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Category ArchiveSinger & Bassuk Organization

Welcome to the Easy Life: The Retirees From Last Year’s Power 50

Late last year when George Klett announced his retirement from Signature Bank, it felt a little early. The guy was only 67.

But, in fairness to Klett, as the son of a sanitation worker who grew up in the Bronx, he’s been working since he was 11 years old. Nobody can blame him for wanting a break.

Still, Klett went out as chairman of the Commercial Real Estate Committee of Signature Bank on a high note: In 2016 Signature did $6 billion in originations, which earned him the No. 7 spot on the Power 50 list last year.

Klett wasn’t the only marquee name that decided to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of high finance and, thus, surrender his spot on the Power 50.

Richard Bassuk, the co-chairman and CEO of the Greystone Bassuk Group, had an extremely comfortable perch at No. 33 with a career that started in tax law. He made detours to pre-revolutionary Iran to do Starrett Housing developments and included forming the Singer & Bassuk Organization with Andy Singer, before partnering with Greystone’s Stephen Rosenberg. But Bassuk also decided that this was the year to sit back and enjoy retirement.

Finally, Michael Mazzei, the co-founder and COO of Ladder Capital, who shared last year’s No. 44 spot with co-Founder and CEO Brian Harris, decided to retire. But it looks like Mazzei has left his company in ship-shape: With a resurgent CMBS market Ladder’s originations edged up 6 percent to a healthy $3.4 billion.

Farewell, gentlemen—you might not be on Power 50 any more, but your deeds will not be forgotten.

Source: commercial

Benenson Capital Nabs $33M Bridge Loan for Midtown Retail Renovations

Benenson Capital Partners has secured $33.4 million in bridge financing for renovations to its retail spaces at 117-127 East 59th Street, Commercial Observer can first report.

Singer & Bassuk Organization arranged the financing on Benenson’s behalf.

The storefronts, located between Park and Lexington Avenues, are currently vacant. But Japanese retailer Muji has agreed to lease 13,000 square feet of the 35,000-square-foot space, including 5,700 at street level and the remainder below grade.

M&T Bank provided the loan, which was negotiated by a team led by Matt Petrula. Petrula was unavailable for comment, but told CO three years ago that his retail clients were increasingly excited about New York City.

Muji opened its first Brooklyn store—its seventh in the five boroughs—in September.

Another street-level retail space in the East 59th Street property, formerly occupied by Pottery Barn, remains vacant.

“It’s a very high-traffic location,” Scott Singer, the president of Singer & Bassuk, told CO. “We had the benefit of marketing it for a best-in-class owner-operator with substantial experience across their portfolio, who are long-term holders of this asset, and [who have] a stellar reputation. Those are really strong attributes.”

Asking rent on the ground-floor portion was $375 per square foot, and $125 per square foot for the lower level, according to The New York Post.

Singer said he was pleased to work with Benenson after many years of acquaintance.

“I’ve known them for quite some time,” he said. “My pitch to them was, ‘Isn’t 20 years enough of a vetting process?’ Happily, they agreed that it was.”

His firm thrives on personal relationships, Singer emphasized. “The groups that have been working with us for decades, and the newest groups as well, like the fact that a seasoned principal is the one who is negotiating every aspect of the deal,” he said.

The East 59th Street retail space is the former site of the famed department store Fiorucci, a chic destination for disco and new-wave fashions that opened in 1976. After thriving for a decade, the location shuttered in 1986, but the brand was relaunched this year in partnership with Barneys.

Representatives from Benenson were not immediately available for comment.

Source: commercial