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Columbia University Business School Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

Alumni in the News

Real Estate Alumni in the News  

Here is what your fellow Columbia Business School Real Estate Alumni are doing this month. If you don't see your news mentioned, please let us know.

Commercial Observer's "Power 100" List

Congratulations to the following alumni for making the 2018 "Power 100" List:

#28: David Neithercut ’82

#37: David Simon ’85

#38: Nicholas Bienstock ’96

#40: Tommy Craig ’82

#54: Paul Pariser ’78

#73: Meredith Marshall ’92

#79: Henry Elghanayan ’67

#99: Peter Braus ’94

Nicholas Bienstock ’96

Savanna, Hornig Sell Ground Under Bushwick Office Building for $81M

Savanna, the real estate private-equity firm headed by Nicholas Bienstock and Chris Schlank, and Daren Hornig’s Hornig Capital paid $33 million in 2015 to buy the warehouse from a group of investors led by Moshe Gottesman.

—The Real Deal

Geoff Goldstein ’07

Scandalios, Klein, Goldstein and Shepard of HFF Arrange $86 Million Financing for The Lewis

The HFF team [including senior managing director Andrew Scandalios, managing director Steven Klein, senior director Geoff Goldstein and director Rory Shepard] worked on behalf of the sponsor, West 35th SBXLVI, a joint venture entity between Joy Construction, Maddd Equities and the family of the late Lewis Katz, to place the floating-rate acquisition loan with KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc

—New York Real Estate Journal

Matthew Finkle ’99

Aimco to Sell its Asset Management Portfolio to Related Companies

"The development and preservation of affordable housing has been a cornerstone of Related's business for more than 40 years," said Matthew Finkle, President of Related Affordable, a division of Related Companies. "We have preserved tens of thousands of affordable housing units across the country and have never converted a single unit to market rate—a legacy we intend to extend to all of the 7,837 apartments in this portfolio."

—Wall Street Journal

Jonathan Flaherty ’07

How Developers Can Help Fix NYC's Biggest Infrastructure Problems

"The real question for everybody is, 'How do we build better transit in New York?' Arguably it’s been a challenge since 1904 when the subway was first built," Tishman Speyer Senior Director of Sustainability and Utilities Jonathan Flaherty said at Bisnow’s NYC 2030: The Future of Big Apple event.


Here’s Why Developers aren’t Keen on the State’s "Green" Bank

Jonathan Flaherty, senior director of sustainability and utilities at Tishman Speyer, noted that for tax purposes, buildings aren’t incorporated as individual entities.

—The Real Deal

Alex Holiday ’13

Glasshouses Inks Big Deal for New Events Venue in Hell’s Kitchen

"We’re very bullish on the West Side," said Glasshouse Group partner Alex Holiday. "If you go a little bit east, you’re not going to get buildings with this type of footprint," added Holiday, who bills the new Glasshouses West as the biggest private events space in New York City. "I don’t think you can replicate that anywhere in the city."

—The Real Deal

Meredith Marshall ’92

Building Up

When Meredith Marshall ’92 launched BRP Development from his second bedroom in 2003, he planned to focus on rehabbing and selling brownstones. But he soon found that there's more opportunity in developing affordable housing, especially in major cities like New York, where the shortage of homes for low-income residents has reached crisis levels.

—Columbia Business: Ideas and Insights

Kara McShane ’00

Female Power: For the First Time, the Top Spot Goes to a Woman

This year is a milestone for Commercial Observer with the No. 1 spot on our Power 50 list going to a woman for the first time. While she is joined in her ranking by Doug Mazer, the head of real estate capital markets, Kara McShane has well earned her place at the top of the list.

—Commercial Observer

Andrea Olshan ’04

Olshan Properties to Transform 99 Hudson Street—A 175,000 s/f Office Building; 17-Story Property to be Designed by Design Republic

Olshan Properties’ CEO Andrea Olshan, who has personally overseen projects related to the property over the years, said, "99 Hudson is a unique commercial asset located on one of the best corners of TriBeCa. The building holds special value to me personally since it represents the first property I worked on when I joined Olshan and I’m thrilled to return to my roots with a new project team as we reposition this jewel in our crown."

—New York Real Estate Journal

Olshan Properties Appoints new GM at Florida's Hilton Marco Island

40-Million Makeover

"As the Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa reopening approaches we are thrilled to have someone with [General Manager Steve Falciani’s] wealth of industry experience join Olshan’s dedicated and passionate hospitality team as general manager," said CEO Andrea Olshan in the release. "Among our 1,447-key portfolio this hotel, in particular, holds great sentimental value for me as I grew up vacationing here with my family."

—Hotel Management & Macro Eagle

Robert Reffkin ’03

Double or Nothing: Compass Expands in Midtown at SL Green Property

Nationwide, Compass is growing at whiplash-inducing speed following a $450 million investment from SoftBank in December. The cash infusion, which valued Compass around $2.2 billion, came shortly after CEO Robert Reffkin outlined his vision to have 20 percent market share in 20 top U.S. markets by 2020. Reffkin has also been vocal about plans to double Compass’ office count to 12 in New York this year.

—The Real Deal

Starting a Tech Revolution in Real Estate

Compass has committed to cutting down on the inefficiencies in the real estate industry so that its agents have access to an easy-to-use platform that houses all the tools agents need to make more sales and advance their career, says founder and CEO Robert Reffkin. Compass is currently touting a new customer relationship management (CRM) platform expected to launch in the third quarter of 2018. While there are more than 30 CRMs on the market today, Compass will have the first to compile clients, listings and transaction information on a single platform, Reffkin says.

—Chicago Magazine

David Simon ’85

King of Prussia Mall Owner to Invest Millions in Upgrades to Aged 'Plaza' Retail Wing

Even as it refreshes its retail spaces, the King of Prussia Mall is itself preparing for a major development initiative that Simon chief executive David Simon said last year in a conference call with analysts would be the company’s "'Hudson Yards' version for suburban, but wealthy, King of Prussia," in reference to the 28-acre development underway on Manhattan’s far West Side.


Ross Smotrich ’83

In Age of Amazon, You Could Invest in Tech—or in Warehouses

"Commercial real estate is all about supply and demand, and industrial supply has been very disciplined," said Ross Smotrich, an analyst at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York.


Jonathan Wasserstrum ’12

A NYC Office Brokerage Startup Just Raised $7M in a Series A Round

Office brokerage startup SquareFoot raised $7 million in a Series A funding round, the company announced Wednesday. Founded in 2012 by Aron Susman, JLL veteran Jonathan Wasserstrum and Boxer Property veteran Justin Lee, SquareFoot hopes to make the search for office space more transparent by combining traditional brokerage work with an online platform. Clients can browse for space, exchange documents or contact brokers online.

—The Real Deal

The Digital Trend in Finding Office Space

SquareFoot CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum on how the company's digital platform streamlines the process of finding office space. (Video)

—Fox Business

Philippe Visser ’04

Related Cos. Creates Division to Expand its Office-Development Pipeline

Philippe Visser was named president of Related Office Development, a group designed to tackle upcoming projects including a conversion of the western section of the Farley Post Office building into office space, the renovation of 1 million square feet of office space in the Time Warner Center and erecting an office tower of more than 1 million square feet just north of Hudson Yards.

—Crain's New York Business

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