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Category ArchiveBank of America

Brookfield Properties Exec James Malone Joins Colliers International

James Malone, a well-known commercial real estate executive in Los Angeles, has joined Colliers International as a senior managing director overseeing the firm’s South Bay and West L.A. offices, according to an official announcement from Colliers.

A former vice president of leasing with developer Brookfield Properties (an operating entity of Brookfield Property Partners) and broker with JLL, Malone will partner with Colliers Executive Managing Director Hans Mumper to expand the firm’s presence in both pivotal Los Angeles markets. The appointment is part of the brokerage’s stated five-year goal to double the size of its business by 2020.

Malone’s deals include one of the largest lease transactions of 2017, when anchor tenant Bank of America extended and expanded its lease at its namesake plaza at 333 South Hope Street in Bunker Hill, growing within Brookfield Property Partners’ 55-story, 1.4-million-square-foot property to 218,000 feet from 164,000. Brookfield did not reply to a request for comment.

Malone, who earlier in his career was responsible for the marketing and leasing of mixed-use projects built by Catellus Development in both L.A. and San Francisco, also served as an attorney at the law firm Haight, Brown & Bonesteel in L.A., where he specialized in commercial litigation. He received law degree from Loyola Law School in L.A. following his graduation from UCLA with a bachelor’s degreein economics. After four years at Catellus, Malone worked at JLL for a 10-year period ending in 2013, according to this LinkedIn profile, and then moved to Brookfield from October 2013 until starting his new gig at Colliers this month.

In addition to his background in real estate and law, Malone formerly was in the National Football League, where he played briefly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns.

“There was no question in my mind that when James Malone, showed a strong interest in returning to the brokerage side of the business as a senior manager, someone who could partner with me in strengthening our efforts in our new West L.A. location and in the South Bay, there was no one else with his level of experience, or such a sterling reputation, in our pool of candidates,” Mumper told Commercial Observer. “He has everything it takes to succeed, including his work as a former top-producing broker for one of our major competitors, and even his experience as a practicing attorney. The fact that he attended UCLA, where he was a star linebacker for the Bruins’ football team for four years, may not immediately inure him to the many USC grads who work for us, but I think they’ll come around, too.”

Colliers greater Los Angeles presence includes its flagship office in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as offices in West Los Angeles, South Bay (El Segundo), Los Angeles North (Encino), Inland Empire (Ontario), Orange County (Irvine), Santa Clarita Valley (Valencia), and in the cities of Industry and Commerce with a total of 165 brokers, according to a company spokesman.

“The opportunity [at Colliers] fits with my long-term career goals,” Malone said. “My career was largely spent being a transaction person, executing deals. Colliers afforded me the opportunity to be in a leadership role in a global brokerage company.”

Malone, who lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife and two children, will oversee approximately 75 brokers in Colliers West Los Angeles office at 11911 San Vicente Boulevard and South Bay location at 2121 Rosecrans Avenue in El Segundo.

Source: commercial

In Cannes for MIPIM, Brookfield’s Ric Clark Is All NYC

Brookfield Property Partners is no doubt one of the most active developers in New York City.

The firm recently completed the redevelopment of its 8.5-million-square-foot Brookfield Place office and retail complex in Lower Manhattan, a $250 million project it commenced in 2015. Today the property is nearly entirely leased. And the developer is building at an aggressive pace the more than 7-million-square-foot Manhattan West project.

The company is also is a partner on Park Tower Group’s 22-acre Greenpoint Landing mixed-use development in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. And on top of that, the developer recently picked up the leasehold of the HBO Building at 1100 Avenue of the Americas along with Swig Company and signed most of the space to Bank of America (386,000 square feet). In addition, Brookfield and Swig recently signed Bank of America to a 127,000-square-foot space at their adjacent property, the Grace Building at 1114 Avenue of the Americas.

Commercial Observer caught up with Ric Clark, the senior managing partner and the chairman of Brookfield, while in Cannes for his very first MIPIM (or Marché International des Professionnels d’Immobilier). His main order of business at the conference: talking about trends in the United States on a U.S. panel co-organized by CO.

But we got to talk to him about the status of the firm’s projects, Brookfield’s investment in on-demand conference space provider Convene and the company’s recent—so far unsuccessful—attempts to acquire General Growth Properties, Forest City Realty Trust and Regus parent company IWG.

Commercial Observer: You have a lot of things going on in New York City. What is the status of Greenpoint Landing, Brookfield’s foray into the outer boroughs?

So the first building opens up in August. I think it’s just shy of 400 units. The second tower will open in 2020 and we hope that we have two more towers coming up on the heels of those.

Park Tower Group brought Brookfield in to do that project. What attracted you to it?

It really started with a desire to expand our presence in the multifamily business. Up until roughly six years ago we really didn’t have any investments in the apartment sector. But looking back it’s been one of the best performing sectors, particularly in New York City—vacancy is very low—tenants tend to stay for a couple of years, and when they do leave the capital expenses are pretty modest unlike an office tenant. Granted stay longer, but when they leave it is a major capital reinvestment to retenant the space. So the first building that we built was The Eugene [with 844 units] at Manhattan West. We are closing in on 80 percent leased now, and it hasn’t even been open [for a year]. So basically on the heels of that and making a decision to enter the multifamily space, we looked around and thought, Brooklyn was a great alternative to Manhattan. It’s cheaper, so more affordable, and there is a lot happening in Brooklyn.

What’s going on at Manhattan West?

So 5 Manhattan West, formerly  known as 450 West 33rd Street, started as an apparel warehouse—at one point it had the Sky Rink—we were able to convert that and put a new facade, new lobby, new systems and take what was once the ugliest building in Manhattan and make it into a pretty attractive building, which is appealing to those in the innovation and technology businesses. So that [1.7-million-square-foot] building is effectively fully leased at this point.  

One Manhattan West is going up. We did 1.8 million square feet of leasing [at Manhattan West] last year so overall between 5 Manhattan West, 1 Manhattan West and The Lofts building, which is a 200,000-square-foot building that we are repurposing there as well, we are 92.3 percent leased across the project. So we had a really big year there last year.

What else did you do there?

We are about to break ground on a [30-story, 164-room] hotel. We haven’t yet announced the operator. But we hope too soon. So the remaining piece is to lease out the retail. We have signed a couple of retail deals already—like Whole Foods

So the only thing left is 2 Manhattan West—the south tower—where we are actively pursuing tenants. We have started the below-grade work [on that building].

With everything happening in Hudson Yards District, is Midtown East dead?

Between us and Hudson Yards there has been a lot of momentum over there in the last couple of years. [But] the east is not finished yet. There is a bit of a nuclear arms race going on when it comes to upgrading buildings that are somewhat obsolete [in Midtown East]. I think it’ll make those buildings more appealing. Those that don’t spend the capital to reposition their buildings and enhance them, I think are going to struggle a lit bit. But the east is not dead. We just saw the J.P. Morgan announcement [to build new Park Avenue headquarters], which was pretty huge for Park Avenue.  

It’s not exactly Midtown East, but your company now has two buildings off Bryant Park with the Grace Building and the recently acquired neighboring 1100 Avenue of the Americas. Why did you want the adjacent property?

Adjacent and back connected to the Grace Building is the HBO Building, 1100 Avenue of the Americas. There is literally a floor where you could walk from one building to the other.

Interestingly, someone along the chain of ownership built what I’m going to call a “spite wall” on the back of the HBO Building. So when we acquired the Grace Building there was this solid wall that went literally up the north side of the HBO Building.

We were the only one’s pursuing the acquisition of 1100 Avenue of the Americas that could remove that wall [since we also owned the Grace Building], and basically connect the Grace Building plaza to Bryant Park with a renovation of the lobby. The other advantage that we had on that building [1100 Avenue of the Americas] than others is that the building does not have a loading dock. So you literally had to pull a truck up in the middle of the night and offload it to bring goods into the building. We can connect the building to the Grace Building’s loading dock underground.

We saw this as an opportunity to help Bank of America [which is the anchor of 1 Bryant Park] create an urban campus. So they leased the bulk of 1100 [Avenue of the Americas], and also have taken some space in the Grace Building as well.

How is Brookfield Place doing?

So we’ve leased up all of the retail space and the project is 8.5 million square feet and 95 percent leased [in both office and retail]. And I just looked at the [2017] year-end sales numbers before I came here and it had very strong same-store sales.

It really has exceeded our expectations. You can go there on a Friday night, it’ll be crowded. You could go there on a Saturday morning, it’ll be crowded. And it’s a difference; the crowd takes on a different complexion on any day of the week. Sunday morning you’ll see a bunch of dads and strollers. And we are really proud of it.

We’ve heard millennials are to blame for the death of malls. How is Brookfield preparing for the influx of millennials that will reshape the economy?

In a year or two, millennials will make up 50 percent of the world’s working population. And by 2030, it’ll make up 70 percent. So for sure, I think those in the real estate business that are paying attention to that are making adjustments to their real estate to help employees attract, maintain and motivate employees will be more successful.

This crowd was basically born with a smartphone in their hands. And they want everything immediately and they want it efficiently, so we’ve been bringing a lot of innovation and technology to our “places.”

What specifically?

For example, at Brookfield Place we are beta testing an app that will package a bunch of other apps that will provide convenience to those that work within our project. You will soon be able to get in and out of the building by using your smartphone instead of a plastic badge. You will receive security alerts on a moment’s notice if there is some kind of terrorism event or some kind of emergency.

We noticed that when we opened Hudson Eats [in Brookfield Place], between the lunch hours the lines were so long that people were actually turning away. So we found an app called Ritual, with which you can sit at your desk, decide where you want to order your food from, you order your food, the food is prepared, they give you a notice when it is ready. They’ll also let you know if someone else on your floor or in your building is going down to pick up food from there and [inform you if] they’ll bring the food back to you.

Within a couple of months 25 percent of the people that work within Brookfield Place downloaded this app, and sales for the stores that use it went up 25 percent as well. So we are trying to wrap all of those with a Brookfield app just to make the overall experience just as seamless and efficient as we can.

And this is only for Brookfield Place?

We’ve been beta testing this whole thing at Brookfield Place so once we get the bugs out and its working efficiently, we’ll roll it out across the world.

How did you get to know Convene and why is Brookfield so heavily investing in it?

I got a phone call once from a CEO of [Hudson’s Bay Company]—one of our tenants—after we signed a lease with him, saying, “I’m sitting here with my architect and I’m planning my space and I’m planning a boardroom, which I am literally going to use once a quarter. And if you had something where I could rent a catered conference room once a quarter, I could use my space that I rented from you for more productive things.”

And he introduced us to Convene. And we understood the merits of it immediately.

On the one hand, I’m sure our leasing group would rather rent more space to somebody even if it is sitting idle, but I think those that listen to their tenants and solve their tenants’ problems as they relate to efficiency will be more successful.

How much has Brookfield invested in Convene?

We are the largest shareholder now. We sign leases with them in some of our buildings and we do management agreements with them as well. So we think wherever we can work a Convene into our projects it’s a great amenity—one that tenants will respond positively to.

Work space as a service has become huge business with players like WeWork, IWG (Regus) and Convene. Are you afraid that they will take business from traditional landlords?

So for our office business primarily we are in the big-bulk leasing business. So we don’t have a lot of small tenants in our facilities… And for sure the smaller tenants I think—particularly those in a start-up business—need flexibility and I think WeWork or IWG provides that flexibility for those tenants that don’t want to sign a 10-year lease because their business may be very different in a couple of years. I think there is room for both of these. And we are working with a coworking or flexible angle within many of our projects around the world.

Although they have been unsuccessful so far, why has Brookfield made moves to acquire GGP, Forest City Realty and IWG?

So I can’t comment on specific transactions. But I would say [Brookfield Property Partners parent company] Brookfield Asset Management’s real estate business has about $150 billion of assets under management and we got to that scale through [mergers and acquisitions] activity. So we are always looking for mispriced or undervalued opportunities—opportunities where we think either through a better capital structure or because of our operating capabilities or some idea that we have or some synergies with some or our other businesses, we can acquire a business and create value. And I’d say, in all of those transactions that is what we are really focused on. As for the specific ones that you mentioned, we will see.

Source: commercial

USA Arm of Spirits Giant Moving to Grace Building From San Fran

Campari America, the U.S. arm of the spirits company Campari Group, has signed a 10-year, 64,658-square-foot lease at Brookfield Property Partners and The Swig Company’s Grace Building to relocate its headquarters from San Francisco.  

The company, known for brands like Skyy Vodka and Wild Turkey, has been based in San Francisco since 1992. It will occupy the entire 18th and 19th floors in the 48-story building between West 42nd and West 43rd Street near Bryant Park when it moves in the fall, according to a news release from Brookfield.

The entire U.S. team, comprising 165 employees, is moving to the building, which has an official address of 1114 Avenue of the Americas.

Campari executives expect the new location will boost its connectivity with its other offices, as it puts the Grace Building office closer to its worldwide Milan headquarters, and operations in Kentucky, Jamaica, Mexico and Canada, according to Jean Jacques Dubau, the managing director of Campari Group’s business unit in North America.

“This move will help to increase collaboration with key business partners and our Milan counterparts; allow us to more easily hire candidates with deep spirits experience; and give us the room to expand as we grow our portfolio of premium brands,” Dubau said in a prepared statement.

Gensler has been selected to design the new Campari America office. Colliers International’s Joseph Cabrera, David Glassman, Tim Kuhn, Brendan Cavender and Steve Maneri handled the deal for Campari America. CBRE’s Ken Rapp, Sarah Pontius, Peter Turchin, Zak Snider and Cara Chayet represented Brookfield. Spokespersons for the brokerages did not immediately return requests for comment.

The asking rent in the deal was not immediately clear. However, in a recent Bank of America deal at the 1.6-million-square-foot tower, the starting rent was $70s per square foot, as Commercial Observer previously reported. And Humanscale, a designer and manufacturer of office products, signed a 33,000-square-foot lease to move its headquarters to the Grace Building. The asking rent in that deal was in the high-$80s per square foot, as CO reported last month.

Retail tenants in the building include Gabriel Kreuther, Bluestone Lane, Joe & the Juice, Sweetgreen and STK.

Source: commercial

Toys ‘R’ Us Bankruptcy Could Risk $500M in CMBS

The announcement of the closure of 182 Toys “R” Us stores last week—part of the retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last fall—has put roughly $500 million in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) at risk, according to a report from Morningstar Credit Ratings.

Analysts at the rating agency identified 20 CMBS loans, with a combined balance of roughly $500 million, that could come under fire due to occupancy concerns following the closings.

The report, issued on Tuesday, indicates that there are 40 CMBS loans—with a combined balance of $1.47 billion—that are exposed to the recent Toys “R” Us store closures. While 20 of those loans—with a combined balance of $500 million—are of concern due to occupancy issues following Toys “R” Us’ departure, the remaining 20 loans haven’t raised red flags due to the fact that Toys “R” Us doesn’t represent a large enough portion of each asset’s leasable space. Of the latter population, the two largest are the $56 million loan backed by Akers Mill Square in Atlanta, Ga., and the $123 million loan on The Plant at San Jose in San Jose, Calif.

The loan on Akers Mill Square was securitized in the Deutsche Bank-sponsored COMM 2014-LC5 transaction and represents 6.31 percent of its roughly $695 million securitized balance. The loan on The Plant at San Jose in San Jose, Calif.—securitized in the Wells Fargo-sponsored WFRBS 2013-C14 CMBS deal—constitutes 8.8 percent of the deal’s roughly $1 billion balance.

In September 2017—prior to the bankruptcy filing—a Morningstar Toys “R” Us risk report highlighted two of the largest CMBS loans at risk, should the retailer file for bankruptcy. The $507.6 million loan securitized in the Goldman Sachs/ Bank of America-sponsored TRU 2016-TOYS deal is the CMBS loan with the largest exposure.

Although the loan is backed by a portfolio of 123 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores, Morningstar analysts noted that just seven locations with an allocated property balance of $3.2 million are exposed to a closing store and that the stores’ geographic diversity and low loan-to-value ratio (56.6 percent) significantly mitigates loan default risk.

Analysts also noted that the largest asset within TRU 2016-TOYS accounts for only 2.4 percent of the securities balance and that a small number of stores closing is unlikely to have a significant effect on the deal.

On Sept. 18, 2017, Toys “R” Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, making the toy store chain the latest retailer to feel the pressures of operating brick-and-mortar shops in an age of dominance for e-commerce and online shopping.

In an effort to restructure and reorganize in bankruptcy proceedings, Toys “R” Us announced on Jan. 23 plans to shutter 182 stores—or 20 percent of its U.S. portfolio, with about half of the stores falling under the Babies “R” Us brand—that have failed to meet “performance standards,” as Commercial Observer reported on Jan. 24.

A spokeswoman for Toys “R” Us previously told CO that the company had until Feb. 6 for the court to approve its plan to shutter it’s targeted locations. If approved, the closures would have commenced in January, with “the majority” closing in mid-April,  according to a letter on the company’s website to customers and signed by company CEO Dave Brandon.

Toys “R” Us was able to extend its the court-imposed deadline to decide which stores to close to the end of August, as part of a deal with creditors, Bloomberg reported on Jan. 23. In exchange, the company agreed to pay landlords’ fees related to the bankruptcy case as well as finish this round of store closures by the end of August or it will be unable to close any of the stores on its list until after the 2018 holiday season.

A representative for Toys “R” Us could not immediately be reached.

Source: commercial

Bank of America Taking Four Retail Spaces on West 23rd Street

After having success with its automated teller machines at the corner of West 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, Bank of America has leased the four spaces that comprise the remainder of the retail condominium, Commercial Observer has learned.

The bank, which is currently in about 600 square feet, signed a 15-year deal for 3,000 square feet on the ground floor, and 3,000 square feet on the second floor at 186 Fifth Avenue for a branch, according to Jeff Winick, the founder and CEO of Winick Realty Group. He represented the landlord, Walter & Samuels, along with Winick’s Danielle Winick and Lee Block.

The asking rent was $850 per square foot at grade, and $150 foot on the second floor, Winick said. “The ATMs did well and they wanted to have a branch on this main corner,” Winick said, pointing to the “exposure on the Fifth Avenue corridor.”

The 3,000-square-foot ground floor is “segmented into four separate stores,” Block said. Walter & Samuels will “combine it and make it more presentable.” Winick said that the landlord is looking to redo the facade on the ground floor, and because the office condo building is landmarked, the issue is before the New York Landmarks Commission. The new space will be unveiled in the summer.

186 fifth avenue photo costar group Bank of America Taking Four Retail Spaces on West 23rd Street
What 186 Fifth Avenue looked like until this month. Photo: CoStar Group

Of the retailers, the shoemaker and dry cleaner relocated, according to signs in their windows; clothing store Pinkyotto appears to have just closed and jewelry store Outlette opened a shop at 228 Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side, but hopes to open another store in the neighborhood. Outlette co-owner Ruth Bienstock insisted to CO before permanently closing earlier this month that they “will” find a space.

Her business partner (and former husband) Scott Bienstock, said that the West 23rd Street store, which used an address of 6 West 23rd Street, was their “first store and we wanted to test the concept.” Outlette had 250 square feet at grade and 150 square feet upstairs for storage through a three-year lease. The rent was close to $11,000 a month, Scott said.

While there was nothing nefarious about the situation, and in fact, Walter & Samuels let Outlette stay beyond its lease expiration last October, Scott said, “It’s just sad there’s no room for mom-and-pops.”

The business partners want to return to the Flatiron District because of their “following,” Scott said. “We have built up a community of people here.”

CBRE’s Allan Price, Stephen Sjurset and David LaPierre represented the bank in the deal. They didn’t respond to a request for comment, and a spokeswoman for Walter & Samuels said her client declined to comment.

With additional reporting provided by Rebecca-Baird Remba.

Source: commercial

Bank of America to Take Entire 386K-SF HBO Building Across From Bryant Park

Bank of America has signed a deal to occupy the entire 386,000-square-foot office building at 1100 Avenue of the Americas, replacing HBO.   

The bank will move into the 15-story building (also known as the HBO Building) between West 42nd and West 43rd Streets when the cable network relocates to 30 Hudson Yards in 2019 with its parent company, Time Warner, as The New York Post first reported.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America declined to comment or provide additional details on the lease agreement. It was not immediately clear which brokers handled the transaction on behalf of the financial institution and the landlords, Brookfield Property Partners and California-based The Swig Company.

Multiple spokespersons for Brookfield did not return Commercial Observer’s inquiries, and a spokeswoman for Swig did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bank of America will keep its offices across the street at the nearly 2.4-million-square-foot One Bryant Park (also known as the Bank of America Tower), setting up a “campus” with the new digs, the Post reported. At One Bryant Park the company has nearly 1.6 million square feet of space, according to CoStar Group.

Brookfield and Swig acquired the leasehold on 1100 Avenue of the Americas in March from the Nickerson family’s Eugene A. Hoffman Management, as Crain’s New York Business reported at the time. The deal was worth $370 million, as CO previously reported. The partners plans to renovate the entire building following HBO’s exit.

Source: commercial

Related Purchases Pacific Center in the South Bay of Los Angeles for $107 Million

Related Fund Management, a subsidiary of Related Companiespurchased the Pacific Center in Torrance, Calif. earlier this month, Commercial Observer has learned. The 306,765-square-foot office building located in the South Bay—part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area—was nabbed from Stream Realty for $106.8 million, according to a source familiar with the deal.

“This is the undisputed nicest property of this kind in the area,” Ryan Gallagher of HFF, who represented Stream Realty, told CO, pointing to its location as well as property upgrades. Stream, headquartered in Dallas, with offices in Sansunk, spent over $6 million for a full exterior landscape, lobby, bathroom and corridor upgrades after purchasing the property in 2015 for $68.5 million.

Proximity to the far costlier and in-demand coastal communities of Santa Monica, Venice and Playa Vista—dubbed “Silicon Beach” for the confluence of major tech companies like Google and Facebook and startups setting up shop there—also adds to its marketability according to Gallagher, who said vacancy rates in Silicon Beach are a miniscule 6 percent.

The Center at 21250 Hawthorne Boulevard sits at the heavily trafficked intersection of Hawthorne and Torrance Boulevards across from the Del Amo Fashion Center, the 2.3-million-square-foot super-regional shopping center which recently underwent a $500 million renovation.

The eight-story building is currently 91 percent leased and counts Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Barrister Executive Suites among its tenants.

“We viewed the Pacific Center as a great asset with a diverse roster of marquee tenants and an excellent location,” a spokeswoman for Related Fund Management told CO, which plans on upgrading amenities including the addition of a fitness center and on-site café.

The Real Deal first reported news of the sale.

Source: commercial

‘Twilight’ and ‘Hunger Games’-Themed Attraction Headed for Times Square

Movie studio Lionsgate Entertainment is partnering with Spanish amusement company Parques Reunidos to develop a $30 million attraction in Times Square that highlights several popular films and TV series, including Hunger Games and Twilight.

The 45,000-square-foot Lionsgate Entertainment City will offer 13 exhibits that use virtual reality and other technology to “immerse guests in their favorite Lionsgate film and television stories,” according to a press release from Parques. Exhibits themed around Mad Men, Divergent and Now You See Me are also in the works. The flagship project is the first of several Lionsgate-themed attractions planned throughout the U.S. and Europe. It’s expected to open in 2019.

The Madrid-based leisure park operator signed a 15-year lease for three floors of retail at 11 Times Square, at the corner of West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. The New York Post, which broke the news of the deal, pegged the asking rent at $7 million a year.

SJP Properties owns the 1.1-million-square-foot building with PGIM and Norges Bank. E-Trade inked a 31,000-square-foot lease at the 40-story tower earlier this year, Commercial Observer reported, and other major tenants include law firm Proskauer Rose, Microsoft and Bank of America.

RKF’s Robert K. Futterman, Joshua Strauss and Scott Zinovoy represented both sides in the transaction. Spokespeople for RKF did not return a request for comment.

Source: commercial

Retail Leasing Vet Howard Gilbert Heads to ABS, Says NKF ‘Wasn’t for Me’

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Howard Gilbert, a 37-year retail leasing veteran who first brought Forever 21 to Manhattan, has joined ABS Partners Real Estate as an executive managing director, Commercial Observer has learned.

Gilbert, who officially started on July 31, is focusing on retail leasing on both the landlord and tenant sides and oversees a staff of four brokers that makeup the retail division at the company. He said he left NKF after less than three years because “it wasn’t for me.”

He further explained: “You really need to be on a team to be successful over there with a real strong leadership. I worked with a couple of retail brokers on assignments [at NKF], but it’s not the same as being the team. If you aren’t on the top of the totem pole, it’s hard to do business. I can work with the principals [at ABS], which is what I wanted.”

Gilbert, 65, started working at NKF in fall 2014, as CO previously reported. Prior to that he handled retail deals at RKF for nearly two decades. And before that he worked at Garrick-Aug, Wm. A White/Tishman East, and Cushman & Wakefield for a few years each.

Last month he represented a high-end Japanese restaurant in a 10,000-square-foot lease at Rockefeller Center. (He said he could not contractually release the name of the tenant, landlord or building.)

In October 2016, he handled a 6,000-square-feet deal for a Uniqlo pop-up at 1535 Broadway between West 45th and West 46th Streets in Times Square.

Older deals include working with Bank of America to open about two dozen branches and a dozen ATM locations in Manhattan between 2005 and 2010. He was also responsible for bringing Forever 21’s first store into Manhattan at 40 East 14th Street between Broadway and University Place in Union Square in the mid-2000s. And Gilbert handled the apparel company’s Times Square flagship at 1540 Broadway between West 45th and West 46th Street in 2008.

“Howard’s years of expertise and knowledge will not only help to grow our direct business, but will also attract and mentor younger brokers that want to immerse themselves in this industry,” Gregg Schenker, the president and co-managing partner at ABS Partners, said in a statement.

A native of Brooklyn, Gilbert grew up in the Flatbush section of the borough. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. He currently lives in Stamford, Conn. with his wife of 30 years and their 25-year-old son.

A spokesman for NKF did not immediately return a request for comment about Gilbert’s departure.

Source: commercial

Bank of America Renews 8,888 SF on UES

Source: commercial