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Columbia University Business School Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

June 2019
Alumni in the Media

Real Estate Alumni in the Media  

Here is what your fellow Columbia Business School Real Estate Alumni have been doing recently. If you don’t see your news mentioned, please let us know.

Jonathan Wasserstrum ’12

Where the CEO Sits Matters

Giving up a private office altogether and sitting at a desk among other employees works for some top executives—especially at smaller companies. It sends the message “I’m approachable,” said Jonathan Wasserstrum, CEO of commercial real estate and office design firm SquareFoot, which has fewer than 100 employees. “When we do onboarding I use this as a talking point. I tell new hires, ‘If you ever have any questions or concerns, come find me.’”

Channel 3000

SquareFoot Launches New Initiative to Make Office Space More Accessible for Growing Companies

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” said SquareFoot Founder and CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum. “We have seen countless clients—and our data backs this up—fall in love with a certain space and not be able to move forward with it based purely on lease term. Shorter lease terms are the future, and FLEX enables our clients to access them today.”

PR Newswire

Brian Steinwurtzel ’04

GFP Takes Over Major Avenue of the Americas Ground Lease for $89 Million

“675 Avenue of the Americas represents a unique combination of historical significance and modernized features, and hosts an impressive roster of tenants, which aligns itself well with many other assets in our portfolio,” Brian Steinwurtzel, GFP’s co-CEO, said in a statement. “We are extremely excited about this new acquisition and look forward to welcoming tenants such as Weight Watchers, Neilsen and Trader Joe’s into the GFP portfolio.”

Commercial Observer

Jonathan Luttwak ’14

C&W Taps into $16B Business with New Veterans Alliance

Cushman & Wakefield announced the formation of a strategic alliance with DHC Real Estate Services, LLC, a service-disabled-veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) founded by Jonathan Luttwak, a former U.S. Army captain and New York-based commercial real estate professional. The alliance will enable public- and private-sector enterprises to increase their commitment to supplier diversity—and to meet state and federal mandates—while also maintaining access to the global platform of services offered by Cushman & Wakefield.

Real Estate Weekly

Jim Sullivan ’89

Global Investors Flock to India’s First REIT after Launch by Blackstone

“In five years it wouldn’t surprise me if there are 10 to 12 credible companies that own institutional-quality real estate in the public market in India,” said Jim Sullivan, president of Green Street Advisory Group, which advised Blackstone on the IPO.

Wall Street Journal

Mark Penna ’05

Emerald Creek’s Mark Penna Talks 10 Years of Bridge Lending

Happy Birthday, Emerald Creek Capital! The bridge lender turned 10 recently, having been launched at a pretty interesting time—shortly after the global financial crisis. Since then, it’s grown its staff count, its capital base and its average loan size. Despite increased competition in the bridge lending space, the company is sticking to its core disciplines and prides itself on its speed of execution when the right deal presents itself. In November, it provided a $40 million loan to Emmut Properties for its new hotel at 138 Bowery on the Lower East Side. Commercial Observer caught up with co-founder Mark Penna to get his take on the past decade.

Commercial Observer

Tom Ortinau ’09 & Brian Steinwurtzel ’04

GFP Buys Historic Manhattan Office Asset for $89M

GFP Real Estate has acquired 675 Avenue of the Americas. The building, which occupies the full block between West 21st and West 22nd streets, was constructed in 1901 for the Adams Dry Goods department store. Historic design features include 50,000 square-foot open floorplates, high exposed ceilings and oversized operable windows. Modern features include a tenant rooftop space, high-speed elevators and a new HVAC system. The transaction was led by GFP’s Chairman Jeffrey Gural, Co-CEOs Eric Gural and Brian Steinwurtzel and Tom Ortinau, GFP head of acquisitions.

Commercial Property Executive

Brett Rosenberg ’06

JLL Secures $46.5M Loan to Refinance Greenleaf at Howell

JLL Capital Markets announced Tuesday it arranged a $46.5 million loan to refinance Greenleaf at Howell, a Class A retail center. The firm worked on behalf Sun Equity Partners LLC to place the loan with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the property at 5313 Route 9 N. Vice Chairmen Aaron Appel, Jonathan Schwartz and Keith Kurland; Brett Rosenberg, executive vice president; Adam Schwartz, managing director; and Brandon Krupetsky, analyst, led the group handling the debt assignment.

NJ Biz

Nicholas Bienstock ’96

Savanna in Contract to Buy Midtown East Office Building

Savanna is in contract to buy a Midtown East office building for more than $180 million. The private equity real estate firm signed a hard contract to buy 360 Lexington Avenue from AEW Capital Management…. Savanna, meanwhile, has been busy buying up properties as of late. The Park Avenue-based investment firm, run by Christopher Schlank and Nicholas Bienstock, closed last week on its $110 million purchase of Flatiron District office property at 24-28 West 25th Street—a deal that was marketed by the same Eastdil team handling the 360 Lexington sale.

The Real Deal

Michael Tillman ’11

In the Zone: PTM’s Michael Tillman Sees Opportunity in OZs

Growing up in a Long Island neighborhood with few green spaces, Michael Tillman quickly learned that the community around you has a big impact on who you become. For Tillman, the CEO of commercial real estate private equity firm PTM Partners, it makes sense that a new career dedicated to opportunity zones would make sense.

Commercial Observer

Remy Raisner ’08

Private Equity with a Vision: Redefining the Model (byline)

“I.M. Pei, perhaps the world’s most revered architect, passed away recently. We tilt our hats to his achievements. Amongst the most recognizable ones are the design of the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Louvre’s Pyramid in Paris. Early in his career, I.M. Pei paired with real estate developer William Zeckendorf. Partially thanks to their association, each became arguably the most prominent figure in his respective field.”


Howard Fiddle ’87

Justworks Moving to 270K SF at 55 Water Street

“55 Water Street has historically serviced the financial services industry but is well-positioned to meet the needs of ‘new economy’ tenants, particularly in the tech industry,” Fiddle said in a statement.”

Commercial Observer

Investment Bank Greenhill & Co. Takes 78K SF in Midtown

Investment bank Greenhill & Co. will move its headquarters blocks away to 78,000 square feet at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, the landlord Rockefeller Group announced. Michael Geoghegan, Andrew Sussman and Peter Gamber of CBRE represented Greenhill in the deal. Rockefeller Group’s Ed Guiltinan and Jennifer Stein handled it in-house along with CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe, Howard Fiddle, John Maher, Evan Haskell and Dave Caperna.

Commercial Observer

Gideon Gil ’00

Muss, Bedrock Nab $45M Life Co. Refi for Brooklyn Luxury Rental Building

Muss, Bedrock Nab $45M Life Co. Refi for Brooklyn Luxury Rental Building Muss Development and Bedrock Real Estate Partners have landed a $44.5 million refinance for their luxury rental property at 180 Franklin Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned. AXA provided the 20-year debt in a deal negotiated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Gideon Gil, Alex Lapidus and Emily Johansen.

Commercial Observer

CBS Real Estate Alumni Community  

Have you joined the CBS Real Estate Alumni Community? This new and unique community platform (web and mobile app) is exclusively for CBS real estate alumni in the real estate industry. This will be a place for you to connect, collaborate, share opportunities, stay up-to-date on news, real estate events, and much more! Check your email for an invitation to join, or request an invitation.

Quick Links

Join the Real Estate Circle | Mentor a Current Student | Post a Job | WebView | Forward to a Friend | #CBSAtTheCenter

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