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We always enjoy running into real estate luminaries, so we loved seeing Cushman & Wakefield chairman John Cushman at Houston’s Westin Galleria.
Wolff Cos. David Wolf and Cushman & Wakefield twins John and Lou Cushman
Our Houston reporter Catie Brubaker snapped this dapper trio: Wolff Cos' David Wolff and Cushman & Wakefield twins John and Lou Cushman at last week’s Commercial Expo. David says John’s sense of competition began when he and Lou were in the womb and he pushed his way out first. John and Lou are the sixth generation of Cushmans to work continuously in real estate in New York, and John’s four sons are now the seventh. (He calls real estate “thegenetic imbalance in the family.”) John coasted through high school but learned the value of working hard after receiving poor grades his freshman year of college. He never forgot that lesson and used it in his early days as a tenant rep broker canvassing parts of NYC nobody wanted, knocking on every door and repeatedly getting kicked out of buildings and locked in elevators by irritated property owners. And today he’s still churning away, averaging 7,000 milesper week in the air for the past 38 years.

Cushman & Wakefield's John Cushman
John’s career is full of highlights, like negotiating the largest office lease in the world, the 4M SF world HQ of Merrill Lynch in NYC. But he says his favorite client was Atlantic Richfield, which treated him exceptionally well as a young broker. He opened C&W’s Los Angeles office in 1967 so he could manage the development of ARCO’s 2.6M SF office there. At the time, it was the most office space available for lease at one time in the world. His most exciting transaction, though, was moving Boeing’s HQ from Seattle to Chicago, which he did with Houston-based colleague Tim Relyea in 2001. Some fun facts about John: After college, he ran a cement plant on the Spanish Riviera, then did a two-month expedition in the bush of Angola.