some time around the end of 2014, the conversation will be about geographic growth and growth in other market sectors,” Mr. Massey told Commercial Observer last year.
David Levinson and Robert Lapidus (43)
CEO-Chairman and President-CIO, L&L Holding Company
Messrs. Levinson and Lapidus have presided over significant leasing activity in L&L Holding Company’s portfolio so far this year. In January, the landlord inked a major new media tenant, Mashable, to a nearly 40,000-square-foot deal at the company’s 114 Fifth Avenue property. A month later, L&L signed a larger deal at the same address when MasterCard elected to take 60,000 square feet there. Earlier, L&L and its partners at Beacon Capital Group signed the retail giant Zara to a 30,000-square-foot lease at 222 Broadway in the Financial District. The same partnership divested a portion of its portfolio in 2013, selling the majority stake in 195 Broadway to institutional investors advised by JP Morgan. The sellers had acquired the building for $206 million in 2005 and though the value of the sale was not announced at the time, the New York Post reported it had risen to about half a billion dollars.
Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs (81)
Co-Founders and Principals, RFR Realty
RFR Realty owns some of New York’s most recognizable buildings, from the Seagram Building and Lever House on Park Avenue down to 17 State Street in the Financial District. Brooklyn is next on the firm’s radar. RFR’s most auspicious deal in the past 12 months was the acquisition of a six-property portfolio in Dumbo from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The company teamed up with Kushner Companies and Invesco Advisors for the $375 million deal (Jared Kushner, the chief executive of Kushner Companies, owns Observer Media Group, which publishes Commercial Observer). More recently, RFR picked up the retail condo at the base of Harry Macklowe’s condo conversion project at 150 East 72nd Street. Mr. Rosen, a prolific art collector, has come under scrutiny in recent months for his plans to remove Pablo Picasso’s “Le Tricorne” from the Four Seasons restaurant inside the Seagram Building. Mr. Rosen alleges his desire to take down the painting stems from the need to repair a limestone wall behind it, while others contend he simply does not like it. In February, a New York State Supreme Court Judge temporarily blocked Mr. Rosen from removing the $1.6 million artwork, which is owned by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Stanley and Haim Chera (37)
Principals, Crown Acquisitions
Chera family-run Crown likes to invest in prominent Manhattan retail assets like 666 Fifth Avenue. The company has also amassed a lot of property in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. It has owned properties in Downtown Brooklyn since the 1940s. In addition to being a real estate investor and operator, the company generates revenue through its brokerage arm, Crown Retail Services, established in 2011. Crown Retail Services has been active with clients including Planet Fitness, which has recently enjoyed a Manhattan-centric leasing spree. As part of Crown Retail Services, Haim was involved in representing Marriott Residence Inn owner the Carlyle Group in lease negotiations with Gap Inc. for nearly 19,000 square feet of space at 170 Broadway. Public records show that a group of investment partners—reportedly made up of Crown Acquisition, The Carlyle Group, Tribeca Associates and Highgate Holdings—purchased 170 Broadway for $55 million in late 2011 from AMG Realty Partners. Last year, Crown Acquisitions and Highgate Holdings purchased 650 Madison Avenue, a 27-story office tower sold by the Carlyle Group for $1.3 billion. While Stanley founded Crown Acquisitions, on a daily basis the firm is run by his three sons, including Haim.
Robert Alexander and Stephen Siegel (68)
Tristate Region Chairmen, CBRE
In 2013, Mr. Siegel led the CBRE team that represented L’Oreal in the company’s massive 400,000-square-foot lease at Hudson Yards. On the other side of that deal was, of course, Mr. Alexander. “If you look at Hudson Yards as an overall development, both the eastern and western yards, it is the most significant development in Manhattan probably since the 1930s,” Mr. Alexander told Commercial Observer last year. Those massive deals brokered on the Far West Side would be a tough act for lesser brokers to follow. Instead, Mr. Siegel and his agency team at 3 World Trade Center closed the long-rumored and long-awaited anchor tenant lease for GroupM. The 516,000-square-foot deal allowed the landlord, Silverstein Properties, to move forward with financing and construction of the property. (The Port Authority had just delayed a vote on giving Silverstein a $1.2 billion loan for 3 WTC as we went to press.) Subsequently, Mr. Siegel represented New York & Co. in the retailer’s 180,000-square-foot office headquarters lease at 330 West 34th Street. Mr. Alexander followed up the big year at Hudson Yards by representing UBS in the Swiss investment bank’s sublease of 250,000 square feet of space at 299 Park Avenue.
Adam Schwartz (34)
Head of Real Estate, Angelo, Gordon & Co.
For Mr. Schwartz, the head of Angelo, Gordon & Co’s U.S. and Europe real estate group, rising real estate values here in the states means time to sell. In Europe, where the markets continue to underperform, the incentive is still to buy. The global private equity firm, which specializes in distressed investments with total assets of around $25 billion, has done just that. This April, New York-based Angelo, Gordon and its joint venture partner Lincoln Property Co. sold their 12-story twin office buildings, Griffin Towers, in Santa Ana, Calif., to Blackstone Group affiliate Equity Office for $129 million. That sale marks the largest commercial transaction in Orange County so far this year. The firm now has its sights on doubling its portfolio in Europe to nearly €1 billion over the next two years, Property Investor Europe magazine reported in March. Mr. Schwartz, who joined Angelo, Gordon from Vornado Realty Trust in 2000, has overseen more than $6 billion in real estate assets at the firm. At Vornado, the University of Pennsylvania graduate focused much of his time and effort on acquiring public and private real estate companies.
Melissa Mark-Viverito (New)
Speaker, New York City Council
After battling Dan Garodnick for the right to replace Christine Quinn as New York City Council Speaker, Ms. Mark-Viverito was elected to the role in January. REBNY was declared a “loser” in the race by Crain’s Business New York, but the newly elected speaker stands to have a significant real estate agenda in the coming year, most notably the reevaluation of the Midtown East rezoning proposal, which was struck down by her predecessor, Christine Quinn, late last year. Recent reports indicate Ms. Mark-Viverito and her colleagues on the Council plan to create a commission whose task it will be to overhaul the city’s property tax system. The San Juan, Puerto Rico native became the first Puerto Rican and first Latina to hold a citywide elected position, according to her official biography.
Joe Sitt (60)
Chairman & CEO, Thor Equities
Mr. Sitt was one of the audacious bidders for the Empire State Building. Thor Equities offered over $2.1 billion in cash in its initial offer, which was summarily rejected, before revising the bid to $1.4 billion for the title and master lease on the building. Mr. Sitt and the rest of the trophy building’s suitors were left disappointed, however, after Malkin Holdings moved forward with its plans for an initial public offering. Undeterred, Thor Equities, which has grown to one of the largest property acquirers in Soho, Meat Packing and Fifth Avenue, moved onto other deals. Last October, Mr. Sitt made a $104 million deal to acquire two adjacent buildings at 562-564 Fifth Avenue. Already this year, the landlord has closed on the $326 million sale of 530 Broadway to Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties and the acquisition of two Upper West Side rental buildings for $85 million. In 2012, Thor purchased the entire retail component of 680 Madison (the Carlton House) for $277 million and recently signed Qela, a Qatari retailer, for more than $2,000 per square foot to open their first American outpost. That lofty figure was topped by Thor’s recent signing of Valentino at 693 Madison for an eye-popping $3,000 psf. And Thor acquired the retail portion of the former Milford Plaza from Highgate Hotels for $64 million. Outside of Thor, Mr. Sitt chairs the Global Gateway Alliance, an advocate for airport infrastructure improvement, which released an economic study of the New York area’s airports late last year.
William Lie and Arthur Zeckendorf (62)
Principals, Terra Holdings
When it comes to luxury residential building in New York City, the Zekendorf name is unparalleled. The brothers behind such successful projects as 15 Central Park West, 18 Gramercy Park and 50 UN Plaza need no introduction. The third generation of Zeckendorfs to alter New York City’s skyline, the brothers’ latest project to premiere—the 88 condominiums at 50 UN Plaza—is of special meaning to them since their grandfather, Trygve Lie, was the first UN Secretary General. The next project in the pipeline for the real estate titans is 44 East 60th Street, a 51-story condo designed by 15 CPW architect Robert A.M. Stern. “It’s like a 15 Central Park West, with the same architecture, same limestone, same windows,” Arthur Zeckendorf told the New York Times. Rumor has it that the 33-unit project may reach pricing as high as $12,000 per square foot, a feat that might sound daunting but makes sense when you remember that that’s what is being paid for the sought after limestone condos of 15 CPW. That building—a noted bastion of the city’s wealthiest that counts Lloyd Blankfein among its inhabitants—was even the subject of a book by Michael Gross called “House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address.”
Robert Stuckey, Mark Schoenfeld, and Andrew Chung (32)
Managing Directors, Carlyle Group
The private equity giant The Carlyle Group operates numerous funds that invest in real estate, structured credit, mezzanine debt and more. Helming those funds is Robert Stuckey, who, with the help of fellow managing directors Mark Schoenfeld and Andrew Chung, has seen a busy year in New York City. Carlyle sold its 27-story, 600,496-square-foot office tower 650 Madison to a joint venture comprised of Oxford Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, Crown Acquisitions and Highgate Holdings for a blockbuster $1.3 billion last October. Carlyle also sold a 56,000-square-foot office and retail building at 414 West 14th Street for $94 million last December. The firm, which has partnered with Extell Development on residential projects on the Upper West Side, also announced plans late last year to redevelop a 16-story office building at 920 Broadway, where it plans to spend about $10 million.
Nicholas Bienstock and Christopher Schlank (58)
Managing Partners-Founders, Savanna
Savanna made headlines in January when the real estate private equity firm inked Twitter to a 141,000-square-foot lease at its 245 and 249 West 17th Street properties. The deal was a coup for Savanna, largely because Twitter had been all but confirmed as a new tenant at Edward Minskoff’s 51 Astor Place, only for the social media company to be outmaneuvered there by IBM. Prior to the Twitter deal, Savanna reported it had closed 580,000 square feet of leasing in its portfolio across 59 deals in 2013. But leasing isn’t the only sector in which Savanna has been active. In February, the firm acquired the 20,676-square-foot retail condominium at 10 Madison Square West from The Witkoff Group and Morgan Stanley Real Estate for $60 million. About a month later, Savanna closed on the $65 million sale of a development site at 415 Eighth Avenue to a private investor. Back in September of last year, the firm was rumored to be in talks to acquire 1 Court Square in Long Island City.
Peter Hauspurg and Daun Paris (63)
Chairman-CEO and President, Eastern Consolidated
Commercial real estate’s premier power couple, Mr. Hauspurg and Ms. Paris together run a brokerage of more than 50 real estate professionals specializing in investment sales, retail leasing and capital advisory. The two have been married since 1983 and are active New York City philanthropists. Commanding the middle portion of the investment sales market, Eastern specializes in Manhattan investment sales under $100 million. Eastern brokers have busily traded a bevy of Manhattan office, retail and multifamily buildings for years. Already this year, Eastern superstar David Schechtman listed the Hong Kong Supermarket downtown for $92 million and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Brooklyn for $60 million. And three Eastern brokers—Ben Tapper, Marion Jones and Brian Ezratty—are up for the Real Estate Board of New York’s prestigious “Most Ingenious Deal” award of 2013 for the sale by a non-profit of a parcel of Upper East Side townhouses on 78th Street.
Sush Torgalkar, John Wolf (New)
Global real estate investment manager Westbrook Partners owns office, multi-family residential, hotel, retail and industrial properties around the globe. Recently, Westbrook has shed some of its trophy office building assets in New York City—and made tremendous profits. Last August, the firm sold 295 Madison Avenue to the Eretz Group for $210 million, according to published reports, and 444 Madison Avenue is next. The firm successfully exited its Manhattan residential portfolio of four buildings last June, selling to HFZ Capital for $600 million, reports show. That influx of capital might have helped the company acquire 223 North 8th Street in Williamsburg, where Westbrook proposed a 95-unit development last August. Just this month, Westbrook bought the Midtown South office building 31 West 27th Street for slightly over $80 million. Since its inception in 1994, Westbrook has raised $10 billion in equity for real estate projects, according to the firm. Sush Torgalkar got his start with the firm 14 years ago and has risen to the title of chief operating officer and functions as a lieutenant to Westbrook co-founder Paul Kazilionis, reports show.
James Cooper and Jason Pizer (55)
Rector and President, Trinity Church and Trinity Real Estate
The Power 100 list would not be complete without the leaders of Trinity Church and Trinity Real Estate, which with over six million square feet in its portfolio is one of the largest landowners in all of New York. Mr. Cooper carries the title of rector and Mr. Pizer is president of the church’s real estate arm. Though the portfolio extends across the entire city, the church has a special interest in Hudson Square, where it owns 40 percent of the local real estate. Earlier this year, Mr. Pizer was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Hudson Square Connection, a civic effort to improve business within the district. “In just four years, the BID, working with other area stakeholders, has crystallized a vision for the neighborhood’s future,” said Ellen Baer, the president of Hudson Square Connection, in a prepared statement. “Jason has played an instrumental role in determining the BID’s priorities, nurturing the area’s transformation and devising a strategy to create what will soon become New York City’s most sustainable neighborhood.”
Steven Witkoff (64)
CEO, The Witkoff Group
With the near completion of the 16-story luxury condo tower at 150 Charles Street, Mr. Witkoff and company have set their sights on other high-profile developments for the prosperous. A 70-story skyscraper the Witkoff Group and Fisher Brothers are constructing at 22 Thames Street in lower Manhattan is on track to become the tallest residential property in the neighborhood, city records show. The Bronx native and his partner, Scott Alper have teamed up with other established developers to build and acquire high-end residential and luxury hotels in New York City and Miami. In late November 2013, the Witkoff Group announced its plans to purchase the iconic Helmsley Park Lane Hotel at 36 Central Park South. That acquisition was done with the help of Hong Kong-based equity partner Jynwel Capital for $660 million. All in all, it’s a long way since the early 1990s, when Mr. Witkoff wore a licensed handgun on his ankle as he and his partner at the time, Laurence Gluck, took trips to Harlem and Washington Heights to purchase and manage their first residential properties.
Hall F. Willkie (66)
President, Brown Harris Stevens
It’s no coincidence that year after year, and with fewer than 400 agents, Brown Harris Stevens punches above its weight when it comes to collecting commissions on Manhattan’s priciest listings, holding, as it does, a sizeable chunk of the borough’s $10 to $30 million properties—from condos to townhouses—in its arsenal. The brokerage has some less modest homes for sale, too, of course. (See, for example, 15 Central Park West.) It also doesn’t hurt that Mr. Willkie’s agency operates under the auspices of Terra Holdings, whose co-chairmen are 15 Central Park West and 18 Gramercy Park developers Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf. In the wake of those buildings’ astonishing success—and the equally astonishing dividends sales they continue to pay to BHS star brokers like Kyle Blackmon and Paula Del Nunzio—the Zeckendorfs are currently developing a trio of 15 CPW progeny at 44 East 60th Street, 50 United Nations Plaza and 520 Park Avenue. It seems fair to say that Mr. Willkie’s brokerage will benefit heftily from those contributions to the booming ultra high-end market, and more generally, that the Zeckendorf brothers late ascendency can’t but bring Brown Harris Stevens along for the ride.
Hector Figueroa (98)
President, 32BJ SEIU
Mr. Figueroa oversees the largest union of property service workers in the U.S., with over 120,000 members. Earlier this month, 32BJ SEIU’s 30,000 building service employees averted a strike by agreeing to a new contract with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations. The deal will ensure the city’s doormen and porters receive a pay raise—with salaries going up to $49,402 by 2018 from the current pay of $44,389. The deal yielded a collective sigh of relief from residents of doorman buildings who had spent the previous few months receiving warnings from their landlords and preparing for a strike. Last year, the union was an active participant in discussions on a number of important real estate issues, not the least of which were Midtown East rezoning and the renewal of Madison Square Garden’s special permit. The union backed the Midtown East rezoning proposal and was a member of a coalition calling itself Midtown 21C.
Charles Cohen (72)
CEO, Cohen Brothers Realty
The multifaceted Mr. Cohen oversees a portfolio of properties and design centers in New York, Florida, Texas and California and also runs Cohen Media Group, a distributor and producer of foreign and independent films. His firm’s New York holdings include 750 Lexington Avenue, 3 Park Avenue and 475 Park Avenue South. A string of recent leases in White Plains at 333 Westchester Avenue, a sprawling 39-acre office complex formerly headquartered by General Foods Corporation, also made headlines. On the artistic front, Mr. Cohen has produced a number of acclaimed independent films and executive produced the Oscar-nominated film Frozen River. Just last month, President François Hollande of France awarded Mr. Cohen the Ordre national du Mérite for his commitment and contributions to the French artistic community. Mr. Cohen established Cohen Media Group in 2008.
Aaron Jungreis (74)
President-Founder, Rosewood Realty Group
Most brokers with as many listings as Mr. Jungreis have a large team working with them and the support of a major corporation. But Mr. Jungreis, a veteran of GFI Realty Services, is essentially a one-man show. Juggling his numerous cell phones (he’s said he makes 200 calls a day), Mr. Jungreis is known as the busiest commercial sales broker in New York. And while he has a support staff and junior brokers working with him at his small firm, that is minimal when you consider that in 2012 he closed more deals than any broker in the city, according to reports. After he started his own firm in 2007, Mr. Jungreis worked on a number of blockbuster deals, including transactions in numerous portfolios that traded for over $100 million. More recently, the Canarsie native sold the $247 million Dune portfolio to the Orbach Group; he repped both sides in the transaction that covered 33 Harlem properties. Mr. Jungreis is known for his efficiency in closing deals, an approach that has ruffled some feathers, but gave him a huge market share. “[Some] institutional players are more comfortable with a formulaic marketing process,” Joshua Eisenberg, a principal at private equity giant Urban America told The Real Deal. “But if you want an off-market or discreet sale, then Aaron Jungreis is the guy to call.”
68. Edward Forst (New), Bruce Mosler (75) and Ron Lo Russo (New)
President-CEO, Chairman Global Brokerage and President Tristate Region, C&W
There have been quite a few games of musical chairs at the property advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Forst became president and chief executive of the company effective January 6, replacing interim CEO Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano. His appointment followed Glenn Rufrano’s stepping down just three years after taking over the position from Mr. Mosler. The company is bringing in big business despite at least 12 high-profile defections since last year. C&W reported that its gross revenue increased 21.9 percent to a record $2,498.6 million last year, compared with $2,050.1 million in 2012. The firm scored a win with the hiring of former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as president of the new Risk Management Services. The company also got a new chairman of its board of directors—John Elkann, an Agnelli family heir who is chairman and CEO of the investment company EXOR, S.p.A., which became C&W’s controlling shareholder in 2007. Citigroup tapped C&W to replace JLL in managing its 27 million-square-foot portfolio of commercial property in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, C&W is the property manager of the common areas and key operational facilities for the new World Trade Center campus on behalf of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
David Hamamoto and Sujan Patel (New)
Chairman, CEO and Managing Director, NorthStar Realty Finance Corp.
American Realty Capital Properties is in discussions to acquire NorthStar Realty Finance, according to multiple reports. The two parties are in talks over an offer of $20 per share. The potential cash and stock deal would value the company at more than $6 billion, the Financial Times first reported. The offer represents an approximately 25 percent premium to NorthStar’s closing price last week. NorthStar Realty Finance originates, acquires and manages portfolios of commercial real estate debt as well as CRE and net-lease properties. Late last year, the firm gave RXR Realty a $340 million cash infusion that gave NorthStar a 30 percent ownership interest in the firm and helped with its diversification. The firm previously approved a plan to spin-off NorthStar Asset Management, its asset management business, into a separate publicly traded company.
Greg Kraut and Arthur Mirante (67)
Principal and Principal-Tristate President, Avison Young
Avison Young opened its New York office in 2012 and has been going strong in the areas of tenant and landlord representation, capital markets and valuation. In January, the firm was named the exclusive office leasing agent of The Strand Building at 826 Broadway in the Union Square area. Moinian Group chose Avison Young’s New York team, including Mr. Mirante, the firm’s managing director, as exclusive leasing agent for the proposed 3 Hudson Boulevard, located at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. “The Moinian Group has [worked] and continues to work with New York’s top brokerages on various assignments throughout the city and nationally, but Avison Young’s desire to establish a greater presence in Manhattan and exclusively focus on this emerging office market assignment made them the right match for 3 Hudson Boulevard,” said Moinian Group chief executive Joseph Moinian in an email to Commercial Observer at the time of the announcement. Toward the end of last year, the Toronto-headquartered firm was hired as the exclusive agent for 360 West 42nd Street, a.k.a. 578-580 Ninth Avenue. The property can be redeveloped into a multi-level retail space of 13,026 square feet or combined with two adjacent properties for a three-story, 20,500-square-foot structure.
Ziel Feldman (New)
Founder and Managing Principal, HFZ Capital Group
A former real estate attorney, Mr. Feldman has carved out a niche as one of the most active developers in the city. HFZ Capital has taken on both ground-up and conversion projects and last year opened up sales for One Madison, a luxury residential condo tower on 23rd Street in the heart of the Flatiron District. Co-developed with the Related Companies, One Madison has drawn a number of high-profile buyers, including N.F.L. quarterback Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen and News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch. The latter agreed to acquire the top four floors of the building for $57.3 million following his recent divorce. Elsewhere in the city, Mr. Feldman and his team were among the final bidders for 650 Madison Avenue, the 27-story office and retail tower sold by private equity giant The Carlyle Group to Crown Acquisitions and Highgate for $1.3 billion. After more successful bids on the Upper West Side and in Tribeca, the developer is converting The Chatsworth, a prewar building on 72nd Street, and 11 Beach Street. HFZ has made its name in the residential market, but it certainly isn’t the only sector in which the firm is active. The company bought Waldwick Splash Park, a 146,661-square-foot sports complex in Waldwick, N.J., for nearly $22 million last year.
Ron Kravit (59)
Senior Managing Director-Head of Real Estate Investing, Cerberus Real Estate Capital
Mr. Kravit, who leads the senior real estate team at one of the country’s top private equity firms—Cerberus boasts $20 million in total assets—has continued to bask in the glow of his firm’s buildup this year. Cerberus Capital Management’s Albertsons in March announced a merger agreement to buy Safeway, the country’s second-largest grocery-store chain, in a deal valued at about $9.2 billion. The merger, which establishes a larger force against leading competitor Kroger Co., adds further weight to the private equity giant’s arsenal of capital, a benefit to Mr. Kravit and his team on the real estate investment side. Cerberus has additionally kept its eye on Europe’s distressed property market in recent months. The New York-based firm this month acquired £4.5 billion, or $7.47 billion, in loans held by residents in Northern Ireland from the country’s National Asset Management Agency. Mr. Kravit, who spoke at a recent Real Estate Luminaries event at Georgetown University headlined by Starwood Capital Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Barry Sternlicht, joined Cerberus from competitor firm Apollo Real Estate Advisors in 1996.
MaryAnne Gilmartin (80)
President and CEO, Forest City Ratner
It wasn’t a big surprise last year when Ms. Gilmartin took the helm at Forest City Ratner, as she had already been immersed in many of the firm’s day-to-day operations. She spearheaded and helped develop some of the most high-profile real estate projects in New York City, including the development of The New York Times Building in Manhattan and leading the efforts at Atlantic Yards to build the transformative and contentious Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn. The first of Atlantic Yards’ residential buildings, a 363-unit property alongside Barclays Center, is set to become the world’s tallest modular building. Ms. Gilmartin also managed the 6.7-million-square-foot commercial office portfolio at Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center, an endeavor that no doubt helped in her appointment, along with MakerBots’ chief Bre Pettis, as co-chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership board. She is also a board trustee at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a member of the Real Estate Board of New York’s board of governors and a member of the industry advisory board of the MS Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University. Jefferies, a global investment banking firm, recently named her to its board of directors.
Jeff Citrin and Craig Solomon (56)
Principals, Square Mile Capital Management
Messrs. Citrin and Solomon “won a major trial victory” this month in a lawsuit with a Southern California developer over a $29 million construction loan from Bank of America that Square Mile Capital Management bought in 2011, according to the partner’s lawyers at Katten Muchin Rosenman. The judge in that case (filed by real estate developer Ronnie Lam, who sued the defendants for initiating foreclosure in 2012), deemed that the four-star hotel serving as collateral on the debt Square Mile had acquired did not have the net income required to meet an extension condition of the loan. The New York real estate investors have celebrated other recent victories outside of the courtroom in the past 12 months. In July 2013, Square Mile and USAA Real Estate Company teamed up to launch a commercial real estate investment platform specializing in the origination and acquisition of high-quality secured real estate debt. The platform’s sponsors said they expect to invest as much as $1 billion in the U.S. by the end of 2014, according to a press release from USAA at the time.
Kathryn Korte (87)
President-CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s is a name practically synonymous with the sort of luxury that exclusively lives, for most of us, on reality television. And as president and chief executive of the company’s real estate arm—a role she assumed in 2006—Ms. Korte has ably perpetuated and grown that brand, expanding her team by hundreds of agents and pushing annual sales past the $1 billion mark. It’s no secret that high-rolling Chinese buyers have lately occupied an outsized position in the luxury real estate game, and with great savvy, Ms. Korte’s firm announced in February the opening of the first Sotheby’s International Realty office on mainland China, in Beijing. That office, Ms. Korte recently told Commercial Observer, will serve clientele looking to buy at home, as well as funnel internationally-minded purchasers into New York City’s frantic ultra-luxury market. Win-win? It’s impossible to say just yet. A win for Ms. Korte? Absolutely.
Robert Tierney (44)
Chairman, Landmarks Preservation Commission
The head of the Landmarks Preservation Commission has great power in making decisions that protect—or allow others to destroy—some of the city’s most treasured architectural specimens. Mr. Tierney, a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, probably knows more than anyone in the industry that you simply can’t please everybody. The LPC recently came under heavy fire for not granting last-minute protection to the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street, all but guaranteeing that the century-old building will be demolished. The decision came after widespread community outrage over the planned demolition of the six-story building, which the LeFrak family and Vornado Realty Trust plan to raze along with two neighboring structures. On the flip side, a plan to demolish two buildings at 51 and 53 West 19th Street and replace them with a 14-story residential tower was more or less denied by Mr. Tierney and the LPC. The proposal from developer Panasia Estate and Smith-Miller and Hawkinson Architects was also met with fierce opposition from groups arguing for a restoration of the two mid-19th century buildings instead of their demolitions. The LPC ultimately sided with preservationists, with Mr. Tierney reportedly stating it is “the obligation of this commission to protect those buildings.”
Alicia Glen (New)
Deputy Mayor, New York City
Ms. Glen is the mayor’s main liaison to the private sector. As the deputy mayor for housing and economic development she is tasked with pushing Mayor de Blasio’s bold pledge to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years. She worked quickly to quell any dissension, meeting with some of the city’s key housing players ranging from housing advocates and nonprofit developers to borough presidents and real estate bigwigs. Ms. Glen, who spent 12 years heading the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, successfully persuaded Jed Walentas’ Two Trees Management Company to build 700, rather than 660, affordable units in the marquee redevelopment of the Domino Sugar site on the Williamsburg waterfront. “We are securing more of the affordable housing families in Williamsburg [that] need, and we are doing it by working together,” Ms. Glen said in a statement at the time. She formerly served as assistant commissioner for housing finance at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. At the beginning of April, Ms. Glen vowed to make a “deliberate shift in policy” from the prior administration, including “nurturing and growing our own workforce.” She also committed to providing a “pipeline” of New Yorkers equipped to handle tech sector jobs. Ms. Glen now faces down a May 1 deadline to deliver the city’s housing plan, essentially a how-to for creating those 200,000 housing units the mayor called for.
Ralph Herzka (83)
Chairman-CEO, Meridian Capital Group
Mr. Herzka has kept a steady grip over New York’s commercial real estate finance market, with his brokerage firm closing nearly $18 billion for new developments, acquisitions and refinancings throughout the five boroughs in 2013. Across the country, Meridian Capital Group closed a record $25.8 billion in commercial real estate transactions last year. Among those deals was $200 million in acquisition financing on behalf of a venture led by Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties for an 11-story mixed-use commercial building at 530 Broadway in New York. That three-year loan brokered by Meridian closed last month. The past 12 months have brought additional good tidings to the Brooklyn native, who has kept his stakes in other ventures. Mr. Herzka, a founding investor in Ladder Capital, the growing commercial real estate lender and CMBS originator that raised $225 million in an initial public offering last month, has remained an active member of the publicly held company’s board of directors. Meridian’s founding chairman and chief executive officer also played a key role in the sale of the Bethesda, Md.-based mortgage-banking firm Beech Street Capital, which he also co-founded, to the financial giant Capital One. That deal, first announced in August 2013, closed last November.
Diane Ramirez 79 (70)
CEO, Halstead Property
Ms. Ramirez co-founded Halstead Property 30 years ago. It quickly became one of the major players in New York real estate, but it’s in the last decade that Ms. Ramirez really turned things up a notch, having tripled the size of the company to 30 offices with more than 1,000 agents between them. Among the offices opened over the past year are those in tony enclaves like Greenwich, Conn. (Halstead’s second there) and rapidly changing city neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy that were until recently way off luxury brokerages’ radars. Besides pushing to expand into New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as the Hamptons and the Hudson Valley, Halstead has kept a focus on the city, snapping up Brooklyn brokerage Aguayo Real Estate last year to expand its presence in the borough as it improbably starts to rival Manhattan in terms of desirability. Ms. Ramirez topped off the company’s most successful financial year to date by taking the title of CEO—the first in Halstead’s history.
Stephen Meringoff and Leslie Wohlman Himmel (84)
Co-Managing Partners, Himmel + Meringoff Properties
It comes as little surprise that Mr. Meringoff and Ms. Himmel are once again ranked among the Power 100. The two are well-known in the real estate industry and have received plaudits from several publications, including two spots on our own venerable Owners Issue list last fall. The pair are principals at Himmel + Meringoff Properties, a firm which since its 1985 beginnings has amassed an impressive portfolio of boutique buildings throughout the city. Midtown South has been a particular boon to the company, with digital ad company Sizmek having recently signed a deal for 21,100 square feet at 401 Park Avenue South, where it joins tenants including WeWork, xAd and Vitech Systems Group. “The response to our aggressive [401 Park Avenue South] leasing efforts was extraordinary,” Mr. Meringoff told Commercial Observer at the time of the deal. Those efforts brought in nearly 150,000 square feet of tenants after an extensive renovation added new building systems. In another of the firm’s buildings, 30 West 26th Street, Samsung Information Systems of America recently doubled its presence, confirming that the key to Himmel + Meringoff’s success lies in its ability to renovate and improve buildings and to build strong, long-term tenants that are preeminent in their fields.
Elizabeth F. Stribling (77), Elizabeth A. Stribling-Kivlan (New), Kirk Henckels (77)
Chairman, President and Director
Though Ms. Stribling, along with her right-hand man, director Kirk Henckels, may be turned out in impeccable Upper East Side style (pearls for her and bowtie for him), and display the kind of genteel manners one associates with a far earlier era of boutique brokerages, Stribling has embraced change with gusto, showing that beneath the refined facade, Ms. Stribling is an incredibly astute businesswoman. One of those transitions took place last year when Ms. Stribling relinquished presidency of the firm to her daughter, Ms. Stribling-Kivlan. The brokerage also dived into the Brooklyn market (Stribling brokered One Brooklyn Bridge Park), to a major rebranding and ongoing expansion, as well as a recent alliance with the London firm Savills. Ms. Stribling has retained her firm’s sterling brand and some of the top talent in the city while positioning the company to thrive in a new environment where uptown vs. downtown and Manhattan vs. Brooklyn are no longer meaningful distinctions in the ever-expanding reach of the luxury market.
Burton and Jonathan Resnick (53)
CEO and President, Jack Resnick & Sons
“I remember I was with my father and at that time you [could] cut the air because everybody was smoking cigars and everybody was doing deals. I’d like to have a dollar for every deal that wasn’t done,” recalled Burton Resnick, the chairman and chief executive officer of Jack Resnick & Sons, in a 2012 interview with Commercial Observer. “Fifty years ago, 75 years ago, it was primarily brokers … but the owners were already there. The brokers were the leadership,” he continued. “I think the owners started being leaders in the last 40 years. They were always there, and I think it was only a matter of who smoked the longest cigar.” Burton spoke of a real estate legacy that spans over 85 years in New York that his and his son Jonathan Resnick’s family nurtured over the years. Owners and builders Jack Resnick & Sons opened shop in 1928 and has since grown a portfolio spanning 6 million square feet of commercial properties in New York and across the United States in cities including San Francisco and Philadelphia. In addition to developing and building skyscrapers, the firm takes a lead in sustainability initiatives and art displays. Its 1.1-million-square-foot 199 Water Street location is adorned with paintings by Frank Stella dating to the 1960s.
Tucker Reed (New)
President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
A new addition to the Power 100, Mr. Reed has been a staunch advocate for the city’s most populous borough. As president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a not-for-profit local development corporation, for more than two years he has supported the technology sector and helped establish the Brooklyn Cultural District. Mr. Reed was a driving force behind the push for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition, which seeks to have tech and creative businesses occupying up to 4 million square feet of space in Dumbo, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn in 2015. Having in his words made Downtown Brooklyn “New York City’s college town,” Mr. Reed is focused on making the neighborhood more of a 24/7 community by encouraging additional dormitory development. He’s also working on connecting the colleges, which offer homegrown talent, with companies in the area. Mr. Reed completed the arrangement to bring under one umbrella three business improvement districts, or BIDs, that Downtown Brooklyn Partnership manages—the MetroTech BID, Fulton Mall Improvement Association and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID. Finally, he’s looking at opportunities for increased public space development. “We have a big idea for 21 acres of green space that stretches from Borough Hall all the way to the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” he recently told Commercial Observer.
Norman Sturner and David Greene (79)
President-CEO and President of Brokerage, MHP Real Estate Services
MHP’s Norman Sturner and David Greene are once again listed on our Power 100 list. Mr. Greene specifically heads brokerage services as president and Mr. Sturner has the role of president and chief executive officer, dabbling in many aspects of the firm’s business. Throughout Mr. Sturner’s tenure, MHP has acquired and sold more than 150 properties with an aggregate value in excess of $11 billion. Mr. Greene’s own career statistics span 2 million square feet of leases on behalf of tenants and landlords and nearly $1 billion in sales and acquisitions.
Constantine Dakolias (41) and Ben Michelson (New)
Managing Directors, Fortress Investment Group
The two directors and their colleagues at Fortress, a global hedge fund, celebrated the start of 2014 with the rollout of the firm’s affiliated manager platform, part of growth plans in liquid alternative investment. On a more concrete playing field, Fortress and its peer investment firm Avenue Capital Group have agreed to buy the Milwaukee Bucks—a team that carries the worst record in the N.B.A.—for about $550 million, according to a league announcement earlier this month. The new co-owners plan to invest at least $100 million to build a new stadium for the struggling basketball team. In February, Fortress and the Bethesda, Md.-based multifamily lender Walker & Dunlop officially launched their CMBS joint venture, Walker & Dunlop Commercial Property Funding, which the companies first announced in November 2013. Production goals for the new platform include $1.25 billion in CMBS lending in 2014 and $1.5 billion in 2015, as Mortgage Observer reported earlier this year.
Albert Behler (65)
President and CEO, Paramount Group
The media-shy Mr. Behler made headlines with a big buy in Washington, D.C. last summer. His privately held real estate investment and management firm Paramount Group finalized its purchase of the Commercial National Bank Building, located within one block of the White House, from Tishman Speyer in August 2013. Mr. Behler and company paid $183 million for the historic 11-story, 225,000-square-foot property at 700 14th Street, NW, which was built in 1917, according to D.C. property records. Paramount, which controls a portfolio of office properties spanning New York, D.C. and San Francisco, valued at more than $11 billion and totaling approximately 14 million square feet of space, now owns six trophy buildings in the D.C. market. Those include 1899 Pennsylvania Avenue and 2099 Pennsylvania Avenue, which the firm purchased in early 2012. Mr. Behler, who is reportedly looking to invest in other office properties in D.C. and San Francisco, has been at his company’s helm since 1991.
John Sexton and Alicia Hurley (46)
President and Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Engagement, New York University
New York University, the owner of countless buildings in the Village and throughout the city, has been a key player in revitalizing the downtown real estate market. Mr. Sexton and Ms. Hurley have stood at the forefront of NYU’s grand and polarizing 2031 plan, which includes adding 6 million square feet to its Greenwich Village portfolio. The plan has prompted a backlash of Village picketers, but ambitious efforts to raise capital have at times reeled in $1 million a day. Still, NYU’s ascension in the college rankings and its expanded student body have led to some fairly literal growing pains. Indeed, shortly after the New Year, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge halted construction on aspects of the project involving city park space. More recently, Mr. Sexton caused a minor tabloid tempest when it came to light that he’d had two faculty apartments converted into a duplex for his son. Despite perhaps temporary setbacks, Mr. Sexton’s and Ms. Hurley’s ambitions remain intact and are not limited to the city, either. The two have developed satellite campuses in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Shanghai, China, in a partnership with foreign governments to bring academia up to speed in a swiftly globalizing world.
Peter Hennessy (New)
Tristate Region President, Cassidy Turley
In 2010, Peter Hennessy jumped ship from JLL (then Jones Lang LaSalle), where he served as an international director to Cassidy Turley as the president of the tristate region. Mr. Hennessy’s role places him as the leader of the company’s expansion, strategy and focus in the New York and Northeast regional markets. The firm’s office at 277 Park Avenue alone has seen its fair share of growth; the number of employees is currently 205 compared to 159 in 2010. Mr. Hennessy and the firm hope to build the workforce by another 50 percent in the coming years. Competition in the New York real estate market is stiff with CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, and JLL holding a firm grip on the industry. Cassidy Turley’s business has increased nearly 25 percent in the last three years, with notable deals such as H&M’s 48,846-square-foot lease at 110 Fifth Avenue, the College Board’s 145,446-square-foot deal at 250 Vesey Street and the Fashion Institute of Technology taking a 55,000-square-foot space at 333 Seventh Avenue. “The challenge going forward is to gain the breadth of strength and size but to also grow efficiently in order not to stifle the existing client connections that we have and need going forward,” Mr. Hennessy recently told Commercial Observer about the firm’s aspirations. “While we want to be larger, I think we all are of the mindset that we don’t want to be too big.”
David Bistricer (91)
Principal, Clipper Equity
So far this year, Mr. Bistricer has not captured the same level of awe that he did in March 2013 after Clipper Equity joined forces with Joseph Chetrit to purchase the Sony Building for $1.1 billion. However, the legacy of that deal, which coincided with a joint investment between the partners to convert the Cabrini Medical Center in Gramercy into a residential property, has continued to fuel conversations among industry insiders. The question many want to know now is what’s next for the dynamic duo that shows no mercy when it comes to snatching up Grade A properties? The Chetrit Group and Clipper Equity recently launched a teaser website for their conversion of the 46-story Flatotel at 135 West 52nd Street, which will reportedly contain more than 100 one- to four-bedroom luxury condo units, including five penthouses. Those units are set to hit the market this spring. Mr. Bristricer, who is expected to say farewell to 141 Livingston Street’s Brooklyn Housing Court after its 10-year lease at his building expires next month, now has plenty of space to fill as he continues to build his portfolio and personal brand.
Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan (96)
Chairman and President, TF Cornerstone
After Rockrose Development and TF Cornerstone became separate entities in 2009, TF Cornerstone retained most of the waterfront properties the firm had become famous for and continued to develop them. Most recently, the company began leasing 46-10 Center Boulevard, its sixth and final luxury building on the Long Island City waterfront. The firm owns about 3,500 units along its EastCoast riverside community. The 584-unit, 26-story tower at 46-10 curves neatly around Long Island City’s famous Pepsi sign and boasts an amenity package featuring a fitness center, landscaped terrace, private garden area and outdoor space that, along with stainless steel appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows in each unit, help command rents ranging from $2,200 to $6,000 per month—a major influence on rent increases the area will likely experience in the months and years to come. One of the residential buildings along Center Boulevard, The View, is a condo tower where sales have topped $1,000 per square foot. TF Cornerstone also owns Manhattan residential buildings including 2 Gold Street and 505 West 37th Street. Its commercial holdings include 230 and 387 Park Avenue South, 645 Madison Avenue, Carnegie Hall Tower and a number of retail offerings scattered throughout Manhattan and Long Island City.
Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin (New)
Co-Founders, Urban Compass
In September of last year, Power 100 newcomer Urban Compass closed its Series A funding round after raising $25 million. The investment, from Advance Publications, Goldman Sachs and four others, valued the tech-driven real estate brokerage at $150 million. Messrs. Allon and Reffkin founded the company in 2012 and emerged from “stealth mode” last May. With a combined résumé that includes names like Goldman Sachs, Lazard, McKinsey, Twitter and Google, the founders set about changing the traditionally-accepted residential real estate brokerage model. But early in 2014, the company pivoted from its initial business plan to a more traditional model, ditching salary for the more common commission-based compensation model. The company also expanded to its second Manhattan office this year, adding 9,000 square feet at 19 Union Square West to its first office at 155 Avenue of the Americas.
Paula del Nunzio (66)
Broker, Brown Harris Stevens
Once again, Brown Harris Stevens townhouse broker extraordinaire Ms. del Nunzio claimed the most expensive townhouse sale of the year in 2013, adding yet another feather to her already amply-feathered cap. Last year’s triumphant townhouse sale belonged to 21 Beekman Place, which sold for $34.35 million. The 25-year industry veteran is likely to claim this year’s townhouse title as well, with Reed Krakoff’s property at 113-115 East 70th Street reported to have sold for $51 million. And the megabroker doesn’t only trade in townhouses, she also has her foot firmly planted in what is arguably the most luxurious condo in the city—15 CPW—where she currently has a $65 million listing.
Andrew Heiberger (92)
Three years after Mr. Heiberger founded Town Residential, the brokerage celebrated its opening in the Meatpacking District, marking its 9th office and over 600 licensed representatives and staff. That added up to more than $2 billion in transactions in 2013, including enough high-end sales to earn two spots on the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 list of largest residential transactions of 2013. With a focus on customer experience that extends even to Town’s distinctive office spaces, Mr. Heiberger remains among the most powerful real estate machers in the city—he has expanded the firm into a major player in the crowded residential real estate scene and is a major force, even with a rocky start to 2014 involving a nasty dispute with partner Joseph Sitt. Mr. Heiberger benefits from having seen residential from all sides; he led the development of a 452-unit condominium sellout at 88 Greenwich earlier in his career. We expect Mr. Heiberger will channel his considerable energy toward carving out an even larger corner of the residential market for his firm.
Earl Altman (90)
Chairman and Founder, ABS Partners
“New York City is renowned and growing throughout the world as a center of commerce and culture,” said Mr. Altman in Commercial Observer’s 2013 Owners Issue as his prediction for real estate in 2014. Mr. Altman’s prediction about culture quickly turned into a personal reality for him as ABS Partners announced its work with Cindy Glanzrock of Glanzrock Realty Services, a real estate consulting and brokerage firm. Ms. Glanzrock selected ABS Partners as one of the first clients for its newly launched Building Art Curatorial Program (BACP), which seeks to connect artists and buildings. ABS’s 915 Broadway was the first property to receive an art installation. Bronx-based new generation artist Sen2 has two large cartoon paintings in the lobby, which was recently designed by Specter DeSouza Architects in a $1.5 million renovation. Two other buildings—1001 Avenue of the Americas and 29 West 38th Street—are expected to have installations as well. The former will receive three bright-colored lollipops and an oversized upside-down melting ice cream cone from artist Desire Obtain Cherish.
Jonathan Mechanic and Steven Lefkowitz (82)
Chairman of Real Estate Department and Partner, Fried Frank
Fried Frank’s Jonathan Mechanic and Steven Lefkowitz are among the top attorneys for real estate development in New York. Mr. Mechanic, currently the chairman of the firm’s real estate department, started his career there in 1978 and ascended to partner in 1987, working across real estate acquisitions and dispositions, restructuring and financing, and leasing practices. Mr. Lefkowitz sits below Mr. Mechanic as a partner specializing in land use, zoning and structuring large-scale, complex projects. The two have worked on closing some of the biggest developments in recent years, including Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Related’s Hudson Yards on the Far West Side of Manhattan. The firm also represented Coach in its blockbuster 740,000-square-foot lease at the Hudson Yard development’s first building, a transaction that made the project’s claims of redefining the city a more tangible realty.
Henry and Justin Elghanayan (85)
Principals, Rockrose Development
Before Rockrose Development and TF Cornerstone became separate entities, the combined forces of the Elghanayan family had the foresight in 2003 to purchase a 40-acre site along the waterfront in Long Island City, Queens, setting off a development spree that accounted for many of the riverside towers that are now synonymous with the neighborhood. After the family split in 2009, Mr. Elghanayan and son Justin took over many of the development sites farther inland, where they have spearheaded development in Court Square, with thousands of residential units planned over the next several years. The firm recently completed Linc LIC, a 709-unit building at 43-10 Crescent Street, which is the first of four properties that Rockrose has in the pipeline for the area. The developers are also constructing a 50-story tower with 975 apartment units at 43-25 Hunter Street, which is due for completion in 2016. The 50-story, 907,000-square-foot, 500-foot-tall building is on course to become Queens’ tallest, and its nearly 1,000 apartments would make it larger than any other residential building in Queens, according to the firm. Late last year, Rockrose purchased its new headquarters, a 150,000-square-foot commercial portion of 15 East 26th Street in Manhattan from the real estate private equity firm Savanna for $105 million.
Robert Ivanhoe (95)
Chair, Greenberg Traurig
As chair of the global real estate practice at real estate specialist law firm Greenberg Traurig, Robert Ivanhoe oversees 200 attorneys working on sophisticated real estate structures, financings, workouts, restructurings, acquisitions and dispositions. With a specialty in real estate investment trusts, Mr. Ivanhoe advises some of the largest owners and developers in the nation. In 2013, he represented the Chetrit Group in its $1.1 billion acquisition of the Sony Building, at 550 Madison Avenue. Mr. Ivanhoe is also a vocal participant in real estate industry current affairs and writes, speaks and offers commentary on regulatory and legislative changes that could affect real estate and real estate finance. He’s also well connected. Mr. Ivanhoe reportedly plays golf regularly with Steven Green of SL Green, the chairman of the REIT that is the city’s largest office landlord.
Jeff Winick (99)
Chief Executive Officer, Winick Realty
Nearly three decades ago, Mr. Winick founded Winick Realty, a brokerage firm dedicated to the retail real estate market. The firm was one of the first to specialize in retail, an often-overlooked sub-industry at the time. Now, the retail market continues to grow at unprecedented rates, with asking rents reaching thousands of dollars per square foot in some corridors. Mr. Winick’s firm is one of the preeminent brokerages in leasing and landing exclusive assignments with tenants and landlords across the city. Last year, Mr. Winick’s company received the exclusive assignment for Chipotle’s expansion throughout the five boroughs, Long Island, and northern New Jersey. The fast casual chain already operates about 50 stores within the city and looks to expand into spaces between 1,600 square feet and 2,400 square feet. This month, the team helped sign a deal for a 2,165-square-foot space at the new Riverdale Crossing complex in the Bronx. That shopping center expects to have its grand opening late this summer. Chipotle is one of many national retail clients that have turned to Winick for their expansions in the New York area market. Others include Starbucks, AT&T, Wendy’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Restaurant Depot and local favorites like Duane Reade and Gristedes.
Mitchell Hochberg and David Lichtenstein (93)
President and Chairman-CEO, The Lightstone Group
Few things can apparently deter Messrs. Hochberg and Lichtenstein once they put their minds to a project. Not even one of the most polluted bodies of water in the U.S. The president and chairman-chief executive officer of the privately held real estate investment firm The Lightstone Group are gearing up to build a massive 700-unit apartment complex on the banks of the notoriously toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. The investor developers are now in the process of taking down all existing property on the project site at 363-365 Bond Street, which runs between Carroll and Second Streets. Lightstone is also getting ready to break ground at nearby 388 Carroll Street after filing a new round of demolition applications to take down a storage shed and two silos, city records show. That Gowanus project has stirred the fury of neighborhood activists, another deterrent that has done little to stop the New York-based firm from moving forward with its development plans. The Lightstone Group, which Mr. Lichtenstein founded in 1988, has grown into one of the largest private real estate companies in the country, with approximately 1,150 employees.
David Von Spreckelsen (New)
President, Toll Brothers City Living
Founded in 2004, luxury home builder Toll Brothers City Living has built a nationwide portfolio under the leadership of Mr. Von Spreckelsen that includes nearly a dozen buildings in New York, with notable properties at 110 Third Avenue in Manhattan, and NORTH8 and Northside Piers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The firm’s highly anticipated and environmentally-conscious Pierhouse residential development in Brooklyn’s waterfront park is now open, featuring 108 large condo units that face Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Hudson River and lower Manhattan. Residences there feature wood floors from 600-year-old heartwood pine reclaimed from local warehouses, low-flow water fixtures and high-efficiency windows. In Manhattan, the firm recently filed plans for a 91,700-square-foot, 55-unit development at 55 West 17th Street after paying a reported $68.5 million for the site, where it plans a 19-story building with 5,230 square feet of ground-floor retail.