Legend has it that if you stand in front of a darkened mirror and say “Sam Zell” three times, the grave-dancer himself will appear behind you with the fistful of cash he would have used to buy Monmouth Real Estate.
Welcome to October and welcome to the new issue:
- The necromancer of distressed properties spent the summer in a bidding war over the New Jersey-based industrial REIT with fellow titan Barry Sternlicht. What Sternlicht lacked in the way of a spooky nickname he made up for in an all-cash offer that still stands while Monmouth and its attorneys explore what to do next.
- Speaking of lawyers, many have returned to cobwebbed offices to find their credenzas piled high with acquisitions still pending from before the pandemic. As our rankings report shows, most firms stayed busy during the pandemic, eschewing stacks of paper for e-filing. Office leases are rising from the undead and condos have seized the market. Business is growing for lawyers, but hopefully the imposing stacks of paper don’t do the same, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- From across the pond, we bring you a tale of two brothers who struck it rich in the early days of Russian capitalism and were never seen again. The elusive Reubens refuse to appear on film, but everywhere you look in London are their properties. The Daft Punk of real estate has found its way to Manhattan, having bought the Dream Downtown hotel and the entirety of the Plaza’s debt, among other purchases.
- Bay Area-based real estate agent Herman Chan, on the other hand, thrives on both sides of the camera. The only thing scary about Chan is his commitment to his job (“To be away from it is almost a punishment”). This California broker has a flair for the dramatic and historical, dedicating in-depth research and “elaborate video productions” to some of the most out-there properties on the West Coast.
- Few agents can get by on charm alone, though. Many have been sweetening their deals for luxury clients in the form of lavish gifts and a concierge experience. Some clients are buying it hook, line and sinker. Others look at the ostentatious displays of wealth and are, well, a little spooked.