New York City commercial brokerage leaders came together on April 13th to honor winners of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)’s Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards.
Conceived in 1944, the member contest honors resourcefulness and ingenuity in solving difficult problems in property negotiation. Co-Chairs of the Sales Broker Committee Woody Heller of Branton Realty and Michael Rudder of Rudder Property Group presented the following awards at the in-person event at Convene (117 West 46th Street):
- The first-place Henry Hart Rice Achievement Award to Eric Anton and Nelson Lee of Marcus & Millichap. for “Trust, Ping Pong, and Homemade Honey” at 1260 Broadway. Anton and Lee overcame hurdles via unorthodox methods to sell the Martinique Hotel ground lease. Valued at $0 by experts, their ingenuity resulted in a $55.5M sale to Burnett Equities.
- The second-place Robert T. Lawrence Memorial Award to James Millon and Tom Traynor of CBRE Capital Markets. for “Terminal Warehouse ($1.25 Billion)” at 261 11th Avenue. Despite historic uncertainty in the real estate capital markets, the future of office usage and whether New York City would ever return to glory, Millon and Traynor arranged a behemoth $1.25 billion, non-recourse construction financing for a 1.2 million square feet project with no pre-leasing.
- The third-place Edward S. Gordon Memorial Award to Jarod Stern of Savills and Michael Affronti of CBRE for “A ‘Gem’ of a Formula – Keeping an Industry In Place” at 608 Fifth Avenue. Stern of Savills collectively represented 28 gem industry tenants (ranging from 405–5,899 sf) that were located at 608 Fifth Avenue to unify and represent them as one 40-50,000 sf tenant. Affronti of CBRE was the building agent for 608 Fifth. Stern devised a rent formula and Affronti built an adjustable, living rent dashboard that ensured an equitable negotiation for the group to renew their leases and remain in the building.
New York City’s real estate industry generates as much as 53 percent of the city’s annual tax revenue. According to CBRE, Q1 2022 office leasing was up 100 percent year over year, driven by major transactions involving IBM at 1 Madison Avenue, PDT Partners at 60 Columbus Circle and Celonis at 1 World Trade Center.
“Our annual Sales Deal of the Year Awards honor the critical role commercial brokers play in keeping our industry going and New York’s broader economy moving forward,” said James Whelan, REBNY President. “We applaud the winners and all 26 of tonight’s Submitting Brokers, who represent not only this contest’s spirit of ingenuity, but also the resilience, creativity, and professional skill that have helped make New York the city it is today.”