Andrew Farkas, Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group and CEO of C-III Capital Partners, was ranked #16 in The New York Observer’s annual Power 100 list. The Power 100 includes New York City brokers, developers, attorneys, politicos, landlords and lenders who worked hard, won awards, and received promotions. The Observer took note that C-III Capital Partner’s purchase of NAI Global gave Farkas access to 5,000 more real estate professionals. It also brought him one step closer to achieving his goal of building a fully diversified commercial real estate services company.
C-III Capital Partners provides innovative real estate and debt solutions and is engaged in a wide range of activities, including loan origination, primary and special loan servicing, fund management, and principal investment. It’s headquartered in Irving, Texas, but also has offices in New York, South Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, and Tennessee. C-III is a controlled affiliate of Island Capital Group.
Island Capital Group (ICG) is an international real estate merchant bank headquartered in New York City. ICG is also involved in a broad range of activities, including investment management, principal investment, consulting services and development, and financial advisory.
Reina Gattuso, a reporter for The Harvard Crimson, recently sat down with Andrew Farkas to discuss the new Farkas Hall. After a recent donation to Harvard University, the New College Theater is being renamed Farkas Hall. He originally suggested the theater be renamed The Farkatorium, but the University decided against it.
Andrew Farkas graduated from Harvard University in 1982 and is now CEO of Island Capital Group and C-III Capital Partners. As an undergraduate, he served as president of the Hasty Pudding Club, which was founded in 1770 and is the oldest college social club in the United States. The Club is also the third-oldest theatrical organization in the world and five U.S. presidents were members.
While he was the undergraduate president of the Pudding, it was in serious financial trouble. To raise money and save the Club, he hosted a gala. Andrew Farkas recounts, “I got the Copley Plaza Hotel to give me 900 bottles of champagne for a very, very cheap price. Then I sold tickets, basically door-to-door, for a gala in honor of the Hasty Pudding.” The gala brought in about $35,000, which covered the Club’s budget for a whole year.
The New College Theatre, created from 2005 to 2007 by new construction behind, and a renovation of, the façade of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals venue, finally has a name. The University announced today that Andrew Farkas ’82 had endowed the complex in honor of his father, Robin L. Farkas ’54, M.B.A. ’61. Andrew Farkas, who served as Hasty Pudding Club president during two of his undergraduate years, called his times there “amongst the most joyful and memorable” of his College experiences, according to the news release. “To know that the space will…serve to incubate the creative skills of Harvard’s emerging talent,” his statement continued, “is extremely gratifying.”
Andrew Farkas founded and was CEO and chairman of Insignia Financial Group Inc., a leading owner-operator of multifamily housing and provider of commercial real-estate leasing and management services. After its units were sold and merged, respectively, in 1998 and 2003, he founded Island Capital Group, a real-estate merchant bank, where he is CEO and chairman, and Island Global Yachting, which owns and operates yacht-oriented resorts.
In prior Harvard service, he was co-chair of the class of 1982’s twenty-fifth reunion fundraising efforts, which produced a class gift of $22.8 million in 2007. The newly announced philanthropy (the terms and size of which were not disclosed) comes as he is approaching his thirtieth reunion next May. Daughter Arielle S. Farkas is a member of the class of 2013.
Beyond his undergraduate theatrical experience, according to the news release, his wife, Sandi Goff Farkas, is a playwright; she founded the nonprofit Playwrights of New York to support emerging writers and serves on the board of Lark Play Development Group, in New York.
The New College Theatre, at 12 Holyoke Street, was constructed when the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was willing to proceed on projects before outside financing had been secured; the project cost a reported $31 million. Since the 2008 financial crisis and recession, the University has reduced debt financing for building projects. The Hasty Pudding structure, dating from 1888, had deteriorated and was in need of urgent repairs; the renovation grew into a more ambitious program to provide badly needed undergraduate rehearsal and performance space—the first such new facility since the Loeb Drama Center opened in 1961.
As an arts venue, the theater within the newly named Farkas Hall, which seats 256 to 280, has become a focal point for undergraduate theatrical productions, as well as the annual Hasty Pudding extravaganza (it is also home to the Harvard Krokodiloes and Radcliffe Pitches a cappella groups), and is frequently used for lectures, guest-artist appearances, and other College programming.
View the original article in the Harvard Magazine.
This list in 2009 and 2010 reflected a recessionary New York, one thoroughly upended by economic maelstroms like high unemployment and the odd major bank collapse. No one had need of more office space; no one had financing for investments; no one had much to do save get on the blower and commiserate, or, on the odd workday, try to set up sit-downs or walk-throughs. The president of the United States was No. 1 in 2009, because everyone looked to the government for help. Toss me some TALF!
Then, inevitably, as these things seem to go in New York and not in places like Vegas or Mobile, a thaw began. The first inklings came amid the end of landlord concessions, whether for office tenants or those in apartments. Then, round about the summer of 2010, the news of major leases trickled out—foremost, perhaps, that of Si Newhouse (No. 51) intending to park his Condé Nast publishing engine in 1 World Trade, where the development has been organized by the Port Authority, led by Chris Ward (No. 70), and where Douglas and Jody Durst (No. 1) have the big private stake. (And simply that there is a 1 World Trade, more than halfway to its 1,776 feet now, is itself a sign of recovery.)
Then, the statistics across the board began to validate the gratingly chipper chatter as office leasing and investment sales picked up, and the housing market steered well clear of an assumed double dip. Suddenly, by the close of 2010, it wasn’t all so much bullshit; the recovery was happening. The list now is meant to reflect that. Three big things about it: Not since our inaugural Power 100 in 2008 has the upper echelon been so dominated by the familiar moguls, but not all are patronymically so. There’s a rustling at the top.
There are the Durst cousins, yes, and Anthony Malkin (No. 12), Donald Trump (No. 14), the Speyers (No. 15) and Richard LeFrak (No. 20)—and, for that matter, Andrew Cuomo (No. 2)—but also the boot-strappy likes of Mort Zuckerman (No. 5) and Andrew Farkas (No. 11), and our very own Richest Guy in Town, Michael Bloomberg (No. 7). We also have relative newcomers, like the benignly voracious Gary Barnett (No. 6); the seemingly ruthless Mikhail Prokhorov (No. 24); and the oddly familiar Scott Rechler (No. 19), back in Manhattan in a big way.
Check out #11 on the Observer slideshow to see Andrew Farkas.
Click here to view the full original article from the Observer.
Keep an eye on National Real Estate Investor’s 10 picks for people shaking up the commercial real estate industry in 2011. Each of the leaders profiled has made a bold move, and over the coming year time will tell whether their instincts and the risks they have taken pay off. The 10 are selected from across the spectrum of property types and financial interests. They reflect the impact of the recession, from the investments made by a private equity fund to the credit strategies of a retail REIT in the aftermath of bankruptcy. One profiled executive left the industry after selling a major apartment portfolio in 1998, and returned to launch an international real estate merchant bank.
Andrew Farkas was among the top 10 listed on the National Real Estate Investor’s picks.