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June 5, 2008


In case you’re not familiar with us, we’re the “People Magazine” of local business, with eight newsletters in DC, and now starting in NYC. Send us your story suggestions!


David Dubrow is a lawyer whose arcane specialty has facilitated five or six billion dollars worth of big residential buildings in Manhattan for the likes of Related, Rockrose, Resnick, Archstone, Forest City Ratner, Brodsky, and Litwin. This despite the fact we can barely understand all the words he uses. But here's what we think he does: Starting in '97, he pioneered the use of bond guarantees (or credit enhancement, in the lingo) by longtime client Fannie Mae for  developments that allocate 20% of their space to affordable units.


From his Arent Fox office on the 33rd floor at 52nd and Broadway, David can actually see a couple of the buildings he's worked on—although his growing stacks of paper on the window ledge may soon obscure that view. While most of Fannie's business is buying and securitizing mortgages, a small but highly strategic part is "multi-family," where it pursues HUD goals to expand low-income housing. David's first such NYC project was five buildings (totaling $270M) for Related where he was able to bring New York state and city housing agencies together (they used different documents) by creating a hybrid structure that employed Fannie guarantees, mezzanine debt, and cross-collateralization. 


David, here with biz dev guru Allison Cannavino, shows us a map of his Fannie Mae deals in Manhattan, though it got so crowded with markings he stopped using it three years ago. At the time he'd done 26; now he figures it would be over 50. One of the most recent this March: the sale of 25,684 apartments by United Dominion Realty Trust to DRA Fund of New York.      


A native of Woodmere on Long Island, David and his wife have a place in Columbia County, two hours north of New York. You've heard of rescue dogs; well, he rescues horses—three so far. For example, he and his wife were driving through the Catskills 10 years ago and saw a horse named Angel by herself in a snowstorm, a onetime thoroughbred subsisting on moldy hay and looking like skin and bones. They approached the owner, bought Angel, nourished her back to health, boarded her in a stable, and to this day visit her on weekends. They don't ride her, but take her on walks and give her love. "Horses have great personalities," David says. A world away from credit enhancement, but part of the same good works.

Arent Fox
Leo A Daly
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