by Mike Kirner
Best of the Bay – On February 15th, The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Best of the Bay Awards honored the most prestigious commercial real estate deals of 2016.
Approximately 300 Attendees (including 30 Cushman & Wakefield brokers and staff) from the Bay Area’s Commercial Real Estate community gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco to enjoy the fifth annual award dedicated to the biggest, the best and the most expensive.
Presiding over the event was Bay Area real estate legend and ever-entertaining master of ceremonies, Luis Belmonte, who came equipped with his equally legendary wit and his infamous NAIOP gong.
Winners: Cushman & Wakefield Takes Home 3 Awards
Out of the eight nominations earned by Cushman & Wakefield, three entries were winners in the annual awards show, including Best Peninsula Lease Transaction (Broadway Station), Best San Francisco Investment Transaction (Phelan Building) and Best East Bay Lease Transaction (Concord Tech). Read more details here.
Unique Real Estate Awards
Unique among real estate awards competitions, the NAIOP Best of the Bay features interactive voting with attendees using wireless keypads to select winners in real time. To add an element of levity, as award categories are introduced, nominees give a quick 60 second “pitch” to make their case. If they exceed the time limit (or displeased Luis or the crowd in any way) they are gonged. Belmonte provided context for the crowd and explained the theme was inspired by the late 70’s and the TV comedy series The Gong Show.
How to Get Gonged:
One well -dressed, yet hapless contestant stood up and voiced her concern that her company was not informed previously that she “only had 60 seconds” to introduce a very complex and protracted real estate transaction. Belmonte scoffed and gruffly reminded her that she had just used up 15 seconds of her allotted time.
Rock Star Presentation: $374 MM Phelan Building Triumphs as Best San Francisco Investment Transaction
Unsatisfied with simply reading a banal script of transactional data and facts, Thor Equities’ Tom Nishioka decided his background in music and playing the guitar could potentially sway the crowd to vote for the historic Phelan Building deal, which closed in 2016.
Nishioka quite literally stole the show and the award for Best Investment Transaction in San Francisco with a cleverly worded cover of Bon Jovi’s smash hit Dead or Alive.
The hilarious lyrics chronicled the story of Thor’s 2008 acquisition of the famed Phelan Building at 760 Market Street and the hardships they endured while owning the building. Thor eventually transformed the 298,124 square foot asset into sought after creative space and with the help of Cushman and Wakefield, re-lease and ultimately sold the landmark for $1,255 per square foot. Nishioka’s musical performance was easily the highlight of the evening.
Nishioka boldly stood up on his chair – and with Cushman & Wakefield’s Ryan Venezia holding the microphone, confidently belted out his own version of Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive,” while playing his electric guitar.
Screams of delight where audible from adoring fans in the audience and the Phelan Building won by a landslide.
Cushman & Wakefield represented Thor Equities in the $374 million sale of the Best Investment Transaction located at 760 Market Street in the city’s Union Square district.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail Vice Chairman Kazuko Morgan and Executive Managing Director Seth Siegel represented New York-based Thor Equities. Senior Director Joshua Goldman represented the buyer.
Other Cushman & Wakefield Nominations
Not all of the finalists in this competition make it to the final cut. However, Cushman & Wakefield represented or advised on a total of eight of the selected NAIOP nominees this year. These also included 777 Mariner’s Island Boulevard, San Mateo; 601 Marshall Street, Redwood City; Goodwin Proctor, Redwood City; Sleepy Hollow Portfolio ( Bay Area)
Video (and screams of delight) courtesy of Courtney Frager, Cushman & Wakefield