Breaking the mold: Co-op deal involving toxic fungi wins REBNY’s resi deal of the year

Corcoran’s Pamela Liebman, Halstead’s Diane Ramirez among gala's attendees

Oct.October 29, 2015 12:40 PM

The 1,800-square-foot loft was in a state of near-ruin. For 13 years, mounds of rubble piled up while the co-op sat vacant, after its owner moved out amid allegations that the board failed to clean up toxic mold in the apartment.

But in August, Douglas Elliman’s Ann Marie Folan and Stribling & Associates’ Ross Evangelista sold the East 52nd Street unit for $1.2 million, an arduous and complicated deal that earned them first prize at the Real Estate Board of New York’s Residential Deal of the Year awards Wednesday night.

Behind the story:

Vickey Barron
Ann Marie Folan

“This case basically changed mold litigation in New York,” said Folan, who trained as an attorney and worked relentlessly with Evangelista to negotiate terms of the sale, push for a legal settlement and meet rigorous financial demands from the building’s board.

REBNY’s annual residential dinner, held at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers, was magic-themed and featured roving magicians and fortune tellers, and a performance by cast members from “Pippin.”

The residential world’s biggest names were in attendance, including Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman, Halstead Property’s Diane Ramirez, Town Residential CEO Andrew Heiberger and others. Arthur Zeckendorf was spotted mingling during cocktails, and Citi Habitats President Gary Malin took a seat for the awards ceremony next to new colleague Dave Maundrell, who sold his Brooklyn brokerage to Citi Habitats earlier this month.

REBNY President John Banks was also on hand to present predecessor Steve Spinola with a retirement gift. But, Banks said jokingly, REBNY will still call on Spinola for the tough jobs.

“We’re still going to be calling upon you for 421a negotiations,” he said.

Tamara Abir of Halstead Property won the title of Rookie of the Year. Elliman’s Sharon Burroughs and Nick Sakalis placed second in the residential sales category. (Burroughs also won last year.) Carol Levy of Carol E. Levy Real Estate placed third.

For rentals, the deal of the year was given to Halstead’s Grace Hiura and Miyuki Katagiri, along with Ashley Reidy of Elegran Real Estate, for completing a transaction involving a landlord who required tenants to sign a year’s lease under the stipulation that the tenant would obtain $2 million worth of renter’s insurance and only use a list of approved cleaning products.

Other awards went to Elliman’s Vickey Barron, who received the Eileen Spinola Award for distinguished service, a new award. Elliman colleague Corinne Pulitzer received the Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement.

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