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Dec.December 17, 2020 10:00 AM

What CRE crisis? Outer boroughs’ leading commercial brokerage expands

Pinnacle Realty has upped its office space and is wooing top talent

As the pandemic pushed New York’s commercial real estate market into unknown territory, many brokerages held their breath. Not Pinnacle Realty.

The leading independent full-service commercial real estate firm in the city’s outer boroughs is expanding.

“We founded our company back in 2009 during the financial crisis,” said James Tack, one of Pinnacle’s six founding partners. The firm celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. “At the time a lot people said, ‘You have to be crazy to start a company during the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. What are you doing!’ We heard them but knew that it was a good time for us to put the company together. We saw it as an opportunity to rise to the challenge and find new and creative ways to help our customers. It’s the same story today with this pandemic. We are finding ways to help our clients navigate through the uncertainty.”

There’s evidence that the firm’s bullishness is paying off.  Pinnacle has doubled in size and moved into a new headquarters at 34-07 Steinway Street in Long Island City. And the firm is still headhunting.

Since last year, Pinnacle has leased over four million square feet of industrial product for e-commerce, last mile distribution, film and television studios, and traditional warehousing and distribution. Year to date Pinnacle has closed $176 million in industrial sales.

“We take a team approach to every project,” said Pinnacle senior partner Gary R. Blum, noting that they currently have a team of 23 salespeople, associate brokers, and research professionals. “We always want to put the best team on the field and we don’t reserve the ‘it’ projects for the partners. Everyone adds something. That concept helps us attract and retain amazing talent.”

Blum added that Pinnacle boasts opportunities for new talent. He said that his firm’s ability to spot trends–identifying e-commerce and distribution centers as the next hot sector, for instance–means that their portfolio is always stacked with big-ticket exclusives.

In the Bronx, the brokerage is listing 656 East 133rd Street, the 96,000 square foot Hunts Point industrial building with iconic “Welcome to the Bronx” signage. It’s on the market for $28 million. Meanwhile in Bushwick, Pinnacle is marketing 280 Johnson Avenue. The 33,000 square foot industrial building adjacent to the new Netflix Studio, is up for lease. Also in Brooklyn, Pinnacle landed the leasing assignment for 850,000 square feet of industrial and office space at Liberty Bklyn – 850 Third Avenue in Sunset Park And in Astoria, they’ve got 18-39 41st Street up for lease. The 35,000 square foot new construction is just blocks from Robert de Niro’s Wildflower Film Studios.

“Most brokerages just focused on straight industrial,” says Blum. “But when e-commerce became the next big thing, we were already there. It separates us from the older firms.”

Pinnacle has also recently closed some major sales and leases. They handled the $38.5 million sale of 1080 Leggett Ave in Hunts Point to Goldman Sachs and Blumenfeld Development. Over in Morris Park, they closed the $89 million sale of a fully leased warehouse at 1601 Bronxdale Ave to Himmel + Meringoff and Square Mile.

Tack and Blum said those successes are just a reflection of Pinnacle’s unique management style.

“We go above and beyond to cultivate our people, create opportunities and make sure that our brokers succeed,” says Tack. “That spirit of team work is our foundation and our competitors simply do not have that. It is what has made our business such a success.” Experienced brokers interested in learning more about opportunities at Pinnacle can contact Gary R. Blum at [email protected]


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