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Deals & Dealmakers

Lee & Associates NYC forms new investment sales division

Lee & Associates NYC has formed a new investment sales division as the market continues to muddle through a correction.

The firm noted most for its leasing and retail prowess announced Vickram Jambu, Chris Varjan and Paul Popkin as have joined Lee as senior managing directors within the newly formed investment sales division.

Jambu and Varjan are former managing directors of Venture Capital Properties while Popkin led his own Popkin Group for the past several years. The trio will work alongside Lee brokers George Steffani, Ben Sutton and Jonathan Braun focused on all asset classes across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Vickram Jambu & Chris Varjan

“Vickram, Chris and Paul have enjoyed tremendous accomplishments within their real estate careers thus far and they show no signs of slowing down,” said Joel Herskowitz, COO of Lee NYC. “This division is made up of ambitious individuals and highly creative problem solvers and we are truly thrilled to welcome them to Lee & Associates.”

Jambu and Varjan have been involved in a number of high profile deals. In 2016, they represented Wheelock Street Capital in the $22 million sale of their McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg. Most recently, they represented a private buyer in the purchase of a 75,000 s/f development site on the Upper East Side for $47 million. Last year, Popkin brokered the $10 million ground lease for the retail co-op at 659 Broadway.


According to Herskowitz, the investment sales team will be “synergistic” with the firm’s existing leasing practice. In a press release announcing the expansion, the firm stated, “Vickram, Chris and Paul have strong relationships with property managers that will generate transactions for the firm’s leasing brokers. Likewise, the leasing brokers will generate transactions for the sales division.”

Lee & Associates, the largest broker-owned commercial real estate firm in North America. In the last two years, it has opened eight new offices around the country.  Since its founding in 2011, Lee & Associates NYC has grown to 60 brokers.

The expansion comes following a year of declining New York investment sales. Total consideration last year dropped by roughly 37 percent year-over-year as the number of transactions fell from 2,880 in 2016 to 2,334 in 2017 and investment declined in four out of the five boroughs, according to the most recent report compiled by the Real Estate Board of New York.

“The investment sales market is 30 months into a correction,” Cushman & Wakefield chair Robert Knakal told Real Estate Weekly in March. “It hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but we’ve been in a correction for a while and I think we’re actually starting to come out of the correction, it was a mild correction, but it was also a mild recovery after the recession.”


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