When Mikael Nahmias leased up the 14-story office building at 300 Park Ave. South for New York developer Rockrose Development Corp., he realized that his 13-year career in the business had come full circle.
It was the venerable neighborhood pioneer that gave Nahmias his start when he was a teenager still at school. French-born Nahmias pounded the streets brokering apartment rentals for Rockrose.
“It was great to begin working with Rockrose on 300 Park Avenue South, to have an entire building of that quality in the tightest submarket in the US, with an owner of Rockrose’s pedigree makes for an exciting proposition,” said Nahmias, now a senior managing director at Cushman & Wakefield.
“It really brought me back to my youth,” added Nahmias, who began working for Rockrose in his junior year at Westlake High School in Thornwood, NY. “It was great to work with an organization that I had so much history with.”
Earlier this year, Nahmias and a Cushman & Wakefield team that included Andy Peretz and Jolien Peters was tapped to lease up the architecturally distinctive 168,000 s/f midtown south office tower.
Rockrose had completed a top-to-bottom renovation at the 100-year-old building and the Cushman team was credited with bringing it to within a hair of full occupancy within months, signing the Whitney Museum and the Leo Burnett ad agency as well as publishing house Rizzoli International and public relations firm M. Booth & Associates.
“It’s a good feeling [working with Rockrose] because it brings me back to my youth,” said Nahmias, who worked as a residential agent for Rockrose for nearly six years during summer and winter breaks from SUNY Plattsburg where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business.
Born in France, Nahmias’ parents moved to New York City when he was five years old. A go-getter from a young age, Nahmias was a natural in the residential sales market with Rockrose, but his business education prompted him to move into the commercial sector when he graduated. “I’d studied business, so commercial real estate was sort of the natural evolution for me. I liked real estate and decided I wanted to do it on a larger scale.”
Nahmias landed a position at the international services firm Studley where he spent two years working his beat before moving onto Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation. It was there, he said, that he got his education in commercial real estate from the legendary owner and developer Charles Cohen, whose national reputation for business acumen places him at the very peak of the business.
“I was trained by Charles Cohen, himself, so I got a chance to learn from the master,” said Nahmias, who proved to be a quick study, becoming the youngest ever vice president at the company when he was just 29 and generating more than $600 million in revenue during his six years with Cohen Brothers.
He work on such high profile projects as the leasing of 623 Fifth Avenue, 750 Lexington Avenue, 135 East 57th Street, 805 Third Avenue, 622 Third Avenue, and 3 Park Avenue completing more than 1.5 million square feet of transactions.
In 2007, he decided it was time to move. “Cushman and Wakefield is a really good place to work and offered a platform that would grow my career,” said Nahmias, who has clocked up more than three million s/f of transactions in his time with the global brokerage.
He also went back to school and earned an M.B.A. in Finance and Real Estate at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
As a member of the Strategic Agency Services team at C&W, Nahmias is among an elite group that works with major national and international owners and developers creating asset plans, objectives and leasing strategies for some of the most prominent properties and development projects in the nation.
As senior managing director of the group, Nahmias is also a key consultant in property repositioning and in implementing varied lease strategies.
In November, the Agency — which includes former CEO Bruce Mosler and chairman Arthur Mirante — was tapped by Brookfield Properties to market its over five million s/f office and mixed use complex on the West Side of Manhattan along 9th Avenue.
Brookfield’s development parcel floats over working train tracks beneath that are used by the Long Island Rail Road and require a deck to be built to support the towers that will be constructed above, work that the company says it has begun to undertake.
Brookfield’s site is located on 9th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street. The company, which is one of the city’s largest commercial landlords, plans to erect four towers on the parcel, a pair of two million s/f office skyscrapers and a one million s/f office tower. A fourth building will also be built that will most likely be a mixed use property, potentially with a hotel and residential and retail space.
The development will also feature 1.5 acres of public space. The architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP will design the project.
C&W has had a full complement of service professionals staff the leasing assignment. Nahmias admitted he was excited about his role in the process of filing the space.
“This is really something great to work on,” Nahmias said. “The site is in the heart of the next great frontier and the buildings will be among the most technologically advanced in the world with environmentally friendly features, efficient office and located in what will be an aesthetically high-quality site.”
Fluent in both French and English, Nahmias said marketing of the Brookfield development would be an international effort. “The site markets on a global scale for major corporations that want to elevate their presence. This will be a great opportunity for them to do that.”
The Manhattan West team also includes leading powerhouses Josh Kuriloff and Michael Rochford, James Young, a C&W executive in London office and Arsh Chaudhry, who is in the firm’s Singapore branch. Ken McCarthy, senior economist and managing director at the firm is also working the account.
Nahmias said the team is energized to be working on a project that will transform Manhattan’s commercial office environment and impact the development of a huge swathe of the city.