For the second time in three years, Studley has won the Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) highest honor, the first-place Henry Hart Rice Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award for Studley’s submission, “Rubik’s Cube or Real Estate Deal: The Sale of 127 East 79th Street and Related Transactions.”
Studley also won the first-place REBNY award for 2007 for the multifaceted transaction on behalf of New York Law School.
The Studley team was led by Ira Schuman and Daniel O. Horowitz and included Kurt Handschumacher. Studley represented The Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund in transactions, which culminated in the creation of a new home for CUNY’s Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and other programs. The New York Times described the deal as “a multiparty real estate deal of byzantine complexity.”
The team guided four parties through three interdependent transactions that resulted in selling a building occupied by Hunter College’s School of Social Work, acquiring a new site for the school and helping to structure a development agreement for the building.
“We congratulate Ira and Dan for winning this award,” said Mitchell Steir, Studley Chairman and CEO. “While many would struggle to avoid such intricacy, the team of Ira, Dan and Kurt relished the challenge, transformed the problem and delivered their client an elegant solution.”
“Managing and executing these three transactions over four years took high-level strategizing and problem solving,” shared Mr. Horowitz. “Ira and I were charged with selling 127-133 East 79th Street, the site of the existing, outdated Hunter School of Social Work, which was owned by The Silberman Fund. With the proceeds from the sale, the fund would then endow CUNY with a contribution—the school’s largest ever—to be used for the development of a new state-of-the-art facility.”
“The extreme interdependence of these transactions created an inherently complex scenario—the purchase/development of a new facility could not take place without the sale of the old one, and the sale of the old one would not be necessary if a new site could not be secured and developed at a known fixed price,” explained Mr. Schuman. “To compound matters, with very few sites in the city that were appropriate for a new facility, the one we did identify was encumbered, further adding to the complexity.”
“Just when we thought the pieces of the puzzle were falling nicely into place,” Mr. Schuman further explained, “the economy collapsed, which forced us to renegotiate some of the deal terms, though we were able to preserve the objectives and goals of the four parties involved.”
“We are proud that this is the kind of work we do here at Studley. No deal is too complicated if it satisfies our clients’ objectives,” commented Mr. Steir.