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January 19, 2010 The Weekly Newspaper of New York’s Commercial Real Estate Industry $5.00

REBNY AWARDS
SPECIAL

Finally.
Mary Ann Tighe Becomes
First Woman to Chair REBNY—
Now, to Business!
By Jotham Sederstrom

Plus
More on the 2010
REBNY Honorees

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The 2010 Real Estate REBNY AWARDS


SPECIAL

Board of New York Honorees THE FEIL ORGANIZATION


Lindenbaum, Greenbaum, Knakal, DiRuggiero and Korren snag top honors IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE
LEASE RENEWAL FOR

24,213 RSF AT
570 LEXINGTON AVENUE
Sacha Zarba and Lauren Crowley of CBRE
Represented the Tenant on a Pro Bono Basis.

Owner/Manager
Seven Penn Plaza, New York 10001
T 212 563 6557 F 212 563 6657
www.FeilOrg.com

T
he Real Estate Board of New York ruch College, member of the Board of member of the New York University Real sible for the sale of more than 1,050 ed Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of
on Jan. 21 plans to honor several Trustees; New York State Council on Estate Institute’s advisory board and properties worth over $5.8 billion. Government program for senior execu-
commercial real estate the Arts, member, 1976-1986, the executive roundtable committee of Mr. Knakal was in 1993 elected presi- tives in state and local government.
professionals at its 114th an- 1994-1999. the advisory board. Mr. Greenbaum also dent of the National Realty Conference, Mr. DiRuggiero began his career as a
nual banquet. Four of the hon- OP-ED Mr. Lindenbaum earned a serves on the boards of the Jewish Na- which made him the youngest president budget analyst at the city’s Office of Man-
orees are featured below, and B.A. cum laude from Harvard tional Fund as a presidential adviser, the in the organization’s 58-year history. He agement and Budget. He then worked
check out on page 30 our Pow- College in 1956 and a J.D. cum Jewish Guild for the Blind and the Jef- is also a very involved member of REB- as the assistant budget director for Es-
er Broker profile of Todd Korren of Swig laude in 1959 from Harvard Law School. fery Modell Foundation. He was selected NY. He has served on numerous com- sex County, N.J., eventually rising to be- NOTHING BEATS 50 YEARS OF STABILITY.
Equities, winner of the 2010 Young Real After graduating from law school, he by the New York City Partnership to par- mittees, including the ethics committee come the assistant county administrator

Estate Man of the Year Award. was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. ticipate in the David Rockefeller Fellows and the arbitration committee, and has for New Jersey’s largest urban county.
He married Linda M. Lewis in 1957. Program. been chairman of its sales brokers com- In 1987, he joined Williams Real Estate
 They have two married daughters, Er- mittee. He was also on the Commer- Company as a district manager respon-
ica Tishman and Laurie Lindenbaum,  cial Division’s Board of Directors, and sible for a midtown portfolio of office
Samuel H. Lindenbaum and six grandchildren. was elected to the Board of Governors. buildings, and shortly thereafter was 61 BROADWAY
Counsel, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Robert A. Knakal In 2003, Mr. Knakal was appointed to promoted to assistant vice president.
Partners to the Real Estate Industry Frankel LLP  Chairman, Founding Partner, REBNY’s executive committee. Mr. DiRuggiero then joined Swig Weil-
and Architects for 56 Years Winner of the Harry B. Helmsley Dis- Massey Knakal Realty Services Mr. Knakal won, along with broker er & Arnow Management Company as
tinguished New Yorker Award, which David R. Greenbaum Winner of the Louis Smadbeck Bro- Mark Massey, the prestigious Robert its vice president of operations respon-
memorializes Helmsley, his generation’s President, Vornado Realty Trust, ker Recognition Award, which honors T. Lawrence Award in the REBNY Most sible for 6 million square feet of Class A
most admired real estate executive. New York division the memory of one of the profession’s Ingenious Deal of the Year contest for offices in Manhattan. In 1989, he joined Where you want to be
Sandy Lindenbaum is of counsel to Winner of the Bernard H. Mendik Life- most esteemed practitioners. their nine-year assemblage of the east- Equitable Real Estate Investment Man- when you want to be in business
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel and a time Leadership in Real Estate Award, Robert Knakal graduated from the erly blockfront of Second Avenue be- agement as asset manager, and, for the
8FUBLFQSJEFJOPVSBCJMJUZUPQSPWJEF member of its land-use department. which is named for Bernard H. Mendik, Wharton School of Business at the Uni- tween 54th and 55th streets. next 10 years, was responsible for estab-
For more than 40 years, Mr. Linden- REBNY’s chairperson from 1992 until versity of Pennsylvania with a bach- In 2005, Mr. Knakal led the market- lishing the New York regional office of
PVSDVTUPNFSTXJUIUIFIJHIFTURVBMJUZ
baum’s extensive experience in land use his death, in 2001. elor’s of science in economics in 1984. ing team for the $138.5 million sale of Compass Management & Leasing, a sub-
QSPEVDUT DPOTVMUJOH BOEJOTUBMMBUJPOT  and zoning has been put to work in han- David R. Greenbaum is president of He majored in real estate finance and the Vanderveer Estates in Brooklyn, sidiary of Equitable. In 1994, he was pro-
BOEJOUSFBUJOHUIFNXJUIUIFIPOPS  dling special permits, zoning changes, Vornado Office, the New York office di- entrepreneurial management and was the largest privately owned apartment moted to senior vice president, respon-
variances, landmark proceedings, air vision of Vornado Realty Trust, which a member of the Wharton School’s Real complex in the borough. The proper- sible for Compass’ national corporate
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rights transfers, tax abatements and eco- owns a commercial real estate portfolio Estate Club. ty consisted of 2,500 apartments in accounts, including AT&T, Lucent Tech-
nomic development incentives for many in New York City that encompasses 52 In 1981, Mr. Knakal was hired by 59 elevator buildings. The sale price nologies, AMP Inc. and General Motors.
8FBSFBMFBEFSJOUIFDBSQFUJOEVTUSZ±T of the city’s most prominent commercial buildings totaling 22 million square feet. Coldwell Banker Commercial, now CB was $138,500,000. In 2006, Mr. Knakal Mr. DiRuggiero completed assignments
HSFFOJOJUJBUJWFT JODMVEJOH-&&% and residential developments and for Mr. Greenbaum oversees all aspects of Richard Ellis, as a market research in- led the marketing team in the assem- in Mexico City and in the Netherlands
the expansion programs of many of the the New York City portfolio, including tern. He returned the following sum- blage of the entire western blockfront for Lucent, and was a member of Com-
$FSUJ¹DBUJPOBOEDBSQFUSFDZDMJOHUP
city’s leading nonprofit institutions. ground-up development, redevelop- mer as co-leader of its summer market on Sixth Avenue between 30th and 31st pass’ management committee. As the
SFEVDFMBOE¹MMXBTUF8FVTFUIFNPTU His affiliations include the Real Es- ment, leasing and building operations. research group and, in 1983, obtained streets. This marked Massey Knakal’s firm merged with Jones Lang LaSalle,
FOWJSPONFOUBMMZGSJFOEMZDBSQFUJOH tate Board of New York, vice president He started his career as a tax attor- his real estate sales license. He worked largest development transaction to Mr. DiRuggiero was promoted to execu-
and member of the executive commit- ney at Weil Gotshal & Manges, and then that summer at Coldwell Banker as an date, at a price of $117,500,000. tive vice president with responsibilities
NBUFSJBMT
$"31&5%*453*#65034 tee of the Board of Governors; Met- joined the Mendik Company, a private assistant to a senior broker. After grad- for corporate clients. Solid, steady ownership · Unparalleled tenant services
ropolitan Museum of Art, honorary owner of commercial real estate, which uation, he started as a full-time invest-  In 1999, Mr. DiRuggiero joined the Efficient floorplates · Distinctive classic Art Deco attended lobby
"%7*4034 8FBMTPQSPWJEFBGVMMSBOHFPGºPPSJOH trustee; American Friends of the Isra- merged into Vornado Realty Trust in ment property specialist with CB’s mid- Trammell Crow Company as senior vice Beautiful views · Complimentary conference center
BOETVSGBDFQSFQBSBUJPOTFSWJDFT el Museum, honorary chairman of the 1997. town office. Ralph J. DiRuggiero president of property management and Exceptional access to all downtown transportation
Two blocks from Wall Street · Entrances on Trinity and Broadway
executive committee of the Board of Mr. Greenbaum is a trustee and mem- In 1984, Mr. Knakal collaborated with Vice President, Property Manage- as its regional director for the Northeast,
Directors; Peggy Guggenheim Collec- ber of the executive committee of the Paul Massey Jr. to establish a property ment, Paramount Group, responsible for clients including HSBC IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY
tion in Venice, member of the adviso- Citizens Budget Commission, a private sales group in Manhattan. They served Winner of the George M. Brooker Bank and American Express. Mr. DiRug- LANDLORD WILL BUILD TO SUIT · PRE-BUILTS FROM 1,000–23,750 RSF
ry board; Guild Hall of East Hampton, watchdog organization that monitors the as co-directors for the new specializa- Management Executive of the Year giero joined Paramount Group in 2001 as MULTIPLE FULL FLOORS CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE
2VBMJUZBOE$PODFSOGPSPVS member of the Board of Trustees; Cen- city’s and state’s fiscal policies; a member tion, and, in 1986, shared CB’s presti- Award, which honors the memory of the vice president of property management, FLEXIBLE LEASE TERMS FROM 1–10 YEARS
.BSL4JNPO $&0BOE1SFTJEFOU tral Synagogue, member of the Board of of the executive committee of the Board gious top salesman award in New York. late Mr. Brooker, the first vice president and is responsible for all aspects of prop-
$MJFOUTBOEUIF&OWJSPONFOU NTJNPO!CDFYDIBOHFDPN Trustees; Jewish Association for Ser- of Governors of the Real Estate Board of (At that time, CB employed an average for REBNY’s Management Division and erty management operations and secu- For additional information or lease inquiries contact:
vices for the Aged, chair of the execu- New York; a member of the Realty Advi- of 60 people in its Manhattan office.) one of the profession’s most respected rity for the current portfolio of 12 million Ramona Huegel or David M. Israni
8FTUUI4USFFU¬UI'MPPS tive committee; Association for a Bet- sory Board; and a member of the Board of Messrs. Knakal and Massey retained members. square feet, in New York, Washington
/FX:PSL /: ter New York, founder, director and vice Directors for the 34th Street Partnership, this top ranking until they left the firm Ralph DiRuggiero holds a bachelor’s and San Francisco. Mr. DiRuggiero es- “We're earning the right to be your next landlord.”
president; UJA Federation of New York, the Grand Central Partnership and the (212) 609.3700
in November 1988 to start their own
GREAT SERVICE
 of science from the University of Scran- tablished Paramount’s San Francisco IS ALWAYS
member of the board of the real estate Times Square Alliance, all public-private WWW.BSDRE.COM
business, Massey Knakal Realty Servic- ton and a master’s of public administra- presence and is responsible for leasing Daniel M. Blanco Raymond Chalmé
GOOD BUSINESS
888#$&9$)"/(&$0. committee; Real Estate Institute of Ba- efforts to enhance midtown. He is also a es. To date, Mr. Knakal has been respon- tion from Baruch College. He also attend- in that market.

24 January 19, 2010 observer.com | the commercial observer the commercial observer | observer.com January 19, 2010 25
CONCRETE THOUGHTS
REBNY AWARDS
SPECIAL

A Thank-You Note
This REBNY honoree has many to thank for success in his
accidental vocation

I
was sincerely humbled to learn eyed kid. Jack Fatigati was always grand dinner at Smith & Wollensky. we regard very highly and consid- day, having sold many properties
that I was going to be this year’s willing to answer any of the hun- Gerry was a 50-year veteran of CB er our good friends. In addition to for him over the years.
recipient of the Real Estate dreds of questions I had, and Tom who could not have been nicer to many others, these include Darcy Gary Barnett and Dov Hertz con-
Board of New York’s Louis Smad- Mallaney taught me that, despite us. Unfortunately, he passed away Stacom and Bill Shanahan at CB tinue to impress me with their in-
beck Broker Recognition Award. the commonly accepted rule, nice last year, but Paul and I will always Richard Ellis; Ron Cohen, Richard sightful knowledge and straight-
I’m extraordinarily appreciative guys can finish first. I’m fortunate remember his kindness to us in our Baxter, Scott Latham and Jon Ca- forward approach. Seventeen years
to REBNY, Steve Spinola, Bill Mon- to count Jack and Tom among my formative years. In two weeks, our plan at Cushman & Wakefield; Pe- of transactions later, I remain ap-
tana and the commercial board of good friends to this day, nearly 30 firm will present the 21st annual ter Hauspurg and Brian Ezratty at preciative of what they’ve done for
directors for this honor—and to years later. Gerald W. Bridges Salesman of the Eastern Consolidated; and Woody me. Frank Patafio, Russ Appel and
everyone who has, even tangen- Year Award to our top agent. Heller at Studley. They are all the Joel Wiener continue to show con-

A
tially, been a part of this wonder- fter graduating from Whar- In the early days of prospecting, finest of professionals and among fidence in me year after year, and
ful ride. ton, I decided to take a full- I was fortunate to stumble upon the nicest people you could meet. I’m very grateful. Joe Sitt has been
Probably the nicest thing about time position with CB in their Louis Brause, who owned two prop- Other brokers have helped me consistently great to work with,
being notified that I would receive Manhattan office. On my first day erties in the territory I was cover- in many ways. Mary Ann Tighe has and Andy Davidoff has not only
this award is that it made me take on the job, I met this other young ing. In my first cold call to him, I ex- been an inspirational leader in our been a wonderful client but has be-
a step back and consider the whole guy named Paul Massey. He had plained that I wanted to meet with industry and I congratulate her on come a valued friend.
history of my career. And worked for CB in the him to discuss what Paul and I were becoming the first woman to chair But no matter how small the
when I did that, I imme- same summer program, up to in our new division at Cold- REBNY. Steve Siegel is my real es- transaction, without the confi-
diately started thinking in Boston, and he’d also well. Lou suggested a meeting at tate big brother who has always dence and trust of each client, a
of all the people who’ve decided to give the build- his office at 52 Vanderbilt Avenue. I been there with the right advice track record cannot grow. There-
helped me along the way, ing sales business a go in said, “Vanderbilt Avenue? Where’s at just the right time, and I could fore, I’m extraordinarily thankful
without whom I would the Big Apple. CB had that?” I can just imagine what kind never forget one of the first bro- to each and every client with whom
never have been consid- about 50 office leasing of second thoughts that response kers I co-brokered a sale with, Sid- I’ve ever worked.
ered for this recognition. brokers in New York at must have given him. Fortunately ney Rosenthal, who taught me a lot The many past and present
My first serious expo- the time, and four build- for Paul and me, Lou kept the meet- about what being a sales broker members of my Massey Knakal
sure to the real estate in- ing sales brokers, includ- ing and became a great friend to us. was all about. family have had a huge hand in
dustry took place by acci- ing Paul. The three other I’m especially honored and flat- that track record—from all of my
dent, during spring break
of my freshman year at Robert Knakal sales brokers each had
about 20 years of expe-
tered when I note that this award
puts me in the company of so many
partners, including John Ciraulo,
Tom Donovan, James Nelson, Shi-
the Wharton School, in Columnist rience and wanted noth- There was no Web in 1981, legendary brokers whom I respect mon Shkury, Christy Moyle, and
1981, when I, along with ing to do with the young and admire, including Steve Sie- Mike Wlody; to our management
just about every oth- kids—so, on my second so I went to the library prior gel, Ray O’Keefe, Dan Gronich, team, including Gia LaMarca, Kyle
er Wharton kid, wanted to be the day on the job, Paul and I formed to the interview to do some Stephen Riker, Ben Fox, Mary Ann Mast and Ken Krasnow; to each
next hot shot to take over Wall a partnership that has lasted for Tighe, Eugene Hegy, Bruce Mos- broker; to our part-time interns.
Street. I wanted a summer job that 26 years and counting. Thousands research on this bank so ler, Earl Atlman and my partner, My personal team members, Jon
would look good on my résumé, so of days and tens of thousands of that I’d be prepared. When Paul Massey, who was the recipi- Hageman, Elysa Berlin, Tom Wil-
I applied at every commercial bank conversations later, I can say that ent three years ago. This recog- loughby, Kevin Gleason and Greg
and investment bank I saw in Ber- I have been so lucky to have a great I discovered that Coldwell nition is particularly meaningful Postyn, and my personal assistant,
gen County (which is where I grew business partner who has driven Banker was a real estate to me as Lou Smadbeck was one Erin Mitchell, are second to none
up). I walked out of a Paine Web- me to do better than my best every of those early members of the in terms of supporting my efforts.
ber office in Continental Plaza and, day. Thank you, Paul. company, I almost didn’t go Sales Brokers Committee whom I Past team members include Danny
across the hall, I saw “Coldwell The CB years were so much fun. to the interview. learned so much from. He was gra- Hagan, Mike Desjadon, Mike So-
Banker.” I thought it was another There was a group of us who all cious enough to send Paul and me leimani, David Kalish, Casey Mc-
bank, so I dropped my résumé off started together and went through a kind letter in November of 1988, Cormack, J.J. Stanton, Meyrick
there, too. the “start-up phase” of what was a congratulating us on the opening Ferguson, Michael Decheser, Peter
Just a few hours later, I received very challenging but exciting busi- of our firm. That letter, and a photo DeCheser and James Nelson, who
a phone call asking me to come in ness. Johnny Maher, Kevin Danehy, Another of our company awards is of Lou, hangs in the reception area is not only a partner but is a top
for an interview the next day. There Paul Myers, Bob Stella, Bob Law, named in his honor, recognizing all of our Manhattan office. producer at the firm.
was no Web in 1981, so I went to the Kim Mogul, Jackie Mansfield and of the guidance he provided. All I can say is thank you to all

I
library prior to the interview to do many others were all there with As our careers progressed, Paul can also think of so many clients of you, mentioned here or not,
some research on this bank so that Paul and me, and we all fought to and I became aware of the Real Es- to whom I owe so much. I apol- who have participated in transac-
I’d be prepared. When I discovered make our mark on the industry. tate Board of New York and the tre- ogize to each of you for not be- tions with me. This is a business in
that Coldwell Banker was a real es- Dinners often consisted of one pur- mendous work it does on behalf ing able to mention you all here by which success cannot be attained
tate company, I almost didn’t go chased beer and the systematic dis- of our industry. In the mid-1980s, name. I must, however, acknowl- without significant help. I’ve been
to the interview. But I went, and it mantling of the free hors d’oeuvres we both set the goal of becoming edge a few. I’ll be forever grateful very lucky to have had so many
was the only company to offer me bar at the Charley O’s in the ground members of REBNY’s Sales Brokers to Harry Macklowe for allowing me wonderful people to enjoy this in-
summer employment, so I took the floor of 437 Madison Avenue. Committee—and after months of to represent him in several transac- credible job with, and also lucky to
job somewhat reluctantly. Paul and I closed our first harassing Jack Hill, who oversaw tions, including the sale of his mul- have accidentally found a vocation
From my first day there, I loved transaction in March of 1985, a the committee in those days, we tifamily portfolio, one of the most I love so much.
it. It was an energetic environment 20,000-square-foot commercial finally did. It was on that commit- rewarding transactions I’ve ever rknakal@masseyknakal.com
with hardworking people making building located at 1421 Third Av- tee that we made several of the worked on. Before Ofer Yardeni be-
a lot of money and having a lot of enue that almost burned down the relationships that we still cherish came the maverick investor that he Robert Knakal is the chairman and
fun. The result was three college night before the closing. But the to this day. The comradely nature is today, he was a sales broker, and founding partner of Massey Knakal
summers working at CB. It was building survived; the sale closed; of the sales brokerage business in we completed the sale of a prop- Realty Services, and has brokered
there that I developed friendships and when we got back to the office, New York would surprise many erty on West 28th Street together the sale of more than 1,050 proper-
with two senior brokers who were our mentor, Gerry Bridges, was people. Among our competitors, in the early 1990s. I’m honored to ties in his career.
willing to befriend a young, wide- happy to take “the rookies” to a we’ve met a lot of people whom count him as one of my clients to-

26 January 19, 2010 observer.com | the commercial observer


the sit-Down
REBNY AWARDS
SPECIAL

Madame Chair
CB Richard Ellis’ Mary Ann Tighe
on REBNY 2010, recent leases and
Mayor Bloomberg
By Jotham Sederstrom a very happy thing to wake up in the
Another priority is that we want
to seek more federal infrastructure morning and know crime is down in
The Commercial Observer: dollars because New York City has New York. It’s a wonderful thing to
Congratulations on becoming not gotten its fair share. realize that there are fewer deaths in
chairwoman for the Real Estate We want to support immigration the Fire Department. And it’s won-
Board of New York. What will be reform, and, finally, we want to en- derful to know he’s continuing to
your first order of business as courage everyone to participate in fight the good fight for the schools of
chairwoman? the 2010 census. the city, and our role at REBNY is to
Ms. Tighe: Last week, I met with make sure the physical environment
the executive committee of REB- Looking inward, do you have a keeps up with his grand vision.
NY. In the last quarter of 2009, I cohesive vision for REBNY?
joked that I went on a listening tour, REBNY’s structure is a strong You’re the first woman to be
where I met with as many members and very healthy structure. I think if elected chairman in REBNY’s
as I could of the board of governors there was any area of focus, it’s that 113-year history. Is that shock-
and the executive committee and as we want to continue to expand the ing to you? Is it a significant
many of the past chairmen as were membership. We’re 12,000 strong benchmark in your mind?
able to find time to meet. [REBNY now, but we want to bring in more It means a great deal to me, but I
president] Steve Spinola, his staff young members. can’t say that I’m shocked, because
and myself put together priorities our industry has tended to be slow
for REBNY to focus on in 2010. We to change. I think that’s probably the
talked to the executive committee best way to describe it. I think it’s
and got their sign-off on those pri- only within the last 20 years or so
orities, and we’ve begun to organize
‘[W]e’re concerned because that you’re beginning to see the fe-
ourselves around those priorities. the unemployment rate male membership of the Real Estate I don’t think most people thought Earlier this month, legendary CB Rich-
among the construction Board growing significantly. I don’t was coming into development any- ard Ellis tristate chief executive Mary
And what are those priorities? mean that historically there haven’t time soon. Ann Tighe officially moved into her
We put together a collection of trades is 25 percent in the been important women in New York new role as chairwoman of the power-
priorities that really are aimed not city right now and there are real estate—because there are many You were honored with a ‘Life- ful Real Estate Board of New York. The
only at real estate but also at things of them—but they have been iso- time Achievement’ award by Commercial Observer spoke to Ms.
we believe are critical for the well- over 500 projects that are lated cases. The good news now is, REBNY at its award ceremony. Tighe last week about her place in real
being of the city. The first priority stopped; so we want to work, there have been a number of women That must be a little weird, estate history, the city’s revitalization
is to advocate for programs that in- in our industry who would qualify to right? and her priorities for REBNY.
centivize job creation and reten- in general, with the city to be chairman of the Real Estate Board, You know, I suddenly thought to
tion in New York City, and we’re ac- try to deal with unemploy- and what’s nice is that the executive myself, ‘Oh my! Am I that old?’ On
tually making a specific proposal, committee and our president, Steve the other hand, that night was so gotten to that. [laughs] I’m sure I
which our economic development ment in the trades as well Spinola, has decided it was time to fun. I always joke that 25 years ago, would enjoy it, though.
committee has put together for the as some of the jobs that are recognize somebody. But, believe I was so intimidated by the event,
[Economic Development Corpora- me, there are several others who and now it seems like I’m going to a Let’s shift from the Jacksons
tion], for tax credits related to peo- troubled.’ could just as well be in my role. family wedding. I mean, it has that and go back to real estate.
ple who are bringing new employees kind of festive feeling for me, so the What’s your outlook for 2010?
to the city. The second priority is to You’ve been hailed as one of the award just added to that. I think we’re already in the pro-
advocate for fiscal discipline at the most influential women in New cess of seeing an uptick. In the leas-
city and state level. The third prior- You mentioned the Buildings York City by the New York Post. In a previous life, you worked at ing market in Manhattan, we’re
ity is to work with all relevant par- Department. With REBNY being Do you agree with that state- ABC, where you helped to create seeing an increase in activity. The
ties to encourage the development such a powerful lobby, I’d love ment? the A&E network. What do you five-year rolling average in midtown
of affordable housing. The fourth is to hear your opinion of Mayor If it means having the ability to get think of A&E these days? Are leasing, just to give one statistic, is
to advocate for a better and stronger Bloomberg. things done—that you can envision you watching it? 1.2 million square feet per month.
Buildings Department. There’s no official REBNY stance something and get it done—than I’d I love A&E. One of the things that We were under that number until
We think they’ve done a great job on the mayor, except to say that the like to think yes, that that’s the case. gave me great pride … I can still en- June, when we broke through the
on dealing with security at construc- city has flourished under his lead- There are a few things I’ve managed vision the moment, on a yellow le- million-square-foot mark. With the
tion sites, but, meanwhile, there are ership and that in this very difficult to get done that make me feel like I gal pad, I wrote down ‘Arts & Enter- exception of one month, we’ve been
a number of hurdles that need to be economic time for the city, we all feel can have some impact on our city. tainment’ and then crossed out the up every month. In December, we
overcome in terms of making the blessed that such a skilled business- letters, and it’s hard to believe that did 1.6 million square feet of leas-
management side of the operation man and manager is at the helm. So Can you name one of them? myself and a dear friend, Liz Oliver, ing in midtown. Every single market
flow better so we can be ready for I think we can only feel very positive I think you can look at two tow- could be sitting at the garage she all had their availability rate drop—
the next construction cycle. Also, that he’s leading us these next four ers that are standing that I don’t rented in East Hampton in 1981, and not hugely, but at least 10 or 20 ba-
we’re concerned because the unem- years. think anybody would’ve bet on. The then, lo and behold, all these years sis points for each one. In addition, I
ployment rate among the construc- Condé Nast at Four Times Square, later A&E is part of the viewing land- think most of them had positive ab-
tion trades is 25 percent in the city Take off your REBNY hat. which was the first new construc- scape. sorption, if not all of them.
right now, and there are over 500 What’s your personal opinion tion in a decade and the first build- What’s happened is very simple:
projects that are stopped; so we about Bloomberg? ing at Times Square. As you probably Have you watched The Jack- We now have enough volume to es-
want to work, in general, with the I personally believe everything I know, it was a project that was held sons: A Family Dynasty yet? tablish where pricing is. Once you’ve
city to try to deal with unemploy- just said. This is a case where there’s up for more than two decades. And [laughs] I haven’t. I have to ad- established pricing, people feel con-
ment in the trades as well as some of just a period of stress on a lot of the then, of course, there was the New mit. Though I must admit I’m on the fident they can transact.
the jobs that are troubled. different systems in the city, and it is York Times building at a site that channel all the time, but I haven’t jsederstrom@observer.com

28 January 19, 2010 observer.com | the commercial observer


power broker: todd korren
REBNY AWARDS
SPECIAL

The Downtowner
REBNY honoree and Swig ace focuses on luring tenants to Lower Manhattan
By Jotham Sederstrom
role in luring people to Battery Park
City in the late 1980s, back when the

A
t one time or another during area was in its earliest development
his 25-year career, Todd Ko- phase and not yet the vibrant com-
rren has donned nearly ev- munity it is today.
ery hat that can be worn in the real “Back then, there was literally
estate industry. But whether he’s one building, for all intents and pur-
served as a leasing agent, property poses,” recalled Mr. Korren. As for
manager, developer or acquisitions how difficult it was to lure tenants
pro, one puzzle the Swig Equities se- and residents to the area, Mr. Kor-
nior vice president has yet to solve is ren said it was no walk in the park.
the one he is reminded of each time “Especially in the winter, when it
he returns to his William Street of- was very cold and there weren’t a lot
fice: How do you keep Lower Man- of attractions. That was before the
hattan desirable for potential ten- movie theater was there and before
ants? you had other buildings. Taxicabs
Indeed, as a member of the Real weren’t even coming over there yet.
Estate Board of New York’s Down- It was very inconvenient.”
town Rental Conditions Committee Since then, Mr. Korren has em-
barked on a career that offers a pan-
oramic view of the real estate indus-
try. From positions at construction
Mr. Korren said that he ex- management company Structure
Tone to the mechanical and elec-
pects to announce what may trical contractor EMCOR Group, he
be the largest transaction has learned the business by work-
ing from the ground up and has of-
of the year within several ten followed a project from concept
weeks, when an undisclosed to completion.
“I’ve always felt that the best way
tenant signs a 120,000-foot to sell a product is by really under-
lease at 110 William. But Mr. standing the product and to sell it
from a position of confidence,” said
Korren, who is bullish on Mr. Korren, 45, who has been mar-
Lower Manhattan, suggest- ried for 20 years to his wife, Donna,
ed that the deal could be the and has two young daughters. “The
best way to sell from a position of
first of many for Swig and confidence is having knowledge. I’m
its portfolio of downtown very interested in learning, and I’ve Todd Korren joined Swig
always been somebody who’s con- Equities in 2004, after
properties this year. tinued to learn during my career.” stints with the Witkoff

I
Group and Rockrose
n total, he has negotiated more Development, among
than 830 leases represent- others.
and of a subcommittee focused on ing over 5 million square feet
drawing new tenants to Lower Man- of property during stints at such
hattan, Mr. Korren has emerged as companies as the Witkoff Group
one of the area’s most committed and Rockrose Development, where
advocates. he returned as a managing direc- and instead to move to refinance the area. Although many questions est transaction of the year within
“We’re trying to figure out how to tor in 2001. He also played a role Swig’s existing assets—a strategy about construction at the World several weeks, when an undisclosed
make downtown more competitive,” in more than 20 acquisitions, with that turned out to be prescient, said Trade Center have yet to be an- tenant signs a 120,000-foot lease at
said Mr. Korren during an interview a combined value in excess of $1.2 Mr. Korren. swered, Mr. Korren said that delays 110 William. But Mr. Korren, who is
at his office at 110 William, one of billion, he said. “This was before you had the sub- have not kept people from flocking bullish on Lower Manhattan, sug-
the downtown properties Swig op- Last year, Mr. Korren and Swig prime crises,” Mr. Korren recalled. to other areas of Lower Manhattan gested that the deal could be the first
erates. “The question is, how do we Equities—where he has operated “Kent realized we needed to stop and below Canal Street. of many for Swig and its portfolio of
lure tenants downtown, and how do since 2004—completed capital-im- get the properties leased up and sta- “What’s an interesting fact—and downtown properties this year.
we improve retail conditions and en- provement projects at all seven of bilized so we could refinance them, something I like to tell people—is “Where the uncertainty still re-
courage them to come down here?” the company’s Lower Manhattan and we did have a concern that there that downtown Manhattan, exclud- mains is the access to the subways,
Mr. Korren is nothing if not pas- properties, including lobby and fa- was going to be some sort of credit- ing Tribeca, has the fastest-growing whether it be the Calatrava station
sionate about Lower Manhattan, cade renovations at buildings such induced crises that would affect our residential population within all five or when the PATH station will be fin-
where the Roslyn, N.Y., resident first as 110 Williams Street and 90 Broad ability to refinance our properties boroughs,” he said. “The fastest- ished,” he said. “Those are really the
got his start in the real estate indus- Street. over the next 24 months.” growing residential population! It’s questions people would like to have
try. As a college student at New York The capital-improvement proj- But what Mr. Korren appears to literally doubling since 2000. And answered. But as those dates start to
University, Mr. Korren worked for ects were made easier thanks to a de- be most passionate about these days that’s absolutely amazing.” get firmly finalized, you’ll see people
Rockrose Development, a job that cision by Kent Swig in 2007 to take a is his work in Lower Manhattan and Mr. Korren said that he expects start to move back down here.”
allowed the young upstart to play a break from acquiring new projects his efforts to draw new tenants to to announce what may be the larg- jsederstrom@observer.com
jb reed

30 January 19, 2010 observer.com | the commercial observer

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