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January 16, 2009 
 
       
 
Monday Properties
 

REBNY
(STILL) ROCKS!


 

Even with the ten ton weight of the economy on their shoulders, not to mention the winds and chill outside, 2300 valiant friends of commercial real estate poured in last night to the 113th REBNY annual dinner. Could the miraculous survival of the USAir passengers in the frigid Hudson, that everyone was talking about, be an auspicious metaphor for the survival skills of the NY commercial real estate world in ‘09?

 

Investor Harry Macklowe was a trooper for coming out, despite the fierce winds he endured in ’08; he was one of many fans cheering CBRE Tri-State CEO Mary Ann Tighe, honored with the Bernard Mendik Lifetime Leadership award, recognizing her 24 years of negotiating 70M SF of commercial transactions including 5.5M of new construction, and involvement in the rebirth of Times Square and downtown. In turn, she saluted brokers as being the linchpins of the industry, and women for gaining so much ground in it.

 

No REBNY gala would be official without World Trade Center icon Larry Silverstein, right, a decades-long pillar of the organization, always on hand with an upbeat smile and outlook, here with Grubb & Ellis vice chair Dan Gronich and mall king Mort Olshan (who founded mammoth Mall Properties, Inc., more than 40 years ago).

 

The impresario who pulls off these extravaganzas year in and year out (well, only for the last 22), REBNY president Steve Spinola, with New York Post must-read columnist Lois Weiss. Lois was wearing a sparkly “Real Estate Goddess” pin on her lapel, a description no one disputed. However, we are equally impressed with Steve’s perfectly folded four point handkerchief—someday we'll ask him to teach us.

 

Your humble publisher, Mark Bisnow, center, pretending like he knows Cushman & Wakefield CEO Bruce Mosler and Studley CEO Mitch Steir. Mitch closes his eyes, barely able to believe that his lifelong dream of appearing in a Bisnow issue has finally come true.

 

Soon-to-be Obama HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, right, must have been overcome with nostalgia to find time to drop in for a last big NY dinner before his new duties start Tuesday, here with NYC Council member David Yassky. By the way, everyone talks of the sacrifice required of public officials, but one amazing bennie seems to be that you don’t have to hassle with a stud set or cummerbund:

 

Eastern Consolidated president Daun Paris and Prudential Douglas Elliman chair Faith Hope Consolo tell us that business is actually doing okay. Polish up those resumes: Eastern is hiring, as Daun says distressed assets business is revving up. And Faith just took on a 15-building retail portfolio in the FiDi; she says that despite a challenging year for retail, many stores still want to be downtown.

 

CBRE chair of global brokerage Steve Siegel and Taconic Investment Partners principal Paul Pariser.  

 

Colliers ABR chair Mark Boisi and developer Sheldon Solow.

 

Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer, left, who you probably known was named Co-CEO in June (sharing duties with father Jerry), here with Brookfield’s Andrea Himmel, Kramer Levin dealmaker Sandy Lindenbaum, and Andrea’s mom (no misprint) Himmel & Meringoff Properties’ Leslie Wohlman Himmel.

 

Related Cos. founder Steve Ross. 2008 brought him 50% ownership of the Miami Dolphins, so our question is, What are you doing up here in 15 degree weather?

 

Our friend from DC, Paul Schulman, right, the newly installed COO of Brookfield, has just moved up here in time to avoid the mad inaugural crush that will make the crowds of Manhattan look like a picnic. With him, an old friend from Trizec days, SL Green’s David Kaufman, and David’s colleague Amy Schustek.

 

Vornado Office President David Greenbaum and Empire State Development Agency president Marisa Lago, who may be happy she doesn’t work at Citigroup anymore.

 

Packed, and surviving. Here’s to all of you.

 
 
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