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CBRE Wins Most Ingenious Deal For NHL Headquarters Lease

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Brokering a real estate deal for the National Hockey League might have some brokers on thin ice, but the CBRE team that negotiated it took home New York City commercial real estate's equivalent of the Stanley Cup.

Winners
Winners of REBNY's 2016 Most Ingenious Deal of the Year awards with their hardware.

Tuesday night the Real Estate Board of New York acknowledged two CBRE brokers, Michael Laginestra and Michael Geoghegan, with the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year award. The brokers closed on the 20-year deal to move the NHL to a new headquarters at Brookfield's One Manhattan West, once the building is completed in 2020. The deal provides the league with 160K SF of office space, a hockey rink and 15K SF of retail and was the result of months of negotiations.

At the start of the deal, the NHL had eight years remaining on its current lease with SL Green at 1185 Sixth Ave., where it occupies 140K SF of office and has a ground-floor NHL Shop.

CBRE Wins Most Ingenious Deal For NHL Headquarters Lease
CBRE brokers Michael Geoghegan and Michael Laginestra

Laginestra and Geoghegan found a landlord with former ties to professional hockey sympathetic to their client's highly unusual needs. They used the value draw of housing a top professional sports league to convince the landlord to close on the package deal. At the same time, they found a tenant to take over the NHL's remaining lease obligation. In the end, the entire deal was more economical for the league to make the move rather than remain in its existing space.

In receiving the award, the brokers thanked CBRE senior vice president Chris Corrinet, who they consulted throughout the deal. Corrinet played four years of professional hockey for the Washington Capitals and in Slovenia.

"I was the only guy in the room who could not name one hockey player," Laginestra said to laughter after receiving the award. Laginestra said his lack of being a hockey fan helped convince the NHL to use him as its broker in the first place.

Ira Schuman and David Carlos
Ira Schuman and David Carlos of Savills Studley

The second place Ingenious Deal award went to David Carlos and Ira Schuman of Savills Studley for their work representing the Jewish Theological Seminary in a series of real estate deals that netted the center of study of Conservative Judaism $131M.

Kathleen McSharry and Scott Singer
Kathleen McSharry and Scott Singer of The Singer & Bassuk Organization

The third place winners were Scott Singer and Kathleen McSharry of The Singer & Bassuk Organization, who assisted the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. with a $60M refinancing deal.

Award winners and judges
REBNY's Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award winners and judges pose with awards

The three winners were chosen from 15 submissions for REBNY's annual awards. REBNY president John Banks was absent from the ceremony because he is close to finalizing a new 421-a deal with legislators in Albany, according to event emcee Woody Heller.