Slideshow: Industry Titans Honor 2016’s Most Powerful at Park Hyatt New York


Last night, the Onyx Room of One57’s Park Hyatt New York was packed with a who’s who of New York City real estate celebrating Commercial Observer’s Power 100 (the annual New York City ranking of real estate’s most influential people) and Power 50 (a national list of the top lenders and debt brokers in the real estate industry).

Extell Development Company’s Gary Barnett (who erected One57 on Billionaire’s Row), Rudin Management Company’s William Rudin, Silverstein PropertiesLarry Silverstein and Wharton Property’s Jeff Sutton were some of the big-named landlords who circulated the room. On the lending side, Starwood Capital Group’s Jeffrey DiModica was seen holding court in the middle of the room while Citigroup’s Paul Vanderslice and Joseph Dyckman chatted with Wells Fargo’s Kara McShane.

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Leslie Himmel and Stephen Meringoff of Himmel+Meringoff Properties, an event sponsor which hosted a martini bar for the festivities, chatted with Marc Holliday of SL Green Realty Corp. as the evening was winding down. The event was sponsored by Chase, Polsinelli, Savills Studley, 32BJ SEIU, Berdon and Park Hyatt New York.

Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby, the founders of Brooklyn-based Brooklyn Flea, the largest outdoor public market in New York City, Smorgasburg and Berg’n, received the Rising Stars award.

“It has been really special for me to bring a bit of me into Brooklyn where my mom and my family were raised,” Demby said in an acceptance speech. “We’ve built a community there of vendors and small businesses, helping them grow and giving them a platform to do so.”

Demby said the duo was headed to Los Angeles in advance of Sunday’s opening of Smorgasburg LA.

“The amazing thing that has happened in the last 10 years is the extent to which developers understand that sticking in the high-paying Duane Reade isn’t the answer and isn’t necessarily the way to maximize their return,” Butler added. “We’ve worked very closely with a number of these developers.”

Design of the Year went to Santiago Calatrava and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for the World Trade Center PATH station, dubbed the Oculus. The architect, who was traveling and couldn’t attend, sent his son, Rafael Calatrava (who works for Boies, Schiller & Flexner), to accept the award on his behalf.

“We’re all proud to be a part of a community that values idealism, perseverance and innovation in its public architecture,” Calatrava said.

The Deal of the Year award was given to Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital’s Alan Wiener, Eastdil Secured’s Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies (Wells Fargo owns Eastdil), and Blackstone Groups Nadeem Meghji for the private equity firm’s $5.45 billion acquisition of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. Blackstone’s purchase, which closed in December 2015, was one of the largest real estate transactions in United States history, and ensured that 5,000 of the more than 11,233 units would remain affordable over the next few decades.

“As part of our acquisition of the property, we reached a historic agreement with the City of New York to preserve the heritage of Stuyvesant Town and to ensure that it remains a bastion for middle-class housing in New York City for decades to come,” Meghji said.