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Columbia University Business School Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

August 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.

Rachel Diller ’99 & Abbe Franchot Borok ’08

2019 Woman of Influence Full Featured List Revealed put together a spotlight on the achievements of women in commercial real estate.
Finance Executive: Rachel Diller, Hunt Real Estate Capital
Investment Professional: Abbe Franchot Borok, Amherst Capital Management

Globe St.

Rachel Diller ’99

After 5-year Wait, Work on Tech-Focused Office Begins Under Opportunity Zones Credits

Rachel Diller, senior managing director at Hunt Real Estate Capital, said the incentive program also ensures investors like her New York-based firm stay committed for at least a decade. She said Hunt was interested in the Charleston Tech Center before the Opportunity Zones came into being. Diller said the project fits in with other deals the firm is targeting.

The Post and Courier

Howard Fiddle ’87

Google Signs its NYC Campus Lease with Oxford Properties

Google has signed the lease for its 1.3 million s/f office complex at the redeveloped St Johns Terminal building in Hudson Square. Owner Oxford Properties Group announced it has completed lease negotiations with the tech behemoth to occupy the entire property, located at 550 Washington Street at the corner of Houston and West Streets. Oxford was represented in-house by Adam Frazier in collaboration with Paul Amrich and Howard Fiddle of CBRE.

Real Estate Weekly

These Were NYC’s Top Office Leases in July

Google, 550 Washington Street, Hudson Square—1.3 million square feet: The tech giant finalized its lease for 1.3 million square feet of space at Oxford Properties Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s building at 550 Washington Street. The original plans for the $1 billion campus were announced last year. Adam Frazier of Oxford Properties Group represented the landlords in-house, alongside Paul Amrich and Howard Fiddle of CBRE.

The Real Deal

Former AT&T and Sony Headquarters at 550 Madison Gets a New Lease on Life

The Philip Johnson-designed office tower at 550 Madison Avenue is the city’s youngest landmark. Completed in 1984 as the headquarters for AT&T, the 41-story skyscraper was controversial when it was first built and sparked drama again two years ago when its current owner, Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group, unveiled a plan to replace a portion of the building’s facade with glass. Olayan’s U.S. investment arm, Olayan America, purchased the property for $1.4 billion in May 2016. Asking rents for offices range from $100 to $200 per square foot, and CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe and Howard Fiddle are leading the leasing team.

Commercial Observer

Jonathan Wasserstrum ’12

Proptech Firm SquareFoot Readying Expansion to DC

“We’ve identified a fair volume of interest from our clients searching for additional office space in [the D.C.] area,” Wasserstrum said. “We’ve worked, from a distance, on some deals on behalf of clients in D.C. Now, we’re looking to follow the trends we’ve been tracking and seeing in both the market and our own company’s inbound inquiries and interest.”

Commercial Observer

No Profitability? No Problem. WeWork is Poised for Growth, SquareFoot CEO Says

SquareFoot founder and CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum took some time to talk about the future of flexible office space and how it's pegged to WeWork's financial outlook. Here's what he had to say:
Why has the office-space market become such a hotbed for activity?
“In a lot of ways, WeWork showed a crack in the dam as it relates to length of leases. Historically, shorter lease terms were not an option for many companies. With WeWork, and their cousins, lease flexibility became an option. While WeWork is a great product, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.”

New York Business Journal

Sridhar Vankayala ’08

PCD Capital, Saber Real Estate to Develop 421-Unit Apartment Project in New Jersey

A subsidiary of New Jersey-based PCD Capital LLC and New York-based Saber Real Estate Advisors LLC will develop a 421-unit multifamily project in Bogota, located across the Hudson River from Harlem. M&T Bank and BBVA USA provided a $60 million construction loan for the project. John Alascio and Sridhar Vankayala of Cushman & Wakefield arranged the financing.

RE Business Online

New 421-Unit Rental Community on Bogota Riverfront Snags $60M Loan

A rising 421-unit rental development along the Hackensack River in Bogota, approved by the borough’s planning board in 2016, got a boost this month. The 13-acre River Club development, on land that once held a Hess fuel tank farm, received a $60 million construction loan for Phase I. Cushman & Wakefield’s Equity, Debt & Structured Finance (EDSF) team advised on the loan for Phase I of the project. The financing was provided by M&T Bank and BBVA USA. “The Hackensack/Bogota submarket is seeing multiple developments either underway or being proposed, which is fueling the area’s transformation,” said Sridhar Vankayala of Cushman & Wakefield.

Jersey Digs

Zach Aarons ’13

Proptech Predictions with Zach Aarons [video]

MetaProp partner and co-founder, Zach Aarons shares his predictions for the future of real estate.

The Real Deal

UpClose with MetaProp’s Zachary Aarons

MetaProp co-founder and partner Zachary Aarons has been working at the intersection of real estate and venture capital for the past decade. He has funded more than 60 startups in the space as an individual as well as 60 startups (and counting) through MetaProp NYC’s venture capital funds. In addition to early-stage investing, Zach has worked on large scale mixed-use development projects in cities like Boston and Los Angeles with Millennium Partners and has experience with real estate development, commercial asset management, property marketing, and commercial leasing.

Globe St.

Robert Hughes ’12

From Former Mental Hospital to Recreational Hub

“We have the luxury of beautiful historic structures that give the project a ton of character,” said Robert Hughes III, president of Hughes Development. “It has the charm of the older districts in the Southeast.”

The New York Times

Donnel Baird ’13

Mike Markus + Donnel Baird: From Wastewater to Retrofitting [audio]

We speak with Donnel Baird, the founder and CEO of BlocPower, a startup that uses technology to retrofit buildings in financially underserved communities. Baird explains BlocPower’s business model, tells us what inspired him to start the company, and talks about the challenges that the current political environment brings.

Sea Change Radio

Jonah Sonnenborn ’05

LA’s Ford Factory Loan Lands in CMBS Market

“A long-term fixed-rate loan solution was the best execution given the predictable, income-producing profile of the property and the current low interest rate [and] spread environment,” Jonah Sonnenborn, Access Industries’ head of real estate, told Commercial Observer at the time of the purchase. “The combination of these variables results in an attractive cash-on-cash return for the investment.”

Commercial Observer

Tom DeRosa ’88

Welltower Partners with Balfour Senior Living and Expands Best-in-Class Platform

“Welltower is extremely pleased to welcome Balfour Senior Living, and co-founders Michael Schonbrun and Susan Juroe, to our family of leading operators. Michael and Susan are true industry innovators and are delivering a next generation senior housing and care model in high-end urban and suburban locations,” said Thomas J. DeRosa, Welltower Chairman and CEO. “The Balfour relationship is further validation of our commitment to premier seniors housing properties and a partnership approach.”

PR Newswire

Welltower Expands Relationship with Summit Medical Group

“The merger of Summit Medical and CityMD is the latest example of how Welltower is facilitating and financing new models in health care delivery,” said Thomas J. DeRosa, Welltower Chairman and CEO. “This landmark transaction will create a physician-centric, consumer-oriented integrated delivery system that will improve access, quality and lower cost of care in one of the nation's most populated regions.”

Yahoo! Finance

Welltower Gains Middle-Market Senior Housing Platform with Clover Management

Figuring out an affordable, profitable model for senior living is “imperative,” Welltower CEO Tom DeRosa said at an event in Chicago last June. Previously, he had said that the REIT is actively focused on more affordable models.

Senior Housing News

Andrea Olshan ’04

Olshan Tallies Quartet of Leases at 99 Hudson

“These recent deals are a testament to our vision to transform the space by creating attractive and practical pre-built space on several of these floors as designed by our architects, Design Republic,” said Olshan Properties’ Andrea Olshan.

Connect New York

Olshan Fills 72,000 s/f at New-Look 99 Hudson

“The ongoing success of our leasing program at 99 Hudson is no surprise given the building’s prime location and the quality of the space,” said Olshan Properties’ CEO Andrea Olshan, “Olshan Properties has raised the bar for quality and usability in the Tribeca office market, which has stimulated demand for our space. We are actively reviewing several new proposals for the remaining office space that we own in the building and look forward to leasing those soon.”

Real Estate Weekly

David Simon ’85

Is Real Estate Poised to Save Retail?

Three years ago, Simon Property Group and GGP helped rescue an ailing Aeropostale. Now David Simon says there's more where that came from. There may be some retailers who'd just like to break up with malls, considering the troubling slowdown in footfall. But the mall may be wooing them back with a proposal to serve them, not just as landlord, but also as owner.

Retail Dive

Gideon Gil ’00

Cushman & Wakefield Arranges $94M for 17-Building Industrial Park

Cushman & Wakefield, acting as the exclusive advisor to Angelo Gordon & Onyx Equities, has helped in the procurement of $94 million in financing for a 17-building industrial and flex portfolio with 1,176,706 s/f in Rockland County. The acquisition financing was provided by Bank of America. A Cushman & Wakefield Equity, Debt & Structured Finance team led by John Alascio, Gideon Gil and Steve Kohn with Sridhar Vankayala, Zachary Kraft and Emily Johansen, represented Angelo Gordon & Onyx Equities.

Real Estate Weekly

Michael Tillman ’11

Overtown Opportunity Zone Project Snags $55M Loan

Michael Tillman’s PTM Partners and Estate Investments Group scored a $55 million loan from Bank OZK to build an 18-story apartment project in an Opportunity Zone in Overtown. The developers are building Soleste Grand Central, a 360-unit multifamily building at 218 Northwest Eighth Street in Miami near the MiamiCentral train station.

The Real Deal: South Florida

Meredith Marshall ’92

BRP is Bringing Another Apartment Complex to Jamaica

BRP Companies is bringing another residential complex to Archer Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. The development firm, headed by co-founders Meredith Marshall and Geoff Flournoy, plans to bring a 24-story mixed-use tower to 163-05 Archer Avenue, according to a Department of Buildings pre-filing from Wednesday.

The Real Deal

Jessica Sherman ’16

Douglaston Development's Jessica Sherman Chats Challenges Facing Affordable Housing In New York City

Jessica Sherman, associate vice president of affordable housing with the real estate firm Douglaston Development, has made it her mission to improve the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. Recently named a Crain’s New York “Rising Star,” Sherman has helped her company, which was founded by her father Jeff Levine, bring 680 new units to the Bronx and Staten Island, and another 180 to Manhattan, since joining its team in 2016. Before Douglaston, Sherman worked as a leadership fellow at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, where she helped manage short- and long-term recovery plans after Hurricane Sandy.


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