Cushman’s Podell wins REBNY retail award for big Nike deal on Fifth Ave.

Deal started with a sketch on a napkin over ice cream sundaes on Shelter Island
By Rich Bockmann | June 14, 2017 11:00AM

From left: Fred Posniak of Empire State Realty Trust and Andrew Mandell of Ripco Real Estate Corp., Joanne Podell, Kenji Ota, and John Banks

UPDATED, June 14, 3:26 p.m.: Cushman & Wakefield’s Joanne Podell took home the Real Estate Board of New York’s top retail deal-making prize for bringing Nike to Fifth Avenue in one of the shopping strip’s most expensive deals ever.

Podell TRData LogoTINY won the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award Tuesday evening for representing the retailer in its 60,000-square-foot lease at SL Green Realty and Jeff Sutton’s 650 Fifth Avenue. The lease, as The Real Deal reported at the time, is worth $700 million over its term.

Podell’s entry, titled “From the Back of a Napkin to a Flagship: How Ice Cream Sundaes Brought Nike to 650 Fifth Avenue,” recounted how the deal started with a sketch on the back of a napkin last spring as Podell sat down for ice cream sundaes with representatives for the tenant and landlord on Shelter Island.

As she accepted her award at the REBNY Retail Committee’s 19th annual cocktail party, Podell struggled to find the right words before stating, “I’m excited. I don’t usually get this excited.”

REBNY’s Most Significant Retail Deal of the Year award went to Cushman’s Kenji Ota for the National Football League and Cirque du Soleil lease at the Witkoff Group’s 20 Times Square.

The 40,000-square-foot deal required extensive negotiations around timing, tax hurdles, new construction and economics, REBNY said.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly described the origin of Nike’s deal on Fifth Avenue.