Press Release

REBNY Announces Winners for 79th Annual Commercial Sales Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards


June 14, 2023

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Professionals from Verada, Savills and Newmark take home top awards for New York City commercial real estate transactions in 2022

NEW YORK, NY – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) brought together hundreds of members that drive commercial real estate sales activity in New York City on June 14th to announce the coveted Commercial Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards for deals completed in calendar year 2022. Conceived in 1944, the member contest honors resourcefulness and ingenuity in solving difficult problems in property negotiation.

Co-Chairs of the Sales Broker Committee Woody Heller of Branton Realty Services and Michael Rudder of Rudder Property Group presented the following awards during the in-person cocktail reception at Convene’s 101 Park Ave location:

  • The first-place Henry Hart Rice Achievement Award to Nathaniel Mallon of Verada for “Everyone Wins, or Thanks for Calling: Cheers to Brooklyn Brewery's Relocation” at 1 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249. In this nuanced transaction Mallon expertly navigated the complex needs of private parties and public entities, with consideration for the tenant’s complicated multi-use requirements, to secure a lease for Brooklyn Brewery’s new headquarters only a few blocks away from its current location. Nearly doubling the brewery’s current footprint, the new space will feature unique office, industrial, hospitality and retail components designed specifically for the tenant, including a 5,000-square-foot outdoor rooftop garden.

  • The second-place Robert T. Lawrence Memorial Award to Ira Schuman of Savills for “Converting a Done Deal to a Workable Lease: How a Lease Restructuring Made a Digital Skills Training Center Viable” at 124 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003. Through the guidance of Schuman, a transaction was coordinated involving unique parties and modified lease terms that will allow nonprofit technology collaborative and training center Civic Hall to occupy 85,000 square feet within the high quality Zero Irving commercial space. Nonprofit tenants can rarely afford to occupy a new building of this caliber in New York City’s extremely competitive market, but Schuman was able to identify tax exemptions and negotiate support for construction build out with the landlord that will make the numbers work for all stakeholders.

  • The third-place Edward S. Gordon Memorial Award to James Kuhn, Evan Layne and Brett Siegel of Newmark for “Solving the Puzzle to Create NYC’s Largest Residential Conversion” at 25 Water Street, New York, NY 10004. Presented with the challenge to sell an office building with an expiring anchor tenant and a need for substantial capital investment in a deeply challenged capital markets environment, this Newmark team was able to identify a series of solutions that enabled the sale of 25 Water Street to a buyer that plans an office-to-residential conversion that will deliver nearly 1,300 new apartments to supply-starved New York City. This is Kuhn’s third deal of the year award, having been previously recognized for bringing Trader Joe’s to 14th Street and the sale of the Parker portfolio and Parker Plaza.

In addition to transaction awards, REBNY's Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year Award (Rookie of the Year) was presented to Andrew Dzenis of Savills. Created in 1996 and selected by REBNY’s Commercial Brokerage Board of Directors, this award recognizes current and potential professional achievement as well as high character and ethical professional behavior.

“When reading through the submissions for this year’s deal of the year awards you see a wide range of dynamic problem-solving, long-term vision and tenacious advocacy that exemplify the contributions commercial sales professionals make to New York City’s economy,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “Helping an iconic Williamsburg business and attraction continue to grow in the neighborhood, bringing a nonprofit that helps underserved communities get training for technology jobs to a state-of-the-art new space, arranging a transaction for a buyer that will convert soon-to-be vacant office space into 1,300 new apartments---the winning deals show how creative commercial transactions can have significant benefits to communities, not just owners and tenants.”

The full list of deal of the year award submissions can be found here and contest rules here.

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit


Chris Santarelli
(212) 616-5249

Topics Covered

  • Commercial