Young Jewish Professionals real estate networking investment summit, at the Chelsea Pearl art gallery at 121 West 19th Street
— While shmoozing with The Real Deal, Charles Bendit, co-founder and co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners, was all smiles when asked about his company’s recent $1.8 billion sale to Google. “It was a great deal for everybody,” he said. “It was a good situation where everyone comes out feeling good about the transaction.” When asked what he was going to do with the money, Bendit said he plans to buy a new car for himself and a watch for his wife. Perhaps they could start a collection of luxury goods: according to Bendit, he has “one or two” more major deals working through the pipeline.
— Ilan Bracha, a former top broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, who left last month to start a Manhattan franchise office of Keller Williams, told us that he is “recruiting every day… some big names.” When asked if he was planning on nabbing some Elliman agents, Bracha would only say that the new recruits “are not coming from one specific company.”
— While enjoying the buffet of Chinese food, desserts and the open bar, The Real Deal also caught up with Stanley Chera, founder and CEO of Crown Acquisitions, accompanied by his wife, Cookie. Bullish as always, Chera said that “retail is very strong in New York.”
— Also spotted at the event were Glenn Rufrano, president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield; Kenneth Bernstein, president and CEO of Acadia Realty Trust; and David Greenbaum, president of Vornado Realty Trust’s New York office.
55 Thompson rental building cocktail reception, at 55 Thompson Street
— Soho boutiques sell few glass slippers, but word is that a real European princess has made a home for herself at 55 Thompson. Richard Cantor, a principal with the building’s marketing brokerage Cantor Pecorella, gave The Real Deal the scoop, but wouldn’t divulge her country of origin or her identity. We hear that she liked her abode so much she encouraged her college friend to move into the building as well.
— The rental building has been attracting more than royalty, however. Cantor, along with developer Laurie Zucker Lederman of Manhattan Skyline Management, said that 55 Thompson has drawn a lot of tenants from the finance industry — so many that the building’s gym is now open 24 hours a day to accommodate their erratic schedules. Rumor has it that the building’s Tokyo traders can be seen working out at 2 a.m. on a regular basis.
— Elizabeth Stribling, founder of residential brokerage Stribling & Associates, she said she was thrilled to
move into her new apartment at One Brooklyn Bridge Park this past Christmas
Eve, after years of renovations.