At the Desk of:
Kelly Kennedy Mack

The Corcoran Sunshine powerhouse on horse racing, life without a driver and transforming the skyline

Mar.March 01, 2016 11:25 AM
KELLY-KENNEDY-MACK

Kelly Kennedy Mack (Photos by Michael McWeeney)

Kelly Kennedy Mack’s office, which sits at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, is tucked in the shadow of Billionaires’ Row. To the left there’s the under-construction 220 Central Park South and to the right there’s the recently completed One57. And that could not be more apropos. As president of the new development marketing powerhouse Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, Mack has worked on both of those projects as well as many of New York’s other priciest condos. She did not start out in real estate. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1996, she worked for Turner Broadcasting Sales and married her high school sweetheart (real estate scion Stephen Mack). In 2002, just as Mack was finishing up her MBA program at New York University Stern School of Business, the dotcom bubble burst and she was forced to rethink her career in entertainment. Her father-in-law, William Mack, the founder of AREA Property Partners, suggested she meet legendary marketing consultant Louise Sunshine, the founder of the Sunshine Group. When the two met, they spoke for all of 20 minutes before Sunshine offered her a job. Instead of accepting, Mack said she’d work for free for a month to see if it was the right fit. “To be totally honest, I didn’t know enough about the business to jump right in.” Two years later, she was named executive vice president, and in 2006, she took over. Since then, the fast-talking New Yorker has overseen $22 billion in sales, with $5 billion last year alone.

56-leonard-model56 Leonard model

Developer Izak Senbahar gave Mack this custom-designed model of 56 Leonard. The 145-unit condo, which was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is often referred to as the “Jenga” tower. The model also became a hot item on eBay, with bidders shelling out several hundred dollars. Mack said 98 percent of the units have been sold.

new-york-in-a-bagNew York in a Bag

This wooden set of New York City, made by Japanese designer Muji and sold by MoMA in a bag, was Mack’s holiday gift to clients last year. The set includes NYC icons like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. But it also reminds Mack of all of the transformative towers — from the Time Warner Center to One Beacon Court — that she’s worked on with clients.

Kelly-Mack-dogPuppy love

Mack took this picture of her puppy, Quincy, on Billionaires’ Row and sent it to executives at Extell because the company’s One57 is in the background. She called the “Bernadoodle,” a mix between a Bernease mountain dog and labradoodle, the “new love of my life.”

mel-bochner-paintingMel Bochner painting

This painting adorns one wall in Mack’s office, with words like “OBVIOUS” and “DUH!” She owns multiple pieces by Mel Bochner, a conceptual artist known for featuring negative words in his paintings. But she gravitates toward his more optimistic pieces.

hourglassHourglass

At the height of the recession in 2008, a colleague handed out an hourglass to each member of the management team as a reminder to “take a breather” every once in awhile. But Mack says she can’t pause for the full 10 minutes. “I’m a very calm person, but I’m not a patient person,” she said.

shoeboxShoebox

This shoebox is not just for show. Mack has a rotation of footwear — from sneakers to snow boots to construction site boots to high heels — in her office at all times. The sneakers may get the most love considering that she walks “between four and six miles a day” to meetings. “People are always surprised that I don’t have a driver,” she said.

ganeshGanesh

Mack picked up the one-tusked elephant, a Hindu deity, on a trip to India with her husband, Stephen, about five years ago. The souvenir has followed Mack from office to office. “It’s my good luck charm,” she said, adding that it reminds her of how her travel has influenced design and marketing decisions at Corcoran Sunshine.

Photo with hubby

Kelly-Mack-and-husbandThis photo with Stephen Mack was taken at the Belmont Park racetrack. “We’re really into horse racing,” she said. Although Stephen owns seven horses, Mack jokes that horse racing can be a “money pit.” One of her husband’s horses, Master David, has raced in the Kentucky Derby, and another, Tammy the Torpedo, recently won a stakes race. The couple live close to Mack’s office, at the Park Imperial.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described Mack’s statue. Ganesh is a Hindu deity

Correction: Only one of Mack’s husband’s horses has raced in the Kentucky Derby, contrary to what was said in a previous version of this story


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