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New York Power Women 2014: Part 3

New York

Our list of hard-working, high-achieving NYC commercial real estate Power Women continues. Check out Part 1 and Part 2, and we'll continue this special series through Tuesday. (We all know you need something to look forward to, ensuring you survive the boring weekend.)


Alicia Glen
NYC Deputy Mayor of Housing & Economic Development

Alicia comes from a family committed to serving the public sector (mom Kristen Booth Glen was a state Supreme Court judge). As a child, Alicia took a turn on Sesame Street, and then someone showed her how to get to Wall Street, where she became head of Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Now, she leads the de Blasio administration’s efforts to invest in emerging industries and build a new generation of affordable housing. Her goal: Preserve 120,000 affordable units and create 80,000 new ones, which will cost $41B between city funds and private capital. She oversees 26 city agencies, boards and authorities, and is the one to green light any social-improvement projects with private-sector involvement. As for her private life (yes, she has one!), she lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, attorney Daniel Rayner, and their two children.


Kathleen McSharry
Senior Managing Director, Singer & Bassuk Org

In ’82, Kathleen was looking for a gig that would pay her rent in Queens. Armed with “ambition and a brain, but no skills and a GED,” she landed a job as receptionist for Andy Singer. By ’92, she’d earned bachelor's and master's degrees from NYU at night. Along the way, Singer showed her the dealmaking ropes, and the duo has won REBNY’s Ingenious Deal of the Year four times. Real estate finance worked for her because she happens to excel at analysis, but she also likes it because she meets dynamic people who change the faces of the neighborhoods in which they work. That goes especially for Downtown. Kathleen and Andy worked on two of its earliest office-to-resi conversions: Rockrose’s 200 Water St and 45 Wall St, as well as World-Wide Group’s 71 Broadway and 88 Greenwich, both of which have since sold. And last year, they finished the long and difficult slog toward $300M in construction financing for 70 Pine St.


Cynthia Wasserberger
Managing Director, JLL

Involved in NYC real estate for 17 years, Cynthia has done 6M SF of deals, starting with Morgan Stanley’s 1M SF consolidation into 745 Seventh Ave in ’96. Now, she reps Class-A office properties like Boston Properties’ 601 Lexington, MetLife’s 85 Broad, and Minskoff’s 51 Astor Place. She’s also done 100 leases over the past few years for investment management and hedge fund tenants (which portends a busy future, considering she expects finance whizzes to break off from big banks to start their own hedge funds). The University of Florida undergrad and NYU master’s grad spends her personal time playing tennis, and ice skating is a big pastime for her 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old, hockey-playing son.


Dana Schneider

Dana handles all things sustainable (energy optimization, LEED certification, and retrofits) for clients’ properties and portfolios in New York, Boston, and DC. She’s worked on energy and sustainability projects totaling 24M SF in the Northeast, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grand Central Terminal, LinkedIn, and JLL’s own 330 Madison and Parsippany offices. She’s also the innovator behind the Empire State Building’s LEED Gold cert. That 2011 project reduced energy use by 38% and will pay for itself by the end of this year. She’s taking the project’s analytical model (which gauges energy maximization and environmental value by dollar spent) to 30 buildings across the country, including 12 others associated with Malkin. A University of Virginia engineering grad, she’s also a technical resource expert for the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Climate Positive Development Initiative.


Michelle Berliner
VP of Asset Management, Brookfield Property Group

Managing assets for Brookfield’s massive $4.5B mixed fund, its third, is a huge step up from the $250M first fund that Michelle started on when she joined eight years ago. Now that the assets from the first two are stabilized, she’s selling or enhancing them for off-market deals, like Chicago’s 300 S Riverside (50% vacant, renovated, leased, and sold at 97% occupied). An architect by training, she got into asset management after business school. Her advice: Be prepared. In one of her first jobs, she had to repair the building’s roof, which meant climbing a broken ladder held by two men. She hasn’t worn a skirt to work since. She’s also on the steering committee for Brookfield’s 50-member Executive Women’s Network and is mom to an 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.


Cia Buckley Marakovits
Chief Investment Officer, Dune Real Estate Partners

Someday, Cia may remember what she used to do with her free time (she thinks she may have read books). Now, she’s married with two kids and is putting the finishing touches on the $375M Walt Disney World Four Seasons hotel, which opens this month. (Co-owned with Silverstein, it's the only land Disney has sold to outsiders). Cia loves the art of the deal, which attracted her early on while she toiled in middle-market corporate finance. She likes distressed, deep value-add, and contrarian investing (all opportunistic). Her full plate includes the iconic 56 Leonard St and The Standard Hotel, as well as service on many women’s real estate initiatives.


Amy Rose
Co-President, Rose Associates

Amy and cousin Adam Rose preside over the 88-year-old Rose Associates’ 26,000 owned and managed apartments (from prewar to ground-up luxury) and $2B of development projects totaling 1,800 units. Her latest focus: wrapping up construction of the 188-unit Maximilian in LIC (with O’Connor Capital Partners) and the 181-unit Larstrand (for Friedland Properties) on the UWS, as well as leasing and managing both. She’s snapped at The Maximillian in October.


Sofia Estevez
EVP, TF Cornerstone

Sofia's company is a prolific Manhattan multifamily developer that has transformed Long Island City’s waterfront, including converting the antiquated former PepsiCo factory site into fabulous, 21st-century residences with one of the most amazing views of Manhattan. Sofia also has had a hand in developing an 8M SF portfolio of luxury residential, office, and retail properties throughout New York and DC.


Peggy DaSilva
Managing Director, Canyon Capital Realty Advisors

Peggy has just joined Canyon Capital's New York office as managing director, bringing with her three decades in commercial real estate and financial services, including expertise in complex deal structures. She comes from CBRE Global Investors, where she oversaw sovereign wealth fund, US pension fund, and high-net-worth accounts. Before that, she worked at Rockefeller Group Investment Management, but she spent most of her career at Bankers Trust/RREEF/Deutsche Bank. Notable local deals: the office-to-condo conversion of 15 E 26th St's ninth through 20th floors (at Madison Square Park) and management of the separate accounts that owned 380 Madison Ave.


Katherine Farley
Senior Managing Director, Tishman Speyer

Katherine, a Brown and Harvard grad with a background in architecture, leads global corporate marketing and the firm’s Brazil (11M SF) and China (22M SF) business, including the 9.7M SF Springs at New Jiang Wan Town, Shanghai’s largest land deal ever, which is under construction. She’s chair of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and formerly served on the boards of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Lincoln Center Theater, Lincoln Center Redevelopment Project, and nearby Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She’s also a Trustee of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.