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Broker celebrates 30 years in business.

When you walked into an industrial or commecial real estate negotiation in the early 60's, recalls Sanford "Sandy" Zuckerbrot, there were no women present and everyone was smoking cigarettes.

"Today there are many women in the business and no one smokes," chucklled Zuckerbrot of Sholom & Zuckerbrot.

The firm that serves the office, industrial and retail reas estate markets in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Nassau, Suffolk and New Jersey and exclusively controls $3.5 million of industrial space just completed its 30th year. REW met with Zuckerbrot in his Long Island City office to discuss some of the highlights of the past three decades and the changes he has seen.

Zuckerbrot co-founded the firm in 1962 with Ron Sholom. It was primarily an industrial leasing and sales brokerage based in Long Island City, where at the time, Zuckerbrot said, there was the largest concentration of industrial space in the country.

Around the middle of the decade, it became clear that an exodus was beginning. Many of the pure manufacturing "smoke stack" businesses were leaving Long Island City for Long Island and New Jersey and points beyond. Among them were Sunshine Biscuit, which moved to South Jersey and Neptune Meters, which relocated its operations to Georgia.

Thus, while maintaining their New York business, in the 70's the firm followed their client base and opened offices in New Jersey and Long Island.

Meanwhile, tey maintained their business in Long Island City, which was not attracting sales and service-type operations and serving all types of warehousing needs.

"That's what replaced the manufacturing," he said.

And overr the years, the firm became involved in new and "recycled" office properties that sprung up in their niche markets.

"Queens today has number of office buildings," Zuckerbrot said.

In the early 80's, Sholom & Zuckerbrot represented the Bulova Corp., owned by Loews Corp., in the selling of the landmarkedd 450,000-square-foot Bulova watch plant in Jackson Heights, Queens. The purchaser, Ed Blumenfield, later developed the Bulova Corporate Center. Acting as exclusive agent for the office property, Sholom & Zuckerbrot signed British Airways as the lead tenant for 185,000 square feet.

"It wa recycling at its best," said Zuckerbrot.

Retail Boom

Today, Zuckerbrot said, they are again seeing the "recycling effect" as discount retailers seek to scoop up empty or under-used industrial space in the New York area.

"They're now seeing there are many opportunities in the cities because the demographics are incredible," he said.

In addition to the population factors, he said, the "real estate works." There are older, industrial buildings that can be assembled and there is ample vacant land for parking.

Currently, Walmart, Bradlees, and K'Mart are all looking for locations in Brooklyn Queens and the Bronx, he said.

The retailers, he said, will create a "boom" for these areas, creating employment and allowing people to shop in their own neighborhoods.

"The city fathers, recognizing what's coming, are going to be relaxing some of the zoning," he said.

In one such transaction, Sholom & Zuckerbrot sold a 150,000-square-foot industrial building and 150,000 square feet of the old Penn Central land off Northern Boulevard to a development partnership. The venture, which included Phil Pilevsky, converted the building into a 122,000-square-foot, $30 million "destination" shopping center anchored by Pergament Home Centers and Toys 'R Us. Part of the building was demolished to create more parking. In an area that was formerly all small to mid-sized industrial buildings, Zuckerbrot said, a shopping center district is beginning to bloom.

"That's the key to the next five years the way we see it," he said.

Sholom & Zuckerbrot offers leasing, selling and developing of office, industrial and retail property. They offer site location, appraisal, financing merchandising, and property investment and management.

Today, Zuckerbrot said, the firm is doing mostly leasing and sales. With the lack of financing and the Cuomo tax, however, it is stil very difficult to conclude a sale.

In 1992, Zuckerbrot reports the firm finished 25 percent better than they had projected. They expanded their management division and increased their management and sales work for financial institutions.

Among their completed deals in 1992 were: The sale of the 485,000-square-foot Kentile industrial plant at 58 Second Avenue in Brooklyn; leasing of 150,000 square feet at 30-30 Review Avenue; leasing of a 140,000-square-foot industrial building at Starr and Review Avenues, Long Island.

While the industrial market was extremely weak some years ago, Zuckerbrot said, things have picked up and there is a renewed optimism. Many firms are out looking, and others who have been sitting on the fence are concluding some "extremely good deals" for long lease terms he said.

"We're now at the point that our absorption is picking up," he said.

Long Island City Home

After getting out of the Navy in 1958, Zuckerbrot first considered Wall Street, but instead decided to take his fascination for investments to industrial real estate and Long Island City. Three years later, when he was 29 years old, he co-founded Sholom & Zuckerbrot.

The firm did its first "big" deal, Zuckerbrot said, in 1963 when they sold a 100,000-square-foot building in Long Island to Burkee Photo. Other significant deals that followed include the sale of a 650,000-square-foot building in Maspeth, Queens, to United Parcel Service for a distribution center and the leasing of 350,000 square feet to IBM for a training facility in Bedford Stuyvesant.

In the 80's, they represented George Kaufman in assembling industrial properties around the old Paramount Studios in Long Island City in order to create Kaufman Astoria Studios. Today, the complex comprises 15 acres of building and land. The properties are completely leased to film and television production companies -- such as Lifetime Cable -- and other office tenants. The studios were the taping site for the Bill Cosby Show and Woody Allan is a major user of the studios.

Sholom & Zuckerbrot represented Larry Silverstein and a group in selling a 600,000-square-foot warehouse property that was part of the Gimbels portfolio. The property is now a building for the jewelry trade.

For the Cerro Wire Company, owned by the Pritzker family of Chicago, they negotiated a sale-leaseback for a 480,000-square-foot plant in Syosset. They also sold for the company a 600,000-square-foot building in the Maspeth area of Queens to two users.

Over the years, Zuckerbrot and partners have opened a number of new offices in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area and today they have a complement of 85 real estate professionals and support people.

Zuckerbrot and partners also founded an investment company, the Regency Group, which currently owns 1 million square feet of industrial and commercial space.

Zuckerbrot said he is proud to say that he has fulfilled his vision for a firm that is known by its integrity and professionalism. And all the members of the firm, he said, contribute to that.

"I've surrounded myself with topnotch people," he said. "The people who work with us are all very educated. And they've found a home."

And, he said, he still goes to work every day with a smile on his face.

"I'm doing this 30 or 40 years now," he said. "I love getting in my car every morning. I love this business. Every deal is as exciting as the first."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sanford Zuckerbrot of Sholom and Zuckerbrot Realty Corp.
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Mar 3, 1993
Words:1211
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