Last night’s Real Estate Board of New York’s annual awards gala had all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood event. At the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street, New York City’s most powerful (and fashion-forward) brokers mingled and nibbled on tiny vegetable samosas and slivers of sea-bass skewered on cocktail sticks while waiting for the awards ceremony to begin.
Halstead Property President Diane Ramirez greeted party-goers at the entrance to the event’s expansive venue, which veered back for what seemed like miles to house a runway (for a later fashion show featuring clothes by womenswear designer Cesar Galindo,) a crowded bar and a dinner space. Ramirez was keen to direct attendees to the raffle table. The raffle raised money for REBNY’s Residential Member in Need Fund, which gives financial grants to REBNY members facing hardship because of a physical illness or a family crisis.
The event is one at which to see and been seen, attendees said.
A subsequent fashion show, showcasing designs by Galindo, featured slim models with slick back hair clad in beige and metallic evening wear with jeweled accents and tattoo prints. Barely a mention was made of the garments post-show as attendees gossiped about the awards and rushed to connect with friends they’d spotted from across the catwalk.
The party drew some of the industry’s most elite brokers, including the Corcoran Group’s Sharon Baum, Brown Harris Stevens’ Shlomi Reuveni, Ilan Bracha of Keller Williams NYC, Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Ariel Cohen and Nikki Field of Sotheby’s International Realty. Notably absent were Stephen Spinola, the chairman of REBNY, and his wife Eileen.
As previously reported, Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens both won big at the awards. The two brokerages, which are both owned by Terra Holdings, took home the majority of the evening’s prizes.
Elise Ehrlich of Halstead won the title of Rookie of the Year, while Nicholas Palance of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales and Ann Ferguson of Klara Madlin Real Estate together took first prize in the residential sales category. Adrian Thompkins and Shebrelle Hunter-Green of Halstead took second prize; Elayne Reimer of Halstead Property took third for top sales deal. For rentals, the deal of the year award was given to a broker from Prudential Douglas Elliman, William J. McBurney, Jr.
Stephen Kliegerman, president of the development marketing unit of Terra Holdings, took home the Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement.
Terra bigwigs were out in force for the event. Terra owners David Burris, Kent Swig and William and Arthur Zeckendorf were all in attendance. Swig, who is locked in a legal battle with father-in-law developer Harry Macklowe, was happy to indulge in light conversation with The Real Deal, recounting his younger days as a rugby player.
The show was hosted by Barbara Fox of Fox Residential and Jeff Rothstein of Prudential Douglas Elliman as well as Fred Peters of Warburg Realty, who jokingly danced on stage to Right Said Fred’s “Too Sexy” as the show opened.