David Ash to launch Walker & Dunlop NYC sales office

Veteran dealmaker will work alongside Aaron Appel-led debt brokerage team

Walker & Dunlop's David Ash, Kris Mikkelsen (left) with One Vanderbilt (Walker & Dunlop, Google Maps)
Walker & Dunlop's David Ash, Kris Mikkelsen (left) with One Vanderbilt (Walker & Dunlop, Google Maps)

There’s a new i-sales player in town.

Walker & Dunlop is launching an investment sales arm in New York, and it’s brought in veteran broker David Ash to lead the effort.

Ash, who founded his boutique firm Prince Realty Advisors in 2010, told The Real Deal he’s looking to build out the operation based on his style of creative matchmaking.

“On the outset we’re probably going to do more relationship-driven deal activity,” he said. “Walker & Dunlop already has a monster capital markets team here that’s doing fantastic business. We’ve got an opportunity here to be a really great one-stop shop.”

Maryland-based Walker & Dunlop, a publicly traded brokerage with a market cap of more than $3 billion, announced the news Wednesday, with investment sales chief Kris Mikkelsen citing Ash’s “entrepreneurial track record with institutional buyers” and deep relationships.

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Real Estate Alert first reported Walker & Dunlop acquired Ash’s Prince Realty Advisors on Tuesday.

Before launching his own shop, Ash got his start in office and retail leasing at the Kaufman Organization.

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The independent broker quickly made a name for himself as a dealmaker with a knack for putting together some big off-market deals that caught the industry’s attention.

In 2015, he arranged for the parent company of fast-fashion brand Zara to buy a huge retail condominium at 503 Broadway in Soho for more than $20,000 per square foot, setting a record for the neighborhood.

Ash also negotiated Equity Residential’s $280 million purchase of the Beatrice apartment building at 105 West 29th Street in 2012 and later arranged a $200 million lease between Extell Development and the Kaufman Organization for a portion of the Ring Portfolio. Prince Realty did nearly $6 billion in deals over the course of 10 years.

The dealmaker said he’s in talks with several brokers about joining his Walker & Dunlop team. His pitch to get them to join a company without an established investment-sales reputation in New York?

“You’re basically getting in on ground zero,” he said. “There’s no competition here, so to speak; you’re not walking into a multi-team, multi-asset class structure with a bunch of rules and regulations.

“It’s all very fresh and very new,” he added.

The new i-sales platform comes almost three years after Walker & Dunlop acquired AKS Capital Partners, the debt brokerage led by former JLL mortgage brokers Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Adam Schwartz and Jonathan Schwartz.

The company, which has offices at SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt, said its capital markets business grew 170 percent to nearly $30 billion last year.

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