Here Are the Top Real Estate Deals of 2016
Excitement has not been lacking in an industry that was topped by a local executive and prince of the city — who became the president-elect.
Just one year ago, I bestowed a Golden Brick on Donald J. Trump that read: “Guts & glory: Donald Trump for expressing the thoughts and fears of Americans across the heartland who may yet send him land-sliding into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”
After 9/11, when we traveled around the country as New Yorkers, everyone asked us about the World Trade Center and the Freedom Tower. Starting in 2015 and through all of 2016, they have asked us about only DJT. We outline his achievements here.
As for other deserving players in the city’s gargantuan real estate industry:
Reinventing the Bucket: Related for giving the green light and $150 million to Thomas Heatherwick to create and build the 150-foot-tall iconic Vessel of stairways — and its new deal with BlackRock to anchor 50 Hudson Yards.
Tenant Magic: Peter Riguardi of JLL for shepherding BlackRock to Hudson Yards in one of this year’s largest leases, which includes $25 million in job- growth supplements.
Girls & Googles: Scott Rechler of RXR for luring American Girl to 75 Rockefeller Center through Susan Kurland, now with Savills Studley; buying 1285 Sixth Ave. with David Werner through Doug Harmon for $1.65 billion, and renewing tenant UBS there for 900,000 square feet through Bob “Mr. Big” Alexander of CBRE; and the end of last year’s 250,000-square-foot deal for Google to have space on Pier 57. Plus one more: for keeping the Port Authority on track.
Making Moola out of a New Mountain: Harry Macklowe and CIM Group for pulling out the largest residential sales of the year at their tall Toothpick Tower at 432 Park, and scoring one of the world’s most expensive watchmakers, Richard Mille, for its base.
White Christmas: Westfield for opening the now- lively Oculus shopping area and not making it look like a mausoleum — but a raspberry brick for skipping colorful lights for its end-of-year holiday displays.
Hat Trick: Brookfield for netting the National Hockey League for office and retail at Manhattan West, where a seasonal skating rink can host events. Among the CBRE brokers representing the NHL was Chris Corrinet, a former right winger with the Washington Capitals.
Home Run: The Rockefeller Group for reinventing the Time & Life tower at 1271 Sixth Ave. and signing Major League Baseball.
Catches and Kisses: Steve Witkoff for signing the National Football League, Cirque du Soleil and Hershey to retail spots at the new 701 Seventh, aka 20 Times Square.
Safety Net: The Durst Organization for swooping in with bucks to buy sites after others cut their losses. These include 1800 Park in Harlem from Ian Bruce Eichner and the Queens Clock Tower from PMG and Hakim.
Mind Warp: Michael Stern of JDS and architects SHoP for constructing the bent structures of the American Copper Buildings rentals at 646 First Ave., which are clad in copper and linked with an amenity-filled skywalk.
Billion Dollar Boy: Douglas Harmon, who started the year with what turned out to be the largest sale of the 2016 — the $1.9 billion transfer of 787 Seventh to CalPERS. In October, he jumped from Eastdil Secured to Cushman & Wakefield along with his crew.
Empire Strikes Light: Tony Malkin for elevating the Empire State Building light show and splitting the sides for Hanukkah and Christmas.
Swap or Not to Swap: SL Green for taking a page from Related’s playbook and offering to swap the upcoming One Vanderbilt to JPMorgan Chase in exchange for its two nearby towers, at 383 Madison and 270 Park.
Laced Up: Jeff Sutton and SL Green for tying up Nike at 650 Fifth for what might be the most expensive retail lease ever, through Joanne Podell of Cushman & Wakefield.
Big Chopsticks: Boston Properties for snaring Under Armour at 767 Fifth because the retailer wanted customers to recall the holiday wonder and fun in the former FAO Schwarz spot.
Trick Up His Sleeve: Gary Barnett of Extell Development for somehow always being able to pull off the sites and shekels for his unique projects.
Data Brick: Jonathan Miller for keeping the industry honest.
Bricks to Ashes: Remembering John Tishman, Jerry Cohen, Jack Rudin and Richard Maidman.
Happy New Year!
By Lois Weiss, New York Post
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