The Real Deal New York

Sotheby’s Nikki Field tapped to lead Puck penthouse sales

Group replaces Douglas Elliman Development Marketing’s De Niro team, which led pre-sales
By David Jones | September 05, 2014 06:31PM

Developer Jared Kushner named Nikki Field of Sotheby’s International Realty to lead the brokerage team at the landmark Puck Building, where he converted the top floors into luxury penthouses, The Real Deal has learned.

Field, senior global real estate advisor and associate broker at Sotheby’s, leads a team that beat out four finalists at the six-unit converted luxury condo, called the Puck Penthouses, at 293 Lafayette Street. That group replaces a team led by Douglas Elliman’s Raphael De Niro, who was leading pre-sale efforts there.

“As we approached completion we met with four different brokerage groups to get their opinions and perspectives on the final product,” Jared Kushner, chief executive of Kushner Cos., told TRD.

Officials familiar with the process said that Kushner had never met Field before naming her to the project, but was taken in by her presentation.

“She understands unique real estate,” he said. “This is just not a commodity real estate.”

Field, a 20-year industry veteran, has worked at Sotheby’s since 1998 and ranks as one of the top three producers at the brokerage with more than $1 billion in sales. Among her most notable deals, is the $30 million sale of a full-floor unit at the Stanhope at 995 Fifth Avenue and the $48 million sale of former Tommy Hilfiger CEO Joel Horowitz’s Lake Tahoe estate.

The Puck Penthouses include six custom built units atop the landmark Puck Building, a famed 203,000-square-foot mixed-use property in Soho.

Field will be joined at the on-site office by associate brokers Jessica Weitzman and Jeanne Bucknam, Field told TRD.

De Niro and Dennis Mangone, of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, sold a three-bedroom unit measuring nearly 6,000 square feet for $28 million, or more than $4,500 a square foot, to an entity called HNZ Group according to city records. According to published reports, David Ganeck of Level Global Investors and his wife Danielle acquired the unit.

Kushner praised the team for their efforts in getting sales off the ground.

“They were instrumental in really helping build a fantastic product,” he said.

Sources told The Real Deal that there were problems with the response time when making inquiries and issues with gaining access to the property with clients who were ready to negotiate deals.

“You had to go up the chain to try and get somebody to pay attention,” said a broker who asked not to be identified.

Kushner, however, denied that the changes were due to slow response times.

Field said that the developers wanted to make sure the units were completely ready before officially launching sales. She confirmed that the units had been off the market for a while.

Field said that two of the remaining five units will be released to the market when sales officially launch the first week of October, with starting prices at $23 million, for a 4,896 square foot penthouse.

De Niro, who worked at the property for two years, was not immediately available for comment.