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Peter Braus wins Retail Deal of the Year; CBRE earns ‘Ingenious’ nod

Veteran New York retail broker Peter Braus last night picked up the city’s top honor for relocating national restaurant and entertainment chain, City Winery, to the new Pier 57 on the Hudson River.

During a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the Real Estate Board of New York, the managing principal of Lee & Associates was honored with The Most Significant Retail Deal of the Year award.


Recognized as the most meaningful transaction in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City retail market, the 2019 deal relocated City Winery from its longtime Hudson Square home to a purpose-built 31,229 s/f space at Pier 57 at West 15th Street and West Street (pictured top_.

During the online awards ceremony emceed by Steven Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield and Fred Posniak of Empire State Realty Trust, The Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year title was awarded to by CBRE’s Richard Hodos, Joel Stephen and Michael Remer for bringing the first Harry Potter store to the Big Apple.

“New York City’s retail market constantly evolves to adapt to the ever-changing needs of businesses and their customers,” said REBNY president James Whelan.

 “This year’s winners of our Retail Deal of the Year Awards are exceptionally adept at understanding the complexities of this market and executing deals that benefit both their clients and the New York City economy.”

City Winery had been set to open this summer. No word yet on when they plan to open.

Braus executed a 25-year lease between City Winery and RXR for the Pier 57 restaurant and entertainment space that had initially been earmarked for a food hall operated by late celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain.

Calling the win “bitter sweet,” Brause told REW, “It’s such a huge honor to win Deal of the Year, and something I’ve wanted to achieve for many years.

“The City Winery deal was by far the most challenging one I’ve ever worked on, and it’s bittersweet that because of COVID, it’s unclear when they will open. But I know that when they do, it will be a game-changer for live musical entertainment in New York. It’s a venue like no other that’s ever been built here.”

RXR Realty and developer Young Woo are redeveloping the historic pier as an office, retail, and public space with a rooftop park and Google as the main tenant. The tech giant said it has leased a total of 320,000 s/f of office space and agreed to build a ferry dock for public transportation to the new-look pier.


Picking up his second Deal of the Year award of his career, Richard Hodos and his colleagues were honored for securing a home for the first Harry Potter Wizarding World Store in the United States at 935 Broadway / 161 Fifth Avenue, the former Restoration Hardware store.

The Harry Potter New York emporium will house the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in the world under one roof.


 “Warner Bros. was instantly drawn to 935 Broadway,” said Michael Remer. “The building’s location was an undeniable match for the Wizarding World concept, situated in a neighborhood within close proximity to busy tourist hubs without the congestion. The general ambiance and architecture in Flatiron provided the elevated experience that we were looking for.”


Hodos attributed the deal’s success to “diligence, strategic negotiations and a deep understanding of the market,” noting, “We were able to educate Warner Bros. about the Manhattan retail landscape and procure a space that achieved the ideal balance between accessibility, reasonable occupancy cost and an ‘on-brand’ aesthetic.”

Read about all of the 22nd Annual Retail Deal of the Year Award Submissions here.

Rendering of the new Harry Potter store

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