• Wed. May 29th, 2024

Here’s What New York Brewery, Residential Conversion and Office Lease Deals Share in Common


Jun 16, 2023
The Real Estate Board of New York, or REBNY, honored commercial brokers this week with its "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards.” (Andria Cheng/CoStar)


What do deals involving Brooklyn Brewery’s relocation, nonprofit Civic Hall’s office lease by Manhattan’s Union Square and the sale of a mega office-to-residential building in lower Manhattan have in common? Brokers tied to these transactions each received coveted recognition during this week’s 79th annual Real Estate Board of New York “Commercial Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards” gathering.

Nathaniel Mallon of Verada won REBNY’s first-place award for helping to ink Brooklyn Brewery’s new headquarters lease at 1 Wythe Ave. in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood just a few blocks from its current home. The deal came together after the brewery was having trouble finding one and at one point considered even moving to the Bronx despite its namesake.

The “nuanced transaction” that nearly doubled Brooklyn Brewery’s current footprint navigated “the complex needs of private parties and public entities” and considered Brooklyn Brewery’s “complicated multi-use requirements,” REBNY said in a statement, adding there were nearly 20 submissions.

Brooklyn Brewery’s new space will feature office, industrial, hospitality and retail components, including a 5,000-square-foot outdoor rooftop garden, that’s designed specifically for it, REBNY said.

The award isn’t “about a big deal,” Woody Heller of Branton Realty Services and co-chair of the judge panel, said in an interview Wednesday at the event, which attracted about 200 of New York’s top commercial brokers at a Convene space by Grand Central Terminal. “The list of requirements that that tenant had was enormously extensive. It’s a lot of work….Ingenuity is a subjective word…. It means doing something out of the ordinary that no one’s thought of before….It’s finding new different ways to solve problems in the context of real estate transactions.”

Ira Schuman of Savills won second place for helping nonprofit technology training center Civic Hall get into an 85,000-square-foot workplace training hub at the top-tier Zero Irving development at 124 E. 14th St. by Manhattan’s Union Square. Even though nonprofit tenants can rarely afford to occupy a new building of “this caliber in New York’s extremely competitive market,” Schuman helped identify tax exemptions and modify lease terms while negotiating “support for construction build out with the landlord that will make the numbers work for all stakeholders,” REBNY said.

“We had to restructure the ground lease in a way to access money for financing,” Schuman said in an interview, pointing to one of the major things he did. “We did some tweaks to the underlying structure of the deal that hadn’t really been done in the commercial world before.”

The deal took Schuman, a 46-year industry veteran, more than three years to complete, he told CoStar News.

Newmark’s James Kuhn, Evan Layne and Brett Siegel got the third-place award for the sale of 25 Water St., an office building with an expiring anchor tenant that was also in need of major overhaul, REBNY said. The associaiton said the Newmark team found ways to enable the sale of the building to a buyer that plans with plans to deliver nearly 1,300 new apartments in an office-to-residential conversion. This is the third time Kuhn, who also doubles as a rock ‘n roller, won the deal of the year award.

REBNY also gave its Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year Award, or rookie of the year recognition, to Andrew Dzenis of Savills. 

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