The Closing: Tara Stacom

Jan.January 01, 2012 04:25 PM

Tara Stacom (photo by Marc Scrivo)

Tara Stacom is a vice chairman at commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm. She’s been with the firm since 1981 and has handled more than 40 million square feet of commercial transactions. Her clients have included the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the Durst Organization, Morgan Stanley, SL Green Realty and Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. Earlier this year, Stacom represented the Port Authority in the historic Condé Nast deal at One World Trade Center, where she is the co-leasing agent along with Durst, an equity partner in the tower. Stacom is also on the ethics committee of the Real Estate Board of New York, and its commercial brokerage division’s board of directors.

What is your full name?
Tara Irene Stacom. Hill of Tara in Ireland is what I was named after. It’s where all the ancient queens of Ireland were buried. Mom liked short names that couldn’t be shortened. Stacy. Darcy. Beau is B-e-a-u. Tara. There are six of us. And she was Claire.

So your mom passed on?
Yes. She died very quickly in a car accident at age 59. She was coming home from negotiating a leasing deal in Westchester [for Cushman & Wakefield] very late one night. She fell asleep and hit something.

What is your date of birth?
Aug. 11, 1958.

Who’s older — you or your sister Darcy [who does investment sales at the CBRE Group]?
I’m actually a year older. She came into the business a year before me, so people think she’s older and I leave it that way as we get older.

Where do you live?
485 Park at 58th Street. [We’ve been there] for 20 years.

As long as you’ve been married [to second husband Arthur Diedrick]?
Exactly right. And we go to Connecticut on the weekends.

Doesn’t Darcy have a home there as well?
She’s in Easton and I’m in Litchfield. We’re from Greenwich originally.

Do you have other homes?
In Naples, Fla., [we have] a condo on the beach. When we’re visiting friends … we look at real estate. In Naples, we toured and then went around again with an agent two hours later. I walked in and I said, “I’ll take it.” [My husband] said, “We’re not buying.” I said, “Hey, I’m buying.” I said, “Sell it to me lock, stock and everything in it.” [We bought it] with pots and pans, linens, towels.

How often are you and your husband in the city on the weekends?
My husband wrote in our marriage contract (I’m joking, obviously, but he means this sort of seriously) that he won’t spend a weekend in the city. He likes to be in the country. He comes down on Wednesday night and leaves on Friday morning.

Is that why your marriage works?
Actually we hadn’t spent a day apart in five years. The day he said, “I really want to do this [state-appointed] political position and it requires me to live in the house in Connecticut,” I went, “What?” We have the most phenomenal marriage and I could be with him every day of my life.

I know you don’t have children, but if you did, would there have been room in your life for them?
I would have made the room, without question. [But] I wasn’t confident I’d be able to pull it all off — a really great marriage, a really great career and terrific kids, and still have it all together. [My husband] had four kids and I wanted a really fabulous marriage this go-around.

Do you and Darcy compete with each other?
Darcy’s in sales. I’m in leasing. We might fight over a piece of turkey if it’s the last one — otherwise we’re in different spheres of the industry. When we see each other it’s Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas, it’s Easter and it’s holiday time … because we all don’t get a lot of time together.

Is your dad [Matthew Stacom] still alive?
Yes, he is. He’s 93. He still goes into the office one day a week. He’s at [Cushman’s] Florida office.

Do you ever work with your dad?
I did turn to him for One World Trade. Dad was the mastermind behind the Sears Tower. He was the agent that sold the land, that built the building, and he was the leasing agent. So when I wanted to figure out [whether ] “Freedom Tower” was a name that was really going to help me lease One World Trade, I called Dad and I said, “Dad, I think we need to change the name.” He was absolutely for it. He decided within a heartbeat it should be One World Trade Center.

Have you spent your entire career at Cushman?
Almost. I [did sales] at Time Inc. for one year out of college. … Fourteen of us got hired in the recession in 1980 and 14 of us got laid off in ’81.

How do you decompress?
Run. I love Bikram yoga. I love to go off and shoot birds. We’re avid bird shooters. It’s just fabulous. It gets you outdoors. … I’m not a Bambi shooter. I just do the birds.

Do you do it competitively?
Oh, absolutely. There’s very little in life I’m not competitive about.

Are you a health nut?
Are you kidding me? I’m the worst. Steak, fries, cheeseburgers, ice cream, candy every afternoon.

How are you and Darcy different?
I’m anal. I must do whatever I do 150 percent. If she’s not interested, she won’t. … She can be quicker. It’ll take me longer to figure something out and I won’t give up till I’ve figured it out. [As kids] I was more studious; Darcy partied more. I was right attack wing in lacrosse and field hockey, and Darcy liked goalie. You have to be fearless to stand in a cage. … I’ve got to outmaneuver, outrun and be very fast and artful in being the scorer on the team.


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