CBRE’s Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan two-stepped their way to the industry’s top honor for dealmakers last evening as they took home the first-place prize in the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual Ingenious Deal awards.
“Three cheers to the Shanghai shuffle,” Shanahan said Tuesday evening, as he accepted the Henry Hart Rice Award for brokering a joint venture between Forest City Ratner and China’s Greenland Holdings at Pacific Park (formerly known as Atlantic Yards) in Brooklyn.
The task was no small feat, considering the cultural barriers that had to be crossed.
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“Does anyone know how to say ‘joint venture’ in Mandarin?” asked Savills Studley’s Woody Heller, who emceed the event at Club 101 near Grand Central Terminal. “The answer is ‘no,’ because neither the word nor the concept exist in that culture or language.” Greenland ended up taking a 70 percent equity interest in the development, not including the Barclays Center and B2, the project’s first residential building.
Stacom said the key to the deal was comparing Brooklyn to Kowloon, a suburb outside of Hong Kong that the Chinese partners could identify with.
The deal, titled “East Meets West — Brooklyn Mirrors Kowloon,” is the fourth Ingenious award the CBRE duo have taken home. They had previously won the second-place Robert T. Lawrence Award in 2008 and the third-place Edward S. Gordon Award in both 2010 and 2011.
Stacom and Shanahan, who have lost ground to Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies in recent years, shared Tuesday’s honor with their CBRE colleague Paul Leibowitz.
“He won it twice,” she said of her father. “Tara and I said years ago that she would take the right shoe and I would take the left shoe. She’s won this award, [and] now I’ve won this award.”
Howard Fiddle and Brad Gerla, also of CBRE, took home second place for their deal “A ‘Two-State Solution’ to 11 Madison: Everyone Wins.”
Savills Studley brokers Ira Schuman and David Carlos won third place for their deal “Divine Intervention or Deal: The Story of the Sale, Repurchase, Rebuilding and Temporary Home for Congregation Habonim.”
The ceremony was a chance for some of the industry’s biggest names to rub shoulders, and also to get some good-natured digs in.
While thanking the night’s sponsors, emcee Heller gave a colorful shoutout to the Durst Organization’s chair Douglas Durst, whom he called “the industry’s most reluctant TV personality.”
The mention was a reference to Durst’s contentious relationship with an HBO documentary on his brother, accused murderer Robert Durst, and drew chortles from the crowd.
“We all watched ‘The Jinx,’” one attendee leaned over and said to his neighbor.