CBRE’s Darcy Stacom Starting Her Own Investment Sales Firm

reprints


The “Queen of Skyscrapers” will hang her crown elsewhere.

Darcy Stacom, one of the city’s top investment sales brokers, will leave CBRE (CBRE) after 22 years as the firm’s top broker to start her own firm, the Financial Times first reported.

SEE ALSO: Mike Tepedino’s Blue Light Capital Bolsters Credit Lending Arm With New Hires

Stacom is launching Stacom CRE, a boutique New York-centric firm that will offer “personalized” service in a rough-and-tumble time for commercial real estate, Stacom announced Tuesday.

The new firm’s small size “will allow for fewer internal conflicts,” the announcement said.

“Commercial real estate in New York and globally is in transition, and that provides a great opportunity for a new nimble boutique advisory firm in this space,” Stacom, who was the head of capital markets at CBRE, said in a statement. 

“As someone who can read and navigate markets, close deals in difficult circumstances, and who has the trust of the commercial real estate community, I think this is the right moment to strike out on my own. This industry needs more women-led enterprises, and I look forward to continuing to forge that path and bring the next generation of women leaders along with me.”

Though Stacom has been a voice of calm through four decades of New York City real estate cycles, her departure from CBRE comes at a particularly uncertain moment. 

Manhattan saw investment sales plummet last year to a total volume of $11 billion in 2023, a 45 percent drop year-over-year, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors. And on the national stage, a staggering $133 billion of commercial mortgage-backed securities debt was added to the servicer watchlist last year.

With Stacom out the door, William Shanahan, who has co-lead CBRE’s investment sales team for years, will carry on with expanded responsibilities over the firm’s effort to strike deals with property owners “that face special and complex situations,” a spokesperson for CBRE said. And Doug Middleton will solely lead the “strong and well-staffed” New York investment properties team, the spokesperson said.

A source told Commercial Observer that nobody from Stacom’s CBRE team will join her at her new firm.

Matt Van Buren, president of CBRE’s New York tri-state region, said Stacom championed diversity and drove many of the city’s most iconic deals during her more than two decades at the firm. 

Stacom’s tenure at CBRE has included such record-breaking deals as the $5.4 billion sale of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to Tishman Speyer in 2006, though litigation in housing court made it an ill-fated investment for the prestigious office developer. Within four years, Tishman Speyer defaulted on its loan for the 80-acre development and handed the keys back to its lenders.

Stacom also brokered the $2.8 billion sale of the General Motors Building, the $2.6 billion sale of 11 Madison Avenue and represented Google in its $2.4 billion purchase of Chelsea Market.

She also represented Tishman Speyer and Abu Dhabi Investment Council in their $150 million sale of the mostly vacant Chrysler Building’s leasehold to RFR Holdings and Signa Holdings.

The Art Deco icon was just one item on her “bucket list,” and while the sale raised eyebrows for its shockingly low price, Stacom told Commercial Observer it was quite a bit more than expected given the onerous ground lease the Chrysler Building has. (The bankrupt Signa put its 50 percent stake in the property back on the market last year.)

Stacom has taken to the “skyscraper queen” moniker, which has followed her around for decades, though its supposed origin in a 1997 Wall Street Journal profile is somewhat apocryphal.

More recently, Stacom came under scrutiny after a Business Insider report found that 11 former employees accused her of abusive behavior — including allegedly throwing a stapler toward one staffer — which CBRE did not discipline her for.

Stacom later apologized to staffers in an email after the report, writing the incidents were “taken wholly out of context” and that there was a double standard employed against successful women.

The departure of Stacom from CBRE comes nearly a year after another huge shakeup in the city’s investment sales world when Adam Spies and Doug Harmon departed Cushman & Wakefield for rival brokerage Newmark.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.