The Puzzel Solver
February 22, 2010
By: Jotham Sederstrom

When it was announced last week that the coveted Drake Hotel site had been sold for $305 million to the California-based investment firm CIM Group, mum, apparently, was the directive. ...

... But one day before word of the deal trickled down to The Wall Street Journal, the otherwise cool-as-a-cucumber Studley powerhouse Woody Heller was struggling to contain his glee for having brokered the deal on behalf of CIM. Indeed, reader, a faint smile seemed to cross his face while relaying the news to a reporter.

"I'm announcing that I was the sole broker involved in the transaction, but I'm not saying anything about the transaction itself," said Mr. Heller, who during an hourlong interview with The Commercial Observer honored his word by not divulging details, but did let slip that he had bought his longtime girlfriend a substantial piece of jewelry as a closing present. "What I can say is that it was one of the more complicated transactions we've ever worked on." ...

... During his tenure at Studley, which began in 2003 and has included the complicated sale of notes and a mortgage at the Chrysler Building, Mr. Heller has closed more than $6.5 billion of asset and note sales transactions, comprising an estimated 33 million feet, according to his bio.

"For some reason complicated deals seem to find me," said Mr. Heller, 50. "It's a good and a bad thing. ...

... Mr. Heller also spoke highly of his entire team, in fact, saying that, not unlike with his clients, loyalty is key.

"Whatever you need, forever," he said of former and current colleagues and by extension many of his clients. "I'm yours. And that's always been the deal with everybody I work with. Period."

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