POSTINGS

and Reward
bout 200 retail real estate specialists gathered at 101 Park Avenue’s 101 Club on Tuesday for the Real Estate Board of New York’s 15th annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards cocktail party. Brokers flocked to a bountiful buffet and an open bar with generous pours. In a lonely corner, an ignored PowerPoint presentation summarized the nominees. Here’s what went down as the assembled waited to hear which of the nine submitted transactions would take home the evening’s two big honors.

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5:41—A sparse crowd of early arrivals apes the awkward mill-around habits of sixth graders at their first dance. 5:51—The crowd descends on a server who comes bearing the evening’s first platter of pigs in blankets. 6:03—A trio of middle-aged men camp out by the bar. The awards presentation still in the distance, they discuss golf. “Believe it or not,” one says, “there’s actually a great course on Staten Island.” 6:17—Barrett Friedman and Mael Mitterrand, the young brokers recently recruited to Murray Hill Properties’ retail group, say their new gigs are going well, discuss 21st birthdays held at Vegas’ XS Nightclub and predict the winners. Deals involving Fairway and Whole Foods emerge as early favorites. 6:31—The crowd swells around the bar. “I guess I shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach,” a silver-haired broker says to no one in particular. 6:46—A circle forms around REBNY President Steven Spinola as he lauds the nine Retail of the Year Award submissions. In a stark contrast to Mr. Spinola’s speech at January’s REBNY banquet, only a handful of audience members talk over him. 6:58—For bringing Express to a 30,000-square-foot store at 1552/1560 Broadway, David LaPierre of CBRE takes home the prize for the “most ingenious and creative retail deal that demonstrates exceptional broker acumen.” Mr. LaPierre steered the retailer there after it had grown frustrated with the glacial pace of negotiations at Durst’s 4 Times Square. 6:59—Mr. LaPierre “personally apologize[s]” to Durst, but adds that it “got H&M.” 7:02—SCG Retail’s Jacqueline Klinger and Chase Welles, who convinced Whole Foods to sign at 100 West 125th Street, share a gargantuan plaque, their prize for making the pithily described “retail deal which is most significant in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City retail market.” 7:05—Mr. Welles says the deal began with the goal of making Whole Foods “keep not

Top: David LaPierre of CBRE, Inc. winner of the 2012 Retail Deal of the Year Award for the most ingenious and creative retail deal that demonstrates exceptional broker acumen; Jacqueline Klinger & Chase Welles of SCG Retail winners of the 2012 Retail Deal of the Year Award which was the most significant in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City retail market and Peter Braus of Lee & Associates, Retail Committee Chair. Bottom Right: (l-r) Gordon Pelavin – Jones Lang LaSalle and Craig Slosberg – Jones Lang LaSalle. Bottom Left: (l-r) Joanne Podell - Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; Jeffrey D. Roseman - Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail; David LaPierre – CBRE, Inc.

saying ‘no.’” He adds that when dealing with Whole Foods, “patience is not only a virtue, but a requirement.” The audience, definitely getting the joke, laughs. 7:10—The CO asks Ms. Klinger if she expected to win. “We’re very modest,” she said, “but hopeful.” 7:17—Ms. Klinger, Mr. Welles and Mr. LaPierre pose for an endless stream of pictures and greet a receiving line of increasingly tipsy well-wishers. 7:21—“Who else from our group will do a shot?” a SCG broker says. He’s referring to a photo, to the disappointment of several peers. 7:23—Robin Abrams, executive vice president of Lansco and chairperson of the REBNY retail committee, told The CO that the award-selection process involves

early discussions with brokers, landlords, attorneys and owners, followed by a “whittling down” by the judges. 7:28—“I’m renting,” one broker says to another. “Wow,” his colleague says, “you really are a Brooklynite.” 7:31—As the evening winds down, Mr. LaPierre still basks in the admiration of his peers. “Wow,” he says to one, “it’s nice to be called a good buy in this business!” 7:32—Mr. Spinola tells The CO of retail’s “critical” importance to New York City, particularly in regard to sorely needed job creation. 7:39—Mr. LaPierre tells The CO that he was surprised by and unprepared for his victory. He praises the real estate industry as a benevolent “fraternity” and this annual event as a place of mutual respect.

20 | JUNE 18, 2013  | THE COMMERCIAL OBSERVER

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