REBNY Celebrates Industry Achievements

The month of May is the time the Real Estate Board of New York celebrates many achievements in the commercial industry.

Earlier this month, REBNY’s Sales Brokers Committee recognized the most noteworthy sale, lease, and finance transactions completed in 2011 with the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year and two other prestigious awards. Winners were announced during the 68th Annual Sales Brokers Cocktail Party on May 1 at the 101 Club, where attendees enjoyed socializing with many of the top-notch dealmakers who were nominated.

Two of these coveted awards reflect the progress and growth that Downtown Manhattan has made in 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The construction of One World Trade Center holds historic significance and will be remembered for restoring confidence in our city and the nation’s future.

The first place, Henry Hart Rice Award was presented to Tara I. Stacom and Michael Rotchford of Cushman and Wakefield for “Transforming a White Elephant into a Precious Jewel: The Leasing of One World Trade Center.” Both Stacom and Rotchford played instrumental roles in creating two public-private partnerships to begin leasing at One World Trade Center, arguably the world’s most high-profile building.

For this top-notch deal, the real estate pros acted as financial advisors and leasing agents to a partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Silverstein Properties that jump-started the leasing of the three million square foot tower and completed the Condé Nast lease. Stacom and Rotchford also facilitated a second public-private partnership between the Port Authority and The Durst Organization to further the leasing progress.

The night’s second place prize of the Robert T. Lawrence Award was presented to Mary Ann Tighe and Gregory Tosko from CBRE for “Condé Nast Commits to One World Trade Center.” The powerhouse team had to work through a labyrinth of interests to the World Trade Center to gain consensus and agreements necessary for Condé Nast’s one million square foot commitment to Downtown Manhattan.  The move from 4 Times Square to One World Trade Center will enable Condé Nast to manage its long-term occupancy costs in a 21st century workspace.

For third place, the Edward S. Gordon Award was presented to Darcy Stacom, William Shanahan and Paul Gillen from CBRE who won for their sale of the Office and Retail Unit at the Two Gotham Center Condominium in Long Island City, a newly constructed 670,000 square foot office tower leased to the New York City Department of Health.  The purchase price shattered the previous Long Island City record and was the third largest outright sale of 2011.

REBNY commends all these hard-working commercial brokers for their efforts to make New York City home to so many businesses. The three award winners were recognized for deals that demonstrated the highest levels of ingenuity, creativity and professional skill.

Later this month, REBNY will recognize those who keep a commercial building operating at the 9th annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on May 31 at The Hilton New York Grand Ballroom. Hundreds will be in attendance to hear Keynote Speaker Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer and the presentation of eight prestigious awards. A portion of the event’s net proceeds will be dedicated to those in need of assistance in the real estate community. Last year, half of the net proceeds were donated to The Realty Foundation of New York, a non-profit organization that helps real estate professionals in need. 

There are many components to keeping a commercial building operating at a high-level of efficiency and, as a result, REBNY will recognize both the management side and the service providers.

The highest honor of the day will be presented to Gaston Silva of Vornado Realty Trust who will receive the Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award, which recognizes a management member whose career accomplishments include long-term leadership and significant contributions to the field of property management. In 2010, the Management Division Board of Directors voted unanimously to rename the Commercial Management Leadership Award after Edward A. Riguardi.

Silva is the Chief Operating Officer of Vornado Office, a division of Vornado Realty Trust, where he oversees the management and operation of more than 20 million square feet of commercial office space in Manhattan. In 2008, he was awarded REBNY’s George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award. Silva served as the Commissioner of Buildings from 1996-1999 in the Giuliani Administration.

Other award winners for the Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast are:

• Brian McCann of Cushman & Wakefield who will receive the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award, which recognizes current and potential professional achievement as well as significant contributions to a firm’s success by a portfolio manager or corporate management executive.

• Patricia Revellese of SL Green will be presented the On-Site Manager of the Year Award, which distinguishes an on-site manager who has considerably improved his/her building and contributed both to the industry and his/her company.

• Edward Fallon of Brookfield Properties will be given the John M. Griffin Community Service Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the community by a REBNY management member. It was named after the late John M. Griffin, who gave generously of himself to numerous charitable activities. 

• Maritza Mohr of Boston Properties will be presented with the Rising Star of the Year Award, which was created to recognize someone who may not have spent a lot of time in the industry so far, but nonetheless already has made an impact and demonstrated the right qualities to be a great commercial manager.

• Joe Bruno of Cushman & Wakefield will be given the Engineer of the Year Award, which recognizes an engineer who has brought innovative practices to his/her building, has a commitment to constant improvement, and gone above and beyond to improve the performance of the building.

• Elizabeth Taylor of Boston Properties will be presented with the Security Professional of the Year Award, which recognizes a security professional who works at the building level and demonstrates commitment to keeping the building occupants safe through a variety of challenging circumstances.

• Keith Garcia of Paramount Group will be given the Porter of the Year Award, which recognizes an outstanding porter who works hard to ensure buildings are clean and pleasant places to work and who exceed expectations and bring pride to their job every day.

REBNY looks forward to honoring all of this year’s winners for their continued achievements in our industry.

The Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, May 31, begins with coffee at 7:30 am and the program runs from 8:30 am to 10 am at The Hilton New York Grand Ballroom, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.

Sponsorships are still available and the deadline for ad space in the journal is May 21. Register online at For more information, contact Cindy Ramotar at