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Broker returns to owner's side.

Having sat on both sides of the commercial lease negotiating table, Richard M. Warshauer is back representing the owner's interest as the new head of in-house leasing at Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation.

"... In effect, I know exactly what brokers do," he said. "I'm not in an ivory tower."

In addition to directing the leasing of the Cohen Brothers portfolio, Warshauer will assist Charles Steven Cohen, the firm's president and chief executive officer, in other aspects of the firm's operations.

Warshauer, 44, who over the years has represented both major Manhattan building owners as well as substantial tenants, previously served as executive vice president of Kenneth D. Laub & Company, Inc.

During his career, he participated in the re-renting of nearly 600,000 square feet at The Daily News Building at 220 East 42nd Street. He also concluded leases for AMAX, Charter Company, the Government of Israel, Kemper Securities, and New York Hospital, as well as multiple transactions for the State of New York. Warshauer participated in the headquarters relocation of Dow Jones & Company at the World Financial Center, and he also effected the relocation of corporate headquarters for Plymouth/Lamston Stores and the consolidation for Family Media, InC.

"Richard offers us corporate real estate and promotional skills," said Cohen. "That's the key. He has both broker skills and corporate skills, it's a good marriage for our company to develop depth for real estate in the 21st century.'

Cohen Brothers is an integrated owner/developer that arranges its own financing, manages its own construction projects and leases and manages its own properties. Warshauer noted that Cohen Brothers also provides in-house services, such as cleaning operations.

"I'm the new kid on the block,. said Warshauer of his appointment as senior vice president at Cohen Brothers." We do in-house leasing, and our direct responsibility is keeping existing tenants satisfied, as well as attracting new Ones."

Warshauer stated it was an advantage being with a long-established and financially secure firm such as Cohen Brothers, which first embarked on a vigorous campaign constructing high-rise housing in Manhattan in the 1950's. The company has developed more real estate on Third Avenue than any other builder in history, transforming a tenement-lined thoroughfare that had seen few improvements since the turn of the century into one that is now acclaimed as a luxury residential market.

Located at International Plaza, a commercial building it developed at 750 Lexington Avenue at 59th Street, Cohen Brothers is the exclusive leasing agent in the building, which includes such tenants as Lufthansa Airlines; Unimecs America, Inc; Dollar Dry Dock Financial Center; Allied Parking Corp.; and Petrolcos de Venezuela (USA) Corporation.

Warshauer said Cohen Brothers was particularly proud of the development of 805 Third Avenue, The Crystal Pavilion, a 31-story building with more than 600,000 square feet of space. The building, which, he said, uses the latest technological advances in energy efficiency and climate control, is occupied by several prestigious tenants, including Park Avenue law firms, Fortune 100 corporations, and high-fashion East 57th Street retailers.

"Our biggest assignment is 3 Park Avenue, which was built on land owned by the city," said Warsbauer, "and literally half of it is rented by Blue Cross/Blue Shield."

The 41-story building at Three Park Avenue, located at 34th Street, has 675,000 square feet of prime space, 23,000 on each floor, and was designed by architects Shreve, Lamb & Hareon Associates, which designed the Empire State Building just two blocks away.

"The building is set on a 45-degree angle from the street and there are no tall buildings around, so the views are just mind boggling," said Warshauer.

In addition to Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Three Park Avenue boasts such tenants as Hoechst Celanese, Japan Airlines, Westin Hotels, Conrail, Kawasaki, and FDIC.

Warshauer noted that Cohen Brothers made the trend-setting decision to develop 475 Park Avenue South as an office building, though it was originally planned as a residential high-rise. The 35-story building, with 440,000 square feet of first-class office space in floor sizes of 15,525, 13,000, and 10,010, is located midway between Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.

According to Warshauer, the building was built by Cohen Brothers in 1970 and is the only office tower constructed on lower Park Avenue since the end of World War II.

Current tenants at 475 Park Avenue South include Reed Holdings, the Life Insurance Council of New York, the European American Bank, and several other advertising, insurance and financial services companies.

"Our goal is simple-to keep the tenant happy and to accommodate growth," Warsbauer said. "Like any other business, you cannot hide the facts and fool the eustomer and our goal is to provide tenants with the best and most effective class "A" office space."

A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in economies, Warsbauer began his career as a reporter with The Daily News before joining management.

"I was going to go to law school but I began working for The Daily News while at Cornell and I became a cub reporter," Warshauer said. "It was great fun and I was drafted into the financial news department because I had a good background."

While at the newspaper, Warshauer said, he was provided with good insight into New York life that proved to be invaluable in his real estate career.

"The real estate business is the business the city is in," Warshauer observed. "Knowledge of the city is certainly an advantage and, in many ways, real estate is the business of information."

At The News, Warsbauer was even-really responsible for the company's substantial real estate holdings, which in the late 1970's included the landmarked Daily News Building.

"Real estate holdings were in an uproar and they asked me to look after that end of it, which I did for the better put of three years," Warshauer said. "A major tenant was making noises about leaving The News and, though we were very anxious to save them, we also felt that making a change wouldn't be the end of the world.

"The strategy of re-renting the building was beyond our wildest dreams," said Warshauer. "We were 100 percent above budget and the fabulous cash flow allowed The News to sell the building in 1982."

In 1980, Warshauer joined Kenneth D. Laub & Company, Inc., which allowed him to gain valuable experience in commercial real estate.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to make the step to commercial realtor," Warsbauer said about his decision to join Laub. "I thought the learning experience would be unparalleled, and in retrospect, I was right."

Over the years, Warshauer has been involved in a number of major property sales, including 2 Park Avenue and the 800,000-square-foot condominium at 1166 Avenue of the Americas. He has also performed extensive consulting assignments for AMAX, International Paper Company, McKinsey & Company, Pan American Airways, Plymouth/Lamston Stores, and The Dally News.

Warshauer was previously executive vice president of S.L. Green Real Estate, Inc., where he was in charge of overseeing the leasing of that company's 3 million-square-foot portfolio of Manhattan office space.

He was also formerly senior vice president and assistant to the president of Williams Real Estate Co., Inc., a major Manhattan commercial real estate leasing and management concern with substantial ownership interests. His responsibilities with Williams Real Estate included the recruitment of high-level administrative and brokerage personnel, locating investments for the firm's principals and helping to create and supervise International Commercial Realty Services, Inc., a national network of major real estate brokers. He later rejoined Laub.

"There are so many hurdles brokers encounter today," Warsbauer added. "They have to work hard today. I give them credit. It's very rough."

Warshauer lives in Manhattan with his wife, Rosalind, and their two children, Lionel, 15, and Samantha, 12.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:profile of real estate broker Richard M. Warshauer
Author:Alger, Derek
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 16, 1993
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