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December 16, 2008


Hey, if you can’t get Giants tix, you fans of college football should hop down to DC this Saturday for the first bowl game ever held in the Nation’s Capital, and the first bowl game of the post-college season. Navy v. Wake Forest. Please see ad to right!


With a rough ’08 almost behind us, it’s nice to see people ending the year with a smile. Last night, we stopped by LePatner & Associates’ party at Brasserie on East 53rd, where the holiday cheer was aplenty.


Barry LePatner (second from right) enjoys the evening with The Rampart Group’s Stanley Morris, Brandt Resources’ Ros Brandt and Rampart’s Howard Blatt. Barry’s currently penning a book on the perilous state of our nation’s infrastructure, to be published the end of ‘09 (his last book, Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets, came out in ’07). Maybe he’ll have time to write on the plane: he’s headed to Denver and San Diego for the holidays.


LePatner associates Alex Tuttle and Alicia Bond (her brother’s name is James, no joke) with firm partners Ron Feingold and Henry Korn. Henry tells us that the construction industry will be busy through the 31st, but ‘09 is up in the air. One thing is certain: everyone will have to work harder, especially helping clients get work done on time and on budget, he says.


LePatner associate Jonathan Grippo, Deborah Rubin and associate Amy Barrett. Deborah also reports a busy end of year, but says she’s looking forward to visiting friends during the holidays and checking out the decorations around the city (Lord & Taylor’s windows are her favorite; we’re partial to Macy’s).


It’s no secret that times are challenging in the lending market right now. But deals are getting done, especially smaller ones, noted Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman president Steve Kohn, whom we visited in his Fifth Avenue office. Overall, lenders are reluctant to hold more than $30M-$50M on their books, he tells us. Retail, office and hotel loans are closing at very conservative levels, while the multifamily debt market is most liquid with Fannie, Freddie and HUD backing. He expects the first half of ’09 to be quiet, but thinks transactions should pick up by mid-year.


One that closed: a $28M acquisition financing deal in late October for the Christiana Building at 100 & 120 White Plains Road in Tarrytown, which Steve worked on with senior director Alexander Hernandez.  The CWSG team is also working actively on loan sale assignments as lenders look to shed these assets. Coincidentally, this is not the only bear market Steve has witnessed this year—he saw plenty of the furry creatures during a trip to Yellowstone with his son, nephews and brother's family over the summer. (Fun fact: Steve is also Kohn Pederson Fox chair Gene’s son).


Quick, guess which of these gentlemen is the President-elect's nominee, announced this weekend, for HUD Secretary? The youngster on the left? Yes! Actually, Shaun Donovan, 42 years old, whose picture we snapped earlier this year, is definitely a wunderkind as Mayor Bloomberg's high profile Housing Commissioner. With him, Steve Ross, right, founder of the Related Companies, and big-time Manhattan apartment developer Dan Brodsky.

Eagle Bank
Arent Fox
Reznick Group
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