Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Week's News Roundup

The Mann Report has a fun story about how we at Sierra tackled the impossible -- Peter Braus brought his years of restaurant leasing experience to bear -- and Murray Hill foodies prevailed!

CityBiz Real Estate reports on Sierra Development LLC, launching a new division headed by 30-year construction executive Gary Zaid, expanding our service lines to include construction and project management and owner and tenant representation. Real Estate Weekly has a nice report on our new division launch here also. has a nice intro piece on Gary Zaid joining Sierra Realty as SVP.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Week's News Roundup

Click on any of the following links to read the stories -- this week's interesting real estate business news:

Crain's New York Business notes that restaurateur Ed Martinson signed a 20-year, 5,000-square-foot lease at 45 E. 30th St. Peter Braus and Peter Levitan of Sierra Realty Corp. represented both the tenant and landlord, 43 Park Owners Group. Mr. Martinson's new restaurant is scheduled to open this summer.

REBNYʼs annual Retail Deal of the Year awards highlighted the Best of 2009. Above, Ripco Real Estateʼs Peter Ripka (joined by Sierra Realtyʼs Peter Braus) holds his award for the deal that “Most Significantly Benefits Manhattan” -- the leasing journey of the 475k SF East River Plaza, which turned a dilapidated manufacturing plant into a retail destination.

M. Marianne Thorsen and An-Chi Miau of Sierra Realty are handling Hotel East Houston at 151 East Houston, between Eldridge and Allen streets, on the market for $25 million. The newly constructed hotel, comprising 15,395 square feet and six stories, has 42 rooms with custom-made furniture, wood finishes and marble bathrooms. In addition, the hotel has a banquet facility, nearby parking and a rooftop terrace and lounge that overlook the Hudson River.

Sierra Realty Corp. launched Sierra Development, its new construction and development division, which will be led by Gary Zaid. This expands the companyʼs service lines to include construction and project management, owner and tenant representation, general contracting, value engineering, and development services.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Computers are bad for you (unless you are a lawyer billing by the hour)

As I sit here reading the fifth draft of an 80 page lease, I can’t help but to think that if it had not been for the advent of the computer I could probably be doing something far more productive with my time.

Back in the big hair day of the early 80s when I was a practicing attorney and before the widespread use of computers and word processing software, it was rare that a lease would exceed 20 pages or go through multiple drafts before being finalized. Ironically, the advent of computers did not necessarily make the practice of law any more productive but instead encouraged the creation of excruciatingly long and complex documents that can be negotiated ad infinitum until either the lawyers tire of the game or the client finally screams "uncle."

Back in the good old days of low technology typewriters, onion skin paper, "white out," and correction tape making wholesale changes to a document was very difficult and time-consuming. Consequently documents were kept simple and were not over-negotiated. Have we really accomplished anything today by preparing complicating leases and having long protracted negotiations? Other than the exorbitant legal fees that often accompany these documents, probably not!