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REBNY Hands Down 2016’s Most Ingenious Sales Awards

REBNY's Most Ingenious Sales awards winners of 2016 are all smiles. REBNY’s Most Ingenious Sales awards winners of 2016 are all smiles and plaques.

NEW YORK CITY—The Real Estate Board of New York has revealed the winners of the Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards. The honors were handed down the Tuesday night at Midtown’s Club 101.

Michael Laginestra and Michael Geoghegan of CBRE were honored with the first prize, the Henry Hart Rice Achievement Award, for “A Hat Trick for the NHL: New Headquarters, Experiential Retail and a Hockey Rink at Manhattan West,” at 1 Manhattan West.

David Carlos and Ira Schuman of Savills Studley won the second prize, the Robert T. Lawrence Memorial Award for “Repositioning Real Estate or Reimagining the Promise Land? How Savills Studley Helped Jewish Theological Seminary Transform Its Campus for the 21st Century” at 543 W. 122nd St., 3060 Broadway, and 415 W. 120th St.

Scott A. Singer and Kathleen McSharry, of The Singer & Bassuk Organization took home the third prize, the Edward S. Gordon Memorial Award, for “It’s Not Just a Job, It’s An Adventure” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn

“The award winners delivered solutions that exceeded their clients’ expectations,” said REBNY President John Banks. “Their commitment to go above and beyond to achieve results that are economically beneficial to the City and its institutions, residents, and visitors demonstrates the high level of professionalism and expertise that sets REBNY members apart.”

In the “Hat Trick” deal scored by  Laginestra and Geoghegan, the duo’s professionalism, ingenuity, and passion for sports reportedly exceeded the NHL’s expectations, which started with a simple request: to improve the day-to-day operations of the organization’s current headquarters.

The brokers explored renovating the NHL’s current headquarters, other available office space and collaborating with established ice rinks, in addition to new development opportunities within the City’s rising Hudson Yards, Manhattan West, and World Trade Center developments.

Ultimately, the pair arranged a 160,000-square-foot, marquee-branded NHL headquarters relocation to Brookfield’s One Manhattan West with projected delivery in 2020; secured a new NHL-emblazoned public ice rink in the new development’s plaza; and set into motion a vision that will create a two-story, experiential NHL retail presence at the center of the ice rink with a private observatory deck overlooking the ice.

Through three years of analysis, negotiation, and large leaps of faith, Carlos and Schuman unlocked tremendous value in JTS’ 300,000 square feet of unused development rights and other off-campus properties, raising $131 million to help JTS re-imagine its campus to meet its growth, financial, and modernization needs. What started off as a capital campaign to renovate the institution’s library, evolved, through the work of the brokers, into an ambitious portfolio-wide plan.

The multi-tiered solution—comprised of multi-party sale and leaseback transactions with Esplanade Partners and Savanna, a never-before-achieved tax lot subdivision on land with an existing building, the actualization of existing open space to solve the site’s zoning puzzle, the expansion of the campus’s green space by over 50%, and the simultaneous closing of contracts with necessary provisions for 543 West 122nd Street, 3060 Broadway, and 415 West 120th Street—paved the way for the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot, on campus building comprising a library, conference center, and dormitory, with millions left for the nonprofit’s endowment.

Singer and  McSharry arranged a refinancing of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. $60 million of EB-5 debt that encumbered the economics of their leasehold interest with the City of New York for the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard.

With a goal of reenergizing the industrial park—which sits on one tax lot and is home to over 330 businesses and 7,000 employees—the team faced a unique set of challenges throughout the 16-month odyssey, coordinating with numerous stakeholders to arrange the Navy Yard’s first conventional real estate mortgage loans and rework its ground leases dating back to the Mayor Ed Koch administration.

The solution executed by Singer and McSharry created a sandwich/sub-leasehold financing structure that BNYDC will utilize for decades to come and resulted in the simultaneous closing of two loans with Symetra Life and Sterling Bank that utilized net-leased assets as collateral: a 280-megawatt power plant, large dry docks, an operational shipyard founded during the John Adams Administration, the City’s oldest distillery, the Duggal Greenhouse where the Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton Democratic Primary Debate was held, and several other traditional and non-traditional assets.

Click here to read about the other sale, lease, and finance transactions submitted for the 2016 competition.


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