Case Studies


Transaction Details

The Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund

27-133 E. 79th Street (Sale) 2180 Third Avenue(Land Acquisition and Build-to-Suit)

Transaction Size
85,000 SF sale and 140,000 SF build-to-suit

Transaction Type
Building Sale, Land Acquisition and Build-to-Suit

Service Line

Savills Studley wins the Henry Hart Rice Award given for the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year by facilitating a “multi-party transaction of byzantine complexity”


 Client Situation

In 1966, The Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund built a new school on East 79th Street and net leased it to CUNY’s Hunter School of Social Work at essentially no rent. Fast forward to 2004; Hunter had outgrown its home and the facility was reaching the end of its useful life.  The Silberman Fund wanted to help fund a new state-of-the-art facility for Hunter, so the plan was to sell the building on East 79th Street and use the proceeds to fund part of the cost to develop a modern school and the balance to go towards Silberman's other philanthropic endeavors.

Consideration & Analysis

Hunter wanted to move to East Harlem, a location easily accessible via subway to its main 68th Street campus.  Hunter had been negotiating on a speculative development where the negotiations had faltered.  They needed to find a suitable alternate relocation option.  A complex dilemma presented itself -- 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 price.  In addition, the donation which would be made by Silberman towards the development cost of the new building could not be defined until the 79th Street property was sold. 


Over a four year period, Savills Studley guided four parties through three transactions that The New York Times called a "multi-party transaction of byzantine complexity".  The process involved Savills Studley identifying an encumbered development site on 118th Street, bringing in a developer (The Brodsky Organization) to both purchase 79th Street and build-to-suit the 118th Street site, and helping to structure a development agreement for the new facility. This was all done against the backdrop of a rapidly declining real estate market, post-Lehman debacle. As a result, the terms of the sale had to be renegotiated to keep the whole puzzle together.  In the end, Savills Studley facilitated the largest gift ever to CUNY from the sale of the 79th Street building and made possible the development of a new 140,000 SF school for Hunter.

This series of transactions earned Savills Studley the Real Estate Board of New York's highest honor, the Henry Hart Rice Award given for the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year.


Meet the Team

Daniel O. Horowitz
Vice Chairman

Daniel Horowitz joined Savills Studley (formerly Studley) in 1990 after spending three years with Cushman & Wakefield. Hired by Savills Studley as a specialist in tenant representation, he has since become a principal in the firm. Dan’s accomplishments have earned him consistent recognition as one of the firm’s top producers.

+1 212 326 8684


Ira Schuman
Vice Chairman, Director, Co-Branch Manager

Ira Schuman joined Savills Studley in 1978. He heads a team specializing in law firms and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to serving as executive vice president and a member of firm’s board of directors, he is also co-manager of the firm’s New York office.

+1 212 326 1004


Find a Professional