4th Annual Brooklyn, Queens Forum

Brooklyn and Queens have come a long way over the past decade. As new development and investment in the boroughs surge, owners are finding innovative ways to lure Manhattan-based firms across the bridge. While prime locations like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City have seen historically high leasing activity, some corridors are grappling with a market correction. What’s ahead for these ever-evolving boroughs?


KEYNOTE: Andrew Kimball
Industry City
John Brod
ABS Partners Real Estate
Helena Durst
The Durst Organization
MaryAnne Gilmartin
Co-Founder and CEO
Bart Higgins
?What If! Innovation
Whitten Morris
Managing Director
Newmark Knight Frank
Toby Moskovits
Founder and CEO
Heritage Equity Partners
Michael Rudin
Senior Vice President
Rudin Management Company
Christopher Schlank
Managing Partner
Shimon Shkury
Founder and President
Ariel Property Advisors
Glen Siegel
Founder and Managing Partner
Belvedere Capital
MODERATOR: Jonathan Mechanic
Chairman, Real Estate Department
Fried Frank
MODERATOR: Michael Zetlin
Co-Founding Partner
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP


scheduleThursday, September 13, 2018
Industry City
220 36th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11232

4th Annual Brooklyn, Queens Forum

Brooklyn and Queens have come a long way over the past decade. As new development and investment in the boroughs surge, owners are finding innovative ways to lure Manhattan-based firms across the bridge. While prime locations like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City have seen historically high leasing activity, some corridors are grappling with a market correction. What’s ahead for these ever-evolving boroughs?


Brooklyn and Queens have come a long way over the past decade. As new development and investment in the boroughs surge, owners are finding innovative ways to lure Manhattan-based firms across the bridge. While prime locations like Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City have seen historically high leasing activity, some corridors are grappling with a market correction. What’s ahead for these ever-evolving boroughs?  


Join Commercial Observer as our expert panelists explore Brooklyn and Queens, including:

  • The latest leasing and sales activity
  • Which neighborhoods are poised for future growth
  • The impact of office development on the retail market
  • What are Brooklyn and Queens owners doing to compete with Manhattan landlords
  • Transportation and infrastructure updates important to the growth of the boroughs
  • and more!
7:30 AM Networking Breakfast
8:25 AM Opening and Introductory Remarks
8:40 AM Brooklyn Panel
9:55 AM Queens Panel
10:55 AM Closing Remarks

ABS Partners Real Estate

Headquartered in New York City, ABS Partners Real Estate is a leading New York City-based real estate firm dedicated to building lasting real estate and professional partnerships. The firm offers a suite of vertically integrated services, such as office and retail leasing, investments, advisory, capital markets, property management and investment sales, that add lasting value for tenants, property owners and joint venture partners.

Aggressive Energy

At Aggressive Energy we’re striving to power New York and beyond with affordable electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and biofuels.  In addition to competitive pricing, we’re committed to our customers and have been offering reliable energy service for more than 30 years.  As a leading energy supplier throughout the northeast, we promise to uphold our premium service while doing what’s right for our environment and our economy.

Ariel Property Advisors

Ariel Property Advisors is a commercial real estate services and advisory company located in New York City.

Our company is unique to the industry in that it is structured like an investment bank, with separate divisions for investment sales, capital services and research. This strategic approach to commercial brokerage services allows our professionals to deploy greater resources and provide consistent, seamless execution to every transaction.

We cover all major commercial asset types throughout the New York metropolitan area, but maintain a very sharp focus on multifamily, mixed-use, development, commercial and industrial properties.

From consultation through closing, our professionals are dedicated to achieving optimal results for our clients. Combining the insights of veteran brokers with the latest real estate market intelligence, we find solutions that meet the specific needs of both the client and the asset.

Cultivating long-lasting relationships with the real estate community is essential to the success of both our firm and our clients, so we encourage all market participants to use our company as a resource.

Contact us today for Asset Evaluations, listing information, financing opportunities or our latest market reports.

Fried Frank

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s Real Estate Department is the top in its field. With broad experience in all aspects of commercial real estate law, we are capable of successfully representing our clients in all facets of commercial real estate transactions. Our clients are industry powerhouses that are responsible for contributing to the development and reshaping New York City's skyline and other major cities around the world. Our team advises on the acquisition and disposition of single assets and portfolios; mortgage, mezzanine, and construction financing and restructuring on behalf of borrowers and lenders; leasing on behalf of landlords and tenants; joint ventures; real estate investment trusts; real estate litigation; environmental; and land use and development. We work closely with, and regularly advocate before, various NYC agencies. By collaborating with our tax, restructuring and insolvency, and litigation attorneys, we are able to address all challenges that impact a transaction. The Firm advises the world's leading corporations, investment funds and financial institutions on their most critical legal needs and business opportunities. Our approximately 500 lawyers are based in North America and Europe.

Friedman LLP

Founded in 1924, Friedman LLP Accountants and Advisors brings a profound understanding of the real estate industry — the result of more than 8 decades serving clients involved in a wide variety of real estate entities spanning commercial, retail, residential, and more.  We have built long-term relationships with some of the largest and most sophisticated privately owned and publicly held real estate companies in the New York area and beyond. Our dedicated Real Estate Group brings a rare combination of highly specialized knowledge and vast experience in the tax, accounting, and business planning aspects of real estate ownership, investment, operation, and development.  

Beyond our core audit, assurance, and tax services, Freidman provides several unique services customized to our real estate clients' specific needs.  Our State and Local Tax Services Group is well versed in helping real estate organizations manage compliance demands that arise from multistate activities. Our dedicated International Tax Practice brings broad experience and deep expertise advising inbound investors into U.S. real estate and outbound U.S. investors into foreign real property.  We provide real estate clients with the tools and cutting-edge insight that they need to evaluate opportunities, make critical decisions, and achieve their strategic objectives. When a transaction is on the table, we ensure that our clients are armed with the most accurate and useful information and analyses— from valuing acquisition and merger targets to structuring deals to meet financial, tax, and reporting objectives to providing restructuring and/or divestiture/exit advice.  Through Friedman CyZen LLC, a Friedman LLP-owned company, we help clients protect their vital assets by delivering a host of customized services, including testing of a building’s internet enabled critical systems, vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, network architecture reviews, endpoint monitoring, and third-party risk assessments.

For more information, visit

Golden Key Realty Group

Golden Key Realty Group is a Commercial Real Estate office specializing in Investment Sales with a focus on multi-family, mixed-use properties, shopping centers, office buildings, hotels and development sites.

Under the leadership of its founder Evi Kokalari -Angelakis, Golden Key Realty Group has established an excellent reputation since its inception and its focus is building long-lasting relationships with its clients, based on mutual trust and professionalism.

Evi Kokalari- Angelakis brings almost two decades of experience in new development projects, closely collaborating with builders in the planning, marketing, and sales of new residential buildings throughout the city.

She has extensive experience and has worked as a senior manager for a large construction company focusing on DEP, Port Authority, MTA and SCA projects. That experience, intertwined with her property management skills and 20 years of investment sales record, sets Golden Key Realty Group aside from the competition.


I-LUMINOSITY is a family-owned business that is an industry leader in LED lighting and design. Our superior engineering capabilities ensure the highest quality in great product design. Our dedication to our clients results in fantastic customer service and top-notch, affordable lighting solutions for businesses from Fortune 500 Companies to small businesses of any size.

I-LUMINOSITY is committed to creating unique, affordable, and energy-efficient LED lighting. Our creative designs are easier for electricians to install and more affordable to buy and use, resulting in significant energy savings for our customers. I-LUMINOSITY has lighting to complement any design aesthetic. Our LED light fixtures are the perfect pieces to polish off any room or space. We offer one on one communication and are always available to answer any questions.

"We Are The Manufacturer, Buy Direct & Save."

HOST SPONSOR: Industry City

Industry City is NYC’s creative hub, housing more than 450 companies from design and media to technology and production. The six million square foot, 35-acre campus along Brooklyn’s waterfront is a thriving innovation ecosystem where 7,000 people come to work daily. With restaurants, pop-up shops, food and furniture retailers, communal lounges, and abundant outdoor space, IC is the perfect canvas for the content-economy. Just one block from the D/N/R transit lines and a five minute subway ride from Atlantic Terminal, one of the largest millennial workforces in NYC calls Industry City home.

MG Engineering

For over 25 years MG Engineering (MGE) has provided best-in-class, full service MEP engineering and technology design services. Their experience covers a broad range of sectors including corporate, residential, hospitality, retail, healthcare and building infrastructure. The firm has been named one of the top 500 design firms nationwide for the past five years and one of the best places to work in NYC by Crains NY.

Newmark Knight Frank

Newmark Knight Frank ("NKF"), operated by Newmark Group, Inc. ("Newmark") (NASDAQ: NMRK), is one of the world's leading and most trusted commercial real estate advisory firms, offering a complete suite of services and products for both owners and occupiers. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NKF's 16,000 professionals serve from approximately 430 offices on six continents. NKF’s investor/owner services and products include investment sales, agency leasing, property management, valuation and advisory, diligence, underwriting, government-sponsored enterprise lending, loan servicing, debt and structured finance and loan sales. Occupier services and products include tenant representation, real estate management technology systems, workplace and occupancy strategy, global corporate services consulting, project management, lease administration and facilities management. For further information, visit

Nouveau Elevator

Nouveau Elevator is the largest independent vertical transportation servicing organization in the nation. Nouveau Elevator Inc. has been in business for 30 years, and we remain a family owned and managed business, employing over 500 professionals. We have more than 7,500 elevators in our care -- including many of the most high-demand, high-profile environments throughout NYC and all 5 boroughs, NJ, Westchester, and Long Island. Our clients range from many NYC landmarks to sophisticated high-rise commercial and residential buildings, as well as many of NYC’s prominent retail locations. We also partner with most any building type imaginable including airports, rail stations, malls, colleges/universities, private schools, municipalities, hospitals, museums, private clubs, and houses of worship. Furthermore, we specialize in many high-demand, high-traffic areas including JFK, Newark Airport, LaGuardia, Grand Central Station, and LIRR.


Servcorp has been providing the world’s finest flexible workspace solutions since 1978.

Servcorp offers a unique formula which combines the most prestigious addresses, in the best locations, premium fit-outs, world-class technology, a global community of clients which is backed by impeccable customer service and support.

Servcorp now operates an international network of the most prestigious buildings and office space around the world. Whether it is One World Trade Center in New York City; The Leadenhall Building in London; Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong; Shiroyama Trust Tower in Tokyo, or Tower One Barangaroo in Sydney, clients can expect the same premium experience at any location.

Every office space, coworking environment and common space is designed with a sophisticated and premium fit-out, using only the highest quality materials and furnishings.

Servcorp offers a workspace solution for any stage of business whether it is a hot desk or dedicated desk for entrepreneurs, a virtual office for a business on the move, private offices for a growing enterprise or state-of-the-art meeting room space for important meetings. The wide variety of pricing options allow its customers unmatched flexibility when growing a business, without assuming the traditional risks and overheads.

Servcorp’s clients range from independent professionals to Fortune 500 companies across over 160 locations around the globe.

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, a leading construction law firm, provides sophisticated legal counsel and business advice to real estate owners and developers as well as architecture and engineering firms in the New York Metropolitan area and around the country.  Many of its attorneys have direct experience with construction and design issues through their work as in-house construction counsel, education and training as architects and engineers, and by earning LEED accreditation. The firm provides counsel throughout the planning, design, and construction process — from drafting and negotiating contracts to advising on risk management strategies.  Zetlin & De Chiara represents clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and also advises on business formation, licensing and corporate issues.