By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank CEO Barry M. Gosin; Vice Chairman Brian S. Waterman and Executive Managing Director of Financial Services Romel C. Cañete took the grand prize in the Real Estate Board of New York’s “Deal of the Year Award” at the Commercial Sales Brokers Committees’ 69th annual cocktail reception in Midtown last night.
The team from NGKF were chosen as winners of the ‘Henry Hart Rice Award’ for the 1.2 million square foot lease signing in April of 2012 at One New York Plaza for Morgan Stanley.
The building’s owner Brookfield Properties (NYSE: BPO) told media sources at the time that it believed it was the largest lease signing in New York City since 2008.
The second place Robert T. Lawrence Award went to Helen Hwang and Nat Rocket of Cushman & Wakefield for the sale of 88 Leonard Street for $220 million while the third prize Edward S. Gordon Award went to brokers Scott A. Singer & Jeffrey Moroch of The Singer & Bassuk Organization for the financing deal of 50 Oceana Drive in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
“We applaud our commercial brokers for closing these clever and creative deals,” said Steven Spinola, president of REBNY. “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.”
Despite undergoing flooding during hurricane Sandy, 1 New York Plaza was able to open their doors less than a month after the storm, unlike some other area office towers. The buildings 31,000 s/f concourse level which took the brunt of the storms water surge is in the process of a gut renovation.
Lower Manhattan is in the midst of a leasing hot streak with all of the major CRE first quarter reports showing the area around 1 New York Plaza to be where the bulk of the city’s leasing action is. Analysts expect that trend to continue as more new class-A inventory comes online Downtown.
The grand prize was an encore of sort for Newmark’s Waterman, who was also the winner last week of the Association for a Better Long Island and the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year” award for the Hain Celestial Group’s (NASDAQ: HAIN) relocation of their international headquarters.
Sarah Trefethen contributed reporting for this article.