Roshan Shah, a broker at CB Richard Ellis, has been promoted to senior vice president, making him one of the youngest executives to achieve that rank at the global brokerage and real estate services company.
Shah, who received his promotion before he recently turned 31, began his career at CBRE seven years ago, originally as a junior member of a powerful brokerage team led by one of the firm’s most successful dealmakers, Stephen Siegel. Shah still works with some of CBRE’s high-producing brokerage groups, but has developed a busy practice of his own, largely handling tenant representation work, including high end hedge funds and private equity firms that take pricey space in the city.
Shah attributed his quick ascension to the attention he has given to developing his own pipeline of business. He is a relentless canvasser and keeps meticulous data on the market. Shah has also focused on Internet and technology tenants, a fast growing segment of the leasing market where junior brokers can actually find themselves at an advantage to more senior brokers because dot-com tenants tend to be staffed with a more youthful set of decision makers who oftentimes prefer to interact with their peers and are in businesses that younger generations are in a position to more quickly grasp
Shah, for instance, played a pivotal role in helping CBRE win the giant Internet browsing, software, and advertising firm, Google as a client. The account has translated into a number of high profile assignments for CBRE. The firm for instance recently brokered Google’s $1.9 billion acquisition of the Manhattan office building 111 Eighth Avenue.
Shah was also part of the agency team at 335 Madison Avenue, which recently reached a deal to have the social networking service Facebook fill two floors in the building, or about 60,000 square feet. Shah declined to comment on that transaction.
Although the market has dipped substantially from its peak before the recession, Shah said that he sees rents rising in midtown, the amount of top quality available space beginning to disappear, and other signs that the market is picking up. Recently, the large bank Wells Fargo got bumped from a substantial lease it was negotiating at 120 Park Avenue by the financial information and media company Bloomberg LP. Shah said that other tenants have begun to pay attention to what happened with Wells.
“I think that we’ll look back at that and see it as a catalyst event in the market,” Shah said. “Tenants are all of a sudden cognizant that they could be bumped from a space and that really changes their mindset about deals. There’s a little more urgency.”
A tightening market appears to play to Shah’s strengths. During the commercial real estate industry’s heyday before the recession, Shah excelled at helping tenants negotiate the thin field of availabilities with the comprehensive market information he had gathered. In one series of off-market transactions during that period, Shah arranged a tenant to move from the Park Avenue building, Lever House to 399 Park Avenue into space being vacated by a tenant his team was moving from 399 Park to another high end midtown location, the General Motors Building. He then took a tenant from 375 Park Avenue, the Seagram Building, and relocated them into the empty space at Lever House.
“I treat the market like a puzzle,” Shah said. “ The ability to track off market spaces is fast becoming a real asset again.”
Shah has also developed a specialty representing tenants from India. He has worked with several Indian and overseas companies, including Reliance Industries and Tata Group, among India’s largest corporations, on real estate requirements both in the city and nationally.
Adding to the list of high profile tenants he has worked with, Shah represents the William J. Clinton Foundation, the non-profit group founded and run by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, consulting on the organization’s real estate requirements.
“It’s truly amazing and an honor to be able to work with a tenant like that because you’re helping an organization that is focused on so many important initiatives around the globe and perhaps indirectly contributing to their mission,” Shah said.