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NGKF team wins Deal of the Year

Real estate’s top honors were bestowed to seven leading dealmakers as The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) announced the winners of its highly coveted Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards.

The awards were presented last night at the Commercial Sales Brokers Committees’ 69th annual cocktail reception at the 101 Club.



The first place Henry Hart Rice Award, was presented to Barry M. Gosin, Brian S. Waterman and Romel


Canete from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank for the Morgan Stanley lease at One New York Plaza

The second place Robert T. Lawrence Award was presented to Helen Hwang and Nat Rockett from Cushman & Wakefield for the sale of 88 Leonard Street

The third place Edward S. Gordon Award was presented to Scott A. Singer and Jeffrey C. Moroch from The Singer & Bassuk Organization for the construction financing of 50 Oceana Drive West in Brighton Beach

“We applaud our commercial brokers for closing these clever and creative deals,” said Steven Spinola, REBNY President. “The year’s top prize went to a truly significant deal that will help a major financial institution bring back thousands of jobs to New York City. And the winners of our second and third-place prizes devised innovative solutions in the face of unique circumstances, including one that closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Their hard work enabled successful transactions to be completed for two major residential properties. REBNY commends the winners on their extraordinary work.”


Thirty-seven top-notch real estate dealmakers competed for the prizes by submitting their most ingenious sale, lease, and finance transactions of the last year. The winning deals were selected based on submissions that demonstrated the highest


levels of ingenuity, creativity and professional skill.

The first place winners, Barry M. Gosin, Brian S. Waterman, and Romel Canete were key players in the Morgan Stanley lease at One New York Plaza. This transaction represented two years of analysis, strategy, and negotiations with various parties. The team played key roles in returning 2,300 financial services back-office jobs to New York City, underscoring that Manhattan was not just a business location for Morgan Stanley’s front-office operations.

Over a two-year period, the real estate pros managed to align all levels of the transaction, from creating a long-term occupancy strategy for Morgan Stanley’s back-office functions in New York and New Jersey, to crafting a unique transaction structure that enabled Morgan Stanley to pursue an early renewal, with minimal impact on its P&L run-rate during the early years of the lease.

For second place, Helen Hwang and Nat Rockett of Cushman & Wakefield commenced a 15-month process to complete the sale of 88 Leonard Street (88L), a newly constructed building developed by Africa Israel (AFI) in Tribeca.

While managing diverging interests of several stakeholders, the team fought through the adversity of the transaction, creating numerous solutions that helped AFI achieve its goals and created an imaginative transaction structure that satisfied the disparate economic interests of the participants.

The third place award was presented to Scott A. Singer and Jeffrey C. Moroch from The Singer & Bassuk Organization for the construction financing of 50 Oceana Drive West in Brighton Beach, part of the successful Oceana Condominium & Club residential complex owned by Muss Development. Condo construction financing was close to impossible to secure for this transaction.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy could have derailed the deal. Also, there was a technical problem with the HOA agreement that threatened to dramatically delay the closing. Scott Singer and Jeffrey Moroch’s ingenious solutions to these issues allowed the transaction to close.

Sponsors for the cocktail reception were CoStar Group; Cushman & Wakefield; Donald Zucker Company; Douglaston Development; Eastern Consolidated; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Jack Resnick & Sons; Rudin Management Company, Inc.; Silverstein Properties, Inc.; SL Green Realty Corp.; The Moinian Group; The New York Times; Tishman Speyer; Trinity Church Real Estate and Vornado Realty Trust.

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