REBNY Adds Award for Retail Developments Into Its Annual Ceremony


The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) had its annual awards lined up for two notable lease deals, but this year added a new category for the lease-up of an entire development.

REBNY recognized Haim Chera, Edward Hogan, Jason Morrison and Jenniel Davis of Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) for curating retail tenants at New York’s Moynihan Train Hall in the new category “Retail Development/Project of the Year Award.” The honors were given out at a ceremony Wednesday night at The Starbucks Reserve Roastery at the foot of the Empire State Building.

SEE ALSO: Adam Neumann’s Flow Continues to Apply Pressure to Buy WeWork

“It was really fun leasing it up because we looked at retail brands that represent the best of New York City where we went after local eateries,” Hogan, head of retail leasing at Vornado, told Commercial Observer. “It’s one of these prizes that don’t just happen overnight. It was well over 10 years in the making.”

Cushman & Wakefield (CWK)’s Steve Soutendijk, who serves as co-chair of REBNY’s retail committee, told CO that the purpose of the new award was to bring developers and architects into the fold for its retail awards. The fact that Vornado didn’t lease out the retail component of the train hall to franchises of national chains, and instead focused on local favorites like H&H Bagels or Maman, made Moynihan a competitive choice for the inaugural award.

And who better to judge the significance of a new development than the 110 or so brokers who are responsible for leasing such spaces, according to Empire State Realty Trust’s Fred Posniak, who is also co-chair of the retail committee.

“It is part of their livelihood,” Posniak said. 

As part of the usual programming, REBNY’s “Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year” went to Andrew Goldberg, Jared Lack and Preston Cannon of CBRE (CBRE). The trio represented the landlord, Omnispective, in Aritzia’s 33,000-square-foot lease at 608 Fifth Avenue in June 2022.

“The challenge was that we were doing this deal on the backdrop of COVID as tenants were fleeing Fifth Avenue, not wanting to do big stores,” Goldberg said. 

The “Most Impactful Retail Deal of the Year” award went to Joel Stephen of CBRE and Michael O’Neill, Jason Greenstone and Taylor Reynolds of C&W for negotiating an 18,353-square-foot lease for Eataly at Brookfield Properties200 Lafayette Street.

“This is the first smaller-format location that Eataly has done; most of their locations are 40,000 to 45,000 square feet,” Stephen said in an interview. “We managed to land on a space that sort of is on brand with a beautiful facade and a landlord who understands Eataly.” 

Mark Hallum can be reached at