To say the phrase “live, work, play” has become popular in the real estate world would be an understatement. It’s more of an industry-wide mantra.
However, CBRE’s Zachary Price does more than repeat it, he’s embraced it fully.
“I like to say I’m the poster boy for live, work, play in Lower Manhattan,” Price said.
As vice president of CBRE’s Global Advisory & Transaction Services group, Price has become an expert in the Downtown market not only through his seven years of executing deals south of Chambers Street for both landlords and tenants, but also by taking up residence in the South Street Seaport, a mere four blocks from his office.
Home to the first Dutch settlement on the island, the Financial District is the oldest neighborhood in Manhattan. Yet, with skyscrapers rising from the ashes of Ground Zero and a flourishing district forming on some of the blocks hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, it is also, in many ways, the newest.
Price has witnessed the area’s latest transformation firsthand and parlayed it into deals for high-profile landlords and coveted tenants, alike.
“It’s amazing to see how far things have come,” Price said. “There’s a strong foundation with family ownership down here and a mentality that we’re not going anywhere, the area is continuously being rebuilt, preventative measures are being added and everything continues to get better.”
Since joining the firm in 2011, Price’s accomplishments include finding 53,000 s/f at 28 Liberty Street for the travel site Booking.com, bringing Dixon Advisory from Jersey City to a 26,000 s/f space at 140 Broadway and helping LiRo Engineering and SimCorp stay local by moving into 20,000 s/f and 13,500 s/f offices, respectively, at 1 State Street.
This past October, he brokered a deal for GameChanger Media to take the entire 16,906 s/f 11th floor at 44 Wall Street and the following month he worked on the team that secured NMS Capital a lease for nearly 8,000 s/f at 32 Old Slip.
Price said he’s excited by the influx of young tech- and media-savvy companies for both professional and personal reasons.
“It’s exciting to see companies that make products I use move Downtown,” he said. “I’m a big fan of music and I listen to Spotify almost every day, so it was great to see Spotify sign a lease at 4 World Trade. SNY moved down here (to 4 World Trade) and I’m a huge Mets fan, so I like that, too.
“It’s just cool that a bunch of companies are making commitments to Lower Manhattan,” he said.
Carving a niche within his niche, Price has become one of the top tenant representatives inside 1 World Trade Center, tying for the most deals closed inside the building since in opened in 2014.
He’s found offices for companies such as Piano Media, which was the first among the first small-suite tenants to commit to the sight when it leased 5,000 s/f on the 46th floor. He also brought Leap USA and Group RMC to the glistening tower. As a native Long Islander, Price said the sanctity of the World Trade Center site — with its spire reaching 1,776 feet in the air and the awe-inspiring architecture of the Westfield shopping center below — has not been lost during his frequent visitS to the area. In fact, one of his favorite deals came in March 2016 when he found a spot for the security consulting firm Global Risk Advisors on the 83rd floor 1 World Trade.
“I learned that a lot of them were, or are, military service members,” he said. “So, to be able to find them space in that building, of all places, was really special.”
Karen Kuznick, director of commercial leasing at 1 World Trade Center for the Durst Organization, said Price has been an integral part of the leasing operation at the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. She said his familiarity with the building and his intimate knowledge of the area make him well equipped to sell the site, while his market savvy helps him identify ideal tenants.
“Zac knows who the right prospect is to bring to the building and he understands the building so well that in the absence of myself or any of member of my sales team, he can educate the tenant about the specifics of the site because he understands it inside and out,” Kuznick said. “From the construction, the community to how the building is stacked, he knows everything.”
Price’s current endeavors have taken him from Downtown Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn, where he’s representing Tishman Speyer’s redevelopment of the Macy’s building on Fulton Street. Known as The Wheeler, the site will be a 620,000 s/f “creative hub” featuring office space with 16-foot ceilings, an acre of outdoor space and a dedicated amenities floor.
He’s also working on something a little closer to home. Price, who has an apartment at the Frank Gehry-designed 8 Spring Street building, is representing the Howard Hughes Corporation for its 100,000 s/f Pier 17 mall.
“Watching the Seaport get rebuilt has been incredible,” Price said. “I actually went down and volunteered on Front Street in the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, removing debris and helping with the cleanup. So, coming from there to where things are now, it’s been incredible.
“It’s been great to see all the landlords band together to rebuild and it’s exciting to watch all these new establishments arrive in Lower Manhattan,” he continued.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, Price started his career in real estate in 2008. After a three-year stint in Cushman & Wakefield’s Long Island office, where he also interned during college, he left for greener pastures in Manhattan, hoping to find a fast-paced sales market and the excitement of the big city.
He found that and more under the tutelage of CBRE senior vice presidents Michael Rizzo and Richard Levine.
Price said he was drawn to the business styles of the two executives. The admiration was mutual.
“Zac is hard working and personable,” Levine said. “He has been on a constant learning trajectory since he began at CBRE and it’s exciting to watch him develop in business and as a person.”
Rizzo praised Price’s ability to think on his feet and endear himself to clients.
“Zac is a pleasure to work with,” he said. “We truly trust that he understands the business, works extremely hard and will do a great job.”
Closing in on 10 years of experience in the field, Price has embraced opportunities to pass what he’s learned on to the next generation of brokers by mentoring an associate in CBRE’s Seattle office from afar and advising groups of summer interns.
Price is also charitable with his time outside the office.
He sits on the board of MLTfoundation, a non-profit group that provides occupational therapy to children with special needs; the foundation was founded in honor of his late friend Mikaela Lauren Tick who died in 2013 following complications from an open-heart surgery.
He also helped create the Young Leadership Group within the Heather on Earth organization, a non-profit that specializes in music therapy for sick children, as well as the Young Professionals Committee at the St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside, Queens.
“It’s nice to just see them smile,” he said of the children he spends time with on a monthly basis.
“It helps put everything into perspective. I love going after big deals but, at the end of the day, it’s just real estate and there’s more to life.