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November 17, 2008



Some top players converged at the Westin New York on Friday for Commercial Property News 12th Annual Executive Awards Luncheon, honoring the past year’s all-stars, as voted by industry peers. If the suspense is killing you, you’ll find a full list of winners at the bottom. (Isn’t that nicer than printing the answers upside down?)


Some of this year’s winners with CPN publisher Victoria Osorio and editor-in-chief Suzann Silverman: GE Real Estate CEO Ron Pressman, Cushman & Wakefield chair John Cushman III; Cushman & Wakefield CEO Bruce Mosler; W.P. Carey & Co. CEO Gordon DuGan; and Opus Corp. CEO Mark Rauenhorst.


Super-pollster John Zogby keynoted the luncheon and talked about some of the findings in his new book, The Way We’ll Be, which focuses on the changing American dream and where the country is headed politically, culturally and spiritually. John says more people these days want spiritual fulfillment; we’ll take that in today’s market. Here John signs a copy for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Lloyd Desatnick.


Cushman & Wakefield chair John Cushman III, with Lifetime Achievement award; president & CEO Bruce Mosler with Brokerage Executive of the Year award; and executive managing director Jeff Cushman. Although Jeff doesn’t have an award in his hand, he does have quite a significant accolade: he’s the seventh-generation Cushman to work in real estate. That’s a lot of generations.


Financer of the Year winner and Investor of the Year honoree Ron Pressman with GE Real Estate colleagues Deirdre Segerson and chief investment officer Jonathan Kern. Some of GE's largest U.S. transactions in the past year included the $105M refinancing of Denholtz Associates' and Rothschild Realty's 1M SF New Jersey portfolio, the $98M acquisition loan with De Rito Partners for a Scottsdale shopping center and the $95M refinancing of the Parkside Towers office building in the San Francisco area for Sterling American Property.  


Related Management’s Jeff Brodsky, Jim Kleeman and Lee Zucchi. Related Cos. prez Stephen Ross was there in spirit, nabbing the Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year award. Perhaps Stephen can put his award next to one of the firm's most recent accolades, the USGBC New York Chapter's Development Award (its Bronx Terminal Market and Kingsbridge Armory projects, among others, are sustainable).


Preceding the event was CPN’s annual New York Investment Summit, which brought together some top metro execs to offer insights and predictions. Real Capital Analytics founder Bob White keynoted. After admitting the dismal picture we’re facing right now (distress, dislocation, inefficiencies and volatility), here speculated we’re going to find opportunity in the new year.


EE&K principal Stan Eckstut, Grubb & Ellis New York prez David Arena and Albanese Org. principal Chris Albanese participated in a point-counterpoint session, moderated by Eastern Consolidated chief economist Barbara Byrne Denham. Some key points: looking back on past markets, it really does seem like a milder recession, especially since the market has a lack of oversupply.  The NYS comptroller expects that the city is going to lose 165k jobs versus the early 2000s’ 235k and early 1990s’ 400k. What we need to do right now is focus on existing resources, make sure the city doesn’t go back to pre-Giuliani times, shelve excess projects, and focus on becoming more affordable.


New York is certainly feeling the chill of the capital freeze, and almost everyone is on the sidelines, waiting. Sterling American Property’s Michael Katz, Schonbraun McCann Group’s Jahn Brodwin (moderator), Jones Lang LaSalle’s Tom Beneville (who apparently didn’t get the red tie memo), the Singer & Bassuk Org.’s Richard Bassuk and Deloitte’s Dennis Yeskey tell us that owners are not selling unless under duress, and investors are holding out to see if prices drop further. The result? A brutal year for the investment market, with transactions down 80%. The bottom of the market will come six months after we solve the financial crisis.


If there are any bright spots right now, they’re in the suburban markets, contend Nielsen Claritas’ Terry Munoz, C&W’s Gil Medina, CBRE’s Jeff Dunne (moderator) and Rechler Equity Partners’ Mitch Rechler. The markets are seeing an average 2.7% in growth—and 23 counties have exceeded 5% growth. The need for affordable housing is driving Long Island, while Jersey has seen an increase of 25k jobs per year. The changing household is expected to alter the workforce, as more people want to work near home.


The audience turned to the Alliance for Downtown NY’s Elizabeth Berger, Marcus & Millichap’s Marco Lala, Warburg Realty’s Charlie Lewis, Dewey LeBoeuf’s Stuart Saft and Swig Equities’ Kent Swig for the lowdown on Manhattan’s two renaissance marketsHarlem and Downtown. There’s still interest in Harlem, despite a financing standstill. Buyers and developers are slowing down, and sellers are not being realistic with prices, but it’s just a waiting period for all of them. Downtown Manhattan is in a unique position, because it’s not seeing Midtown’s compression in office rents, and lack of inventory has made it a stable submarket.

And the awards go to (drumroll, please)….

Lifetime Achievement Award:
John Cushman III, Cushman & Wakefield

Executive of the Year:
Winner – Jeffrey Schwartz, ProLogis
Honorees – Colin Dyer, Jones Lang LaSalle; Ed Linde, Boston Properties

Innovator of the Year:
Winner – Colin Dyer
Honorees – Ed Linde; Jeffrey Schwartz

Investor of the Year:
Winner – Ed Linde
Honorees – Ron Pressman, GE Real Estate; Douglas Shorenstein, Shorenstein Properties

Developer of the Year:
Winner – Mark Rauenhorst, Opus Group
Honorees – Hamid Moghadam, AMB Property Corp.; Jeffrey Schwartz

Brokerage Executive of the Year:
Winner – Bruce Mosler, Cushman & Wakefield
Honorees – Colin Dyer; Brett White, CB Richard Ellis

Financer of the Year:
Winner – Ron Pressman
Honorees – Diana Reid, PNC Real Estate Finance; David Twardock, Prudential Mortgage Capital

Sustainability Executive of the Year:
Winner – Jeffrey Schwartz
Honorees – Charles Ratner, Forest City Enterprises; Mark Rauenhorst

Rising Leader:
Winner – Jeffrey Hanson, Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors
Honorees – Eric Anton, Eastern Consolidated; Donald Trump Jr. & Ivanka Trump, The Trump Organization

Female Leader of the Year:
Winner – Constance Moore, BRE Properties
Honorees – Pamela Herbst, AEW Capital Management; Sally Wilson, CBRE

Hospitality Property Executive of the Year:
Winner – Ian Schrager, Ian Schrager Co.
Honorees – Andrew Cosslett, InterContinental Hotels Group; Laurence Geller, Strategic Hotels & Resorts

Industrial Property Executive Of The Year:
Winner – Jeffrey Schwartz
Honorees – Tim Gunter, IDI; Hamid Moghadam

Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year:
Winner – Stephen Ross, The Related Cos.
Honorees – Bryce Blair, AvalonBay Communities; Scot Sellers, Archstone

Office Property Executive of the Year:
Winner – Ed Linde
Honorees – Jeffrey Hines, Hines; Douglas Shorenstein

Retail Property of the Year Honorees:
Winners – Milton Cooper; Kimco Realty Corp.; David Simon, Simon Property Group
Honorees – Steven Roth, Vornado; Robert Taubman, Taubman Centers

Net Lease Executive of the Year:
Winner – Gordon DuGan, W.P. Carey
Honorees – Jeffrey Hanson; Bruce MacDonald, Net Lease Capital Advisors

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