Sunday Summary: Shuffle Up and Deal


Be it something in the weather, or the water, or who knows what, the real estate industry was remarkably restless last week. Indeed, there were some very eye-catching people moves.

The biggest bombshell was that superbrokers Doug Harmon and Adam Spies ditched Cushman & Wakefield and took their superteam over to Newmark. (By the term “superbrokers,” we mean really, really super. The team did an ungodly $22 billion worth of deals in 2021 alone.)

SEE ALSO: It’s Not Just AI — Space and Climate Are Driving California’s Office Market

But this was hardly the only big one. Colliers (CIGI) snapped up CBRE’s Ken Manke to lead its tenant services platform.

Starting Feb. 27, Peter Cannava is taking over Wells Fargo (WFC)’s multifamily capital office.

Crain’s reported that Signature Bank (SBNY)’s chief executive Joseph DePaolo will be stepping down in March and that COO Eric Howell will take his place.

And L+M announced that Amy Cordone will be succeeding Lisa Gomez (who was named CEO back in December 2021) as the affordable developer’s COO, and Spencer Orkus will serve as president of development and as a partner. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of L+M, its subsidiary C+C Apartment Management is getting a new executive vice president in the person of Nikki Wernick.

Apparently, this is not a New York phenomenon, either. Down in D.C. KLNB also made a successful play for Lee & Associates’ Pierson Kreutzer, John Colan and Patrick Scanlon to join their investment sales team.

And Lyle Stern, the co-founder of the Miami retail brokerage Koniver Stern Group, announced he was shutting down Koniver to launch a new firm instead.



All this almost made us forget about a few unwelcome pieces of news that came out last week.

First up, Blackstone (BX)’s $271 million CMBS loan on 11 multifamily properties in Manhattan went into special servicing. (It was kind of an up-and-down week for Blackstone. Despite this troublesome New York multifamily portfolio, Blackstone also scooped up a 473-unit multifamily complex in Atlanta for $133 million.)

In Southern California, Simon Property Group saw a $295 million loan on The Shops at Mission Viejo likewise go into special servicing.

A fund tied to Brookfield (BN) defaulted on loans on the Gas Company Tower and 777 Tower in Downtown LA.

And RFR’s Seagram Building in Midtown is facing a $1 billion debt package maturity and is in the process of trying to refinance, which is a tough nut to crack in this environment. (After the better-than-expected jobs report earlier this month, it looks like some investors are bracing for a longer run of interest rate increases.)

Oh, and did we mention that Fortress is taking over the stalled, 71-story 125 Greenwich Street condo in FiDi? Well, after spending $598 million to pay off the property’s creditors, they are.

Turn that frown upside down

It wasn’t all bad news, especially if you’re in proptech. Camber Creek just raised a whopping $100 million for their Opportunity Fund I.

And, yes, while it’s a wee bit more modest figure, Rivet Work, the Detroit-based construction software company, raised $5.6 million.

And, like a lot of other sectors that have been drawn to the siren song of the Sunshine State, CO’s Phil Russo found in a report last week that a lot of proptech companies are also thinking about Florida.

“Miami is a phenomenal location,” Adam Mait, the COO and co-founder of DoorLoop, told CO. “The weather cannot be beat. For tax purposes, specifically for income tax, it’s a wonderful area. And we have great talent here. … If you look at Miami prior to COVID, it was really a laggard behind New York, California and Seattle. Since 2020, we have seen a huge influx of capital, talent, real estate companies and venture capital firms migrating to Miami, which is propelling proptech forward.”

Now, for something completely different

There were some interesting leases, mostly on behalf of the city.

The New York City Department of Transportation took a massive 156,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at 101 Varick Avenue in East Williamsburg.

And the New York City Fire Department announced a titanically large 200,605-square-foot industrial lease at 58-80 Borden Avenue in Maspeth, Queens, where it’s planning a garage and repair facility. Parking will be ample. (Apparently, the lease consists of a 31,600-square-foot warehouse and 170,000 square feet of parking.)

Finally, two businesses we honestly didn’t expect to see paired together — a tattoo studio and a preschool — took space at 80 Eighth Avenue. (Maybe the phrase “Born to Raise Hellions” will be inked on a few arms.)

Hail to the chef!

Tomorrow is Presidents Day, and that means a good rousing round of Hail to the Chef.

If you’ve got money to burn, we learned that Mila Omakase and three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn (who consulted on the movie “The Menu”) are hosting an omakase pop-up in early March at Mila in Miami, where seats will run $850 per person. So start saving your pennies now.

Sheesh, $850?! That’s more than dinner at the late, lamented Cafe Boulud! (One of Daniel Boulud’s many show-stoppers, but it closed during the pandemic.)

Actually, hang on. It looks like Cafe Boulud will be revived in the old Vaucluse space at 100 East 63rd Street.

For slightly more humble fare, may we suggest Emmy Squared? This is the pizza restaurant that began in Brooklyn and has become a national phenomenon. (Scatch that — an international phenomenon. They’re opening in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, too.) CO spoke to CEO Howard Greenstone about the brand’s success.

So take tomorrow to sit back with one of Emmy’s pizzas (or, even better, one of their cheeseburgers, which are served on a pretzel bun) and sift through Commercial Observer’s first-ever Power South Florida list.

The 31 entries include the very biggest and best names in Florida real estate.

And, if you can’t get enough, CO spoke to one of the most hallowed names in the business, Ugo Colombo, about Flatiron Brickell, Coconut Grove and more.

See you next week!