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  • First look: Renderings of Gindi family and ASG’s Wynwood Park development November 16, 2018 ⚬ 
    First look: Renderings of Gindi family and ASG’s Wynwood Park development First look: Renderings of Gindi family and ASG’s Wynwood Park development 40,000 sf retail project next to Wynwood Walls will have nearly 1 acre of green space.

    Metro 1 Commercial and Whitehall Realty Group are launching leasing and releasing renderings of a planned retail development called Wynwood Park. Last year, ASG Equities and the Gindi family paid $53.5 million for the buildings at 2600-2630 Northwest Second Avenue, just a block away from the Wynwood Walls. Now, the owners and Metro 1 are releasing new details about the adaptive re-use and green space project.

    New York-based MKDA Architecture is designing the project, and Metro 1 and Whitehall are handling leasing of the roughly 40,000 square feet of retail. Wynwood Park will have nearly an acre of open park space. MKDA architects Amanda and Brett Hertzler told The Real Deal in January that most of the green space will be a rooftop park.
    “We’re creating different entry points that align with neighbors and creating an interior open space that takes you to the park on the second floor, by way of a grand staircase,” Amanda Hertzler told TRD.

    The properties house 41,616 square feet of space and sit on 42,000 square feet of land, which means ASG Wynwood LLC, the ASG-Gindi partnership, spent more than $1,200 per foot for the land and for the buildings. The Gindy family is known for its ownership of the Century 21 Department Store chain. Construction is set to begin during the first quarter of this year.

    By Katherine Kallergis | February 17, 2017 12:55PM
  • Raymond Gindi adds to FiDi holdings with $38M buy November 16, 2018 ⚬ 
    Raymond Gindi adds to FiDi holdings with $38M buy

    Raymond Gindi, heir to the Century 21 fashion fortune and CEO of real estate investment firm ASG Equities, paid $38.6 million for the two-story retail property 173 Broadway in the Financial District. Gindi already owns two adjacent five-story buildings at 175-177 Broadway, property records show.
    If he decided to tear down all three, he could build a 106,000-square-foot commercial property as of right on the corner lot facing Cortlandt Street.
    Gindi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The 5,000-square-foot property at 173 Broadway is currently home to a Bento Sushi restaurant.
    The sellers, Broadway and Cortlandt Realty and Knolls Realty, had owned the building since 1974. Gindi’s father Al co-founded Century 21 in the 1960s.
    In 2012 the family investment firm, Gindi Capital, sold a 26-building New York portfolio for $164 million.
    Gindi also owns stakes in the Bryant Park Hotel and 490 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

    By Konrad Putzier | October 20, 2017 07:00AM

  • Hidrock pays $41M for FiDi package that could give way to resi development November 16, 2018 ⚬ 
    Hidrock pays $41M for FiDi package that could give way to resi development Hidrock pays $41M for FiDi package that could give way to resi development The firm is funding the purchase with a $33M loan from Bank Hapoalim

    Hidrock Properties bought a development site and a six-story residential property in the Financial District for $41 million. The two adjacent properties at 140-142 Fulton Street sit mid-block between Broadway and Nassau Street.

    The deal is done in two separate transactions. The 140 Fulton parcel is a vacant lot that covers 2,714 square feet and sold for $19.8 million. The site was previously the location of a five-story building that was damaged by fire twice. The city condemned the property in 2013.
    The 142 Fulton property, meanwhile, is a six-story rental building. It was sold for $21.2 million and contains five apartments and one commercial unit that was previously occupied by deli Cafe Tomato.
    A source with knowledge of Hidrock’s plans said that the sites are likely to give way to a residential development.
    The two properties offer a total of 84,200 buildable square feet.

    The seller is Raymond Gindi, who is part of the family behind Century 21. Gindi has a few assets in the Financial District. Last October, he bought the two-story retail property at 173 Broadway for $38.6 million. He also owns two adjacent five-story buildings at 175-177 Broadway. Cushman and Wakefield’s Kevin Donner and Maurice Suede represented Gindi in the transaction.

    Hidrock is funding the acquisition with a $32.8 million loan from Bank Hapoalim. The firm recently acquired a development site near the World Trade Center for $38.5 million. A representative for Hidrock was not immediately available for comment, and Gindi could not immediately be reached.

    By Christian Bautista | October 24, 2018 04:51PM
  • Gindi Family Plans Major Wynwood Retail Project After $53M Property Purchase October 04, 2016 ⚬ 
    Gindi Family Plans Major Wynwood Retail Project After $53M Property Purchase In one of Wynwood’s largest deals to date, the Gindis, famous for their ownership of the Century 21 Department Store chain, just paid $53.5 million for a chunk of Wynwood property where they are planning a two-story retail development.

    The family, acting through their company ASG Equities, bought the buildings at 2600-2630 Northwest Second Avenue just a block away from the Wynwood Walls, according to the Miami Herald. The properties house 41,616 square feet of space and sit on 42,000 square feet of land, so the sale breaks down to more than $1,200 per foot for the land and for the buildings.

    The seller was another company controlled by the Mitrani family, the Herald reported, long-time property owners in the neighborhood who switched gears from manufacturing clothes to curating an art gallery in 2008.

    Tony Arellano of Metro 1, who brokered the deal along with the Whitehall Realty Group, told the Herald that the Gindi family is now planning a two-story commercial project called Wynwood Park. Its goal, Arellano said, is to adaptively re-use the property’s existing buildings and open a green-space both at the project’s center and on its roof.

    The design for Wynwood Park is being finalized by architecture firm MKDA for submittal to the neighborhood’s Design Review Board.

    This isn’t the family’s first project in Miami. The Gindis are partnering with Helm Equities to build a mixed-use retail and office building on the former site of a church in the Design District. 

    [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz
  • The Private Players August 01, 2016 ⚬ 
    The Private Players New York City real estate has had silent investors for as long as developers have been buying and selling property. But as the world economy grows more uncertain and lenders pull back, that quiet money is playing a bigger role in clinching deals here. And, in some cases, it’s getting louder as once-hushed players take on more visible roles. Below is a look at some of the notable private investors bankrolling real estate activity in NYC.

    Eyal Ofer/Global Holdings Estimated net worth: $8.9 billion Fortune made in: Shipping

    Eyal Ofer’s firm Global Holdings has a stake in $2.3 billion worth of New York City real estate, according to Real Capital Analytics. Patriarch Sammy Ofer, who was once Israel’s richest man and died in 2011, made a fortune in shipping in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Then, in the 1980s, his son Eyal began leveraging that fortune and investing in New York real estate. The company is best known as a longtime (and quiet) backer of Zeckendorf Development, with stakes in a number of the company’s projects, including its marquee condo 15 Central Park West and its more recent and upcoming towers. But Global Holdings has recently taken on a more visible role, partnering with Rudin Management at Greenwich Lane. After under-the-radar office investments such as 875 Third Avenue, acquired in 2013 with partner Miller Global Properties, Global Holdings bought out Miller for $100 million in 2014 to become the building’s sole owner. In another solo deal earlier this year, Global Holdings picked up 1250 Broadway for $565 million. Ofer, 66, was born in Israel, but currently lives in Monaco. In addition to owning a stake in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ofer is an avid collector of contemporary art, and his family donated $13 million to the Tate Modern in 2013.

    Beny Steinmetz/BSG Capital Estimated net worth: $1.28 billion Fortune made in: Diamonds, mining

    Born and raised in Israel, billionaire Beny Steinmetz is about as taciturn a real estate investor as they come. While there’s scant evidence of his holdings in New York, he’s a known backer of Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital, sources said. The now-60-year-old was born into a diamond trading family and in 1978 moved to Belgium, where he learned the trade.  Today he considers himself a citizen of the world — flying on his private jet between Tel Aviv, where his family lives; London, where his mining company BSG Resources is headquartered; and Geneva, where Steinmetz maintains a legal residence. (He also has a French passport.) BSGR has a strong — albeit controversial — presence in Africa, where Steinmetz landed lucrative mining contracts in Guinea in 2008 that have been the subject of corruption and bribery probes. In 2013, Steinmetz reportedly sold his stake in Geneva-based Steinmetz Diamond Group to his brother for an undisclosed sum. Layers of corporations shield the true extent of Steinmertz’s holdings, including his stake in BSGR, which is controlled by a trust of which he’s a beneficiary. “I don’t really care what everyone thinks,” he told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot in 2013, referring to his reluctance to give interviews or even appear at industry events. “I think I’m balanced. Some people might say I’m cold-hearted.”

    Morad Ghadamian      

    Morad Ghadamian
    Morad Ghadamian/Marjan International Corp. Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Carpet imports

    Ghadamian, 66, was born in Iran and lives in Manhattan in a $27.5 million co-op at 810 Fifth Avenue. He’s a frequent backer of developer Joe Moinian, a fellow Persian Jew whom Ghadamian counts among his “best friends.” After gamely taking a side role to Moinian when it came to real estate investment, Ghadamian has recently become slightly less obscure. Earlier this year, he acquired a 50 percent stake in Central Park South’s Hilton Garden Inn from Starwood Capital Group, which co-developed the hotel with Moinian. Ghadamian’s son, Daniel, is a principal at Capstone Equities, which is overhauling a former Playboy Club at 5 East 59th Street in Midtown.

    Abraham Fruchthandler/FBE Limited Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Stock market, real estate

    A frequent backer and partner of prolific Brooklyn landlord Ruby Schron, Fruchthandler reportedly has a stake in (and helps manage) 25 million square feet of real estate nationally, including 4,000 residential units. An Orthodox Jew like Schron, Fruchthandler’s profile is low and appears to be staying that way, even as he increasingly backs smaller developers. Notoriously press-shy, Fruchthandler invested alongside Schron and the Witkoff Group in the Woolworth Building in 1998. But FBE’s largest known investment is the overhaul of the 6.5 million-square-foot, 16-building complex known as Industry City, a redevelopment project the firm is partnering on with Schron’s Cammeby’s International, Jamestown, Belvedere Capital and Angelo, Gordon.

    Bashar Kiwan
    Bashar Kiwan
    Bashar Kiwan/Al Waseet International Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Media

    After launching the first Arabic-language, classified weekly newspaper in Kuwait in 1992, Bashar Kiwan made a fortune by expanding that publication into a media empire, Al Waseet International, which includes newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and advertising services. Five years ago, the French-Syrian-Kuwaiti businessman turned to real estate. The charismatic and entrepreneurial 49-year-old has strong ties to the Saudi royal family — Sheikh Sabah Jaber Mubarak al Sabah, son of the Kuwaiti prime minister, is chairman of Al Waseet. Kiwan’s biggest New York City investment was reportedly in the Witkoff Group’s Park Lane development, though exactly how much cash he put up is not public. And Kiwan, who lives in Kuwait, is now out of that deal: In April, Chinese conglomerate Greenland Group reportedly acquired Al Waseet’s stake.

    David Cohen/Carlton Associates Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Family started Duane Reade

    The investment arm of the Cohen family — whose brothers Abraham, Eli and Jack Cohen founded the now-omnipresent pharmacy chain Duane Reade in 1959 — has real estate assets valued at $2 billion, according to RCA. Carlton Associates, started by Jack, is now run by his son, David Cohen. In 2014, Carlton partnered with Schron and low-profile investor David Werner to buy the land under 100 West 57th Street for $285 million. In a 2012 deal, Carlton took on a more visible role when it partnered with Werner and real estate investor Joseph Mizrachi to buy a 1.1 million-square-foot Chicago office tower for $350 million — a record that year. Carlton also has a stake in One Court Square in Long Island City.

        Michael Dell    
    Michael Dell

    Michael Dell/MSD Capital Estimated net worth: $23.2 billion Fortune made in: Computers

    After launching the personal computer giant Dell Inc. from his dorm room at the University of Texas-Austin, Michael Dell became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 1992 when he was just 27. Often called a tech industry “wunderkind,” the now 51-year-old waged a fierce battle to take Dell private in a $25 billion deal in 2013. While Dell has been making tech headlines, his family office, MSD Capital, has been investing Dell’s personal fortune since 1999 in car companies, restaurants and retail — alongside real estate holdings valued at about $3.5 billion, according to RCA. For the better part of the past decade, MSD has been co-developing an 865-acre resort in Hawaii, which includes a golf course and Four Seasons hotel. In New York, MSD and Goldman Sachs purchased equity stakes in the Related Companies in 2007 totaling 7.5 percent. Although Dell has no plans to take a more active role in New York City real estate, the firm recently invested in Sharif El-Gamal’s condo at 45 Park Place, as well as Adam America Real Estate’s residential development at 22-12 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

    Arthur Becker/Atlantic Investors LLC Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Tech

    A onetime restorer of historic homes and former stockbroker at Bear Stearns, Becker made his fortune buying and selling technology companies. Most recently, the 66-year-old was CEO of web hosting company NaviSite Inc., which he left in 2010. Through his Atlantic Investors LLC, Becker has a stake in $500 million worth of real estate, according to RCA. While he’s quiet as a mouse, he has backed some big projects, including Michael Stern and Kevin Maloney’s 111 West 57th Street. He’s also backing a planned condo at 124 Sixth Avenue, a former carwash, being developed by Maloney’s Property Markets Group and Robert Gladstone’s Madison Equities.

    Raymond Gindi/Gindi Capital Estimated net worth: Unknown Fortune made in: Retail; owns Century 21 department store

    The Gindi family, which started the discount chain Century 21, currently has a stake in nearly $5 billion worth of real estate, according to RCA. Raymond Gindi, who is in his late 40s, is a well-known entity in New York real estate, but is rarely in the spotlight unless it has to do with the retail business started in 1961 by his father, Al, and uncle, Sonny Gindi. But there’s no denying Gindi Capital’s significant influence in commercial real estate. (Fun fact: Cousin Eli Gindi, a onetime owner of the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room, closed the iconic restaurant in 2011 amid a dispute with then-landlord Elad Group.) In 2012, the family’s investment arm – Gindi Capital — sold a portfolio of 26 buildings (primarily in Manhattan, with a handful in Brooklyn and Queens) for $164 million, and in 2014 it leased a 19,000-square-foot office in Herald Square, from which it now manages its war chest. Gindi’s New York investments include an unknown stake in the Bryant Park Hotel, alongside Rainbow Shops owner Joseph Chehebar and investor Philip Pilevsky, as well as a stake in 490 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn with Crown Acquisitions. The Gindis are also investors in Vornado Realty Trust’s 650 Madison Avenue and Silverstein Properties’ Silver Towers, though they rarely get mentioned in connection with those buildings.

    [The Real Deal] - E.B. Solomont
  • Helm Equities Launches Retail, Office Leasing Effort For Design District Mega-Development May 23, 2016 ⚬ 
    Helm Equities Launches Retail, Office Leasing Effort For Design District Mega-Development A New York investor who spent $12.5 million on a former church site in Miami’s Design District in 2014 is debuting its plans for an office and retail project on the property.

    While the site at 4201 Northeast Second Avenue can support a development of up to 325,000 square feet, the first phase of the project will comprise 75,000 square feet of retail and more than 100,000 square feet of office space.

    Helm Equities, a subsidiary of JEMB Realty run by Ayal Horovits and partner David Escava, is partnering with the Gindi family (of Century 21 fame and fortune) on the deal, Horovits told The Real Deal Monday at ICSC’s ReCon event in Las Vegas. The developers may ultimately add a hotel or residential concept to the project, too.

    A team led by NGKF’s Tom Citron has been tapped to lease the space. Construction has not yet commenced.

    “The retail market in Miami is absolutely fantastic,” Citron’s colleague, Mitch Friedel, told TRD. “In general, the shopping center business is on decline but streetfront retail has been on fire. What Helm is doing is a tremendous opportunity.”

    Asking rents for the retail space are approximately $175 per square foot on the ground floor and $90 per square foot for the upper level space, the NGKF team said. Office rents are still under discussion.

    Helm certainly isn’t the only New York developer eying Miami’s Design District for investment. Last summer, David Edelstein’s New York-based TriStar Capital added three properties, at 114 Northeast 40th Street, 130 Northeast 40th Street and 135 Northeast 39th Street to its portfolio for a record $65 million. And New York-based Thor Equities recently nabbed the site of a United States Post Office in the area for $43 million, or $1,402 per square foot.

    Dacra, which has led the transformation of the Design District, signed off on the expansion of the area’s special area plan to include Helm Equities’ development site last year. By the end of next year, the neighborhood is expected to have more than 120 luxury-brand stores, a boutique hotel, 15 to 20 restaurants, luxury residential condos and lofts, galleries, furniture showrooms, as well as large-scale public art, design and graphic art installations.

    Horovits said his property will have an edge over the others.

    “Because we’re doing ground up, tenants can have input on design elements,” he said.

    [The Real Deal] - Katherine Clarke
  • Here’s What The $10M-$20M NYC Investment Sales Market Looked Like Last Week May 16, 2016 ⚬ 
    Here’s What The $10M-$20M NYC Investment Sales Market Looked Like Last Week 1.) Home textiles importer and retailer Pem-America is moving into Time Equities’ 16-story office building at 70 West 36th Street. The wholesale company purchased two commercial condominium units in the building for $19.3 million. Both units span roughly 10,300 square feet and are located on the lower floors. Time Equities paid $61 million for the property in 2007 and converted it into office condos.

    2.) The Gindi family shelled out $19 million for commercial space at Northwind Group’s 66 Pearl Street, a mixed-use building located in the Financial District. The commercial condominium unit includes 7,200 square feet of retail space, which is home to Scandinavian coffeehouse FIKA and Mexican restaurant La Dama. The remaining 4,054 square feet is used for storage. The property also holds 42 rental apartments, with prices ranging from just under $3,000 for a studio to $6,500 for a three-bedroom unit. Northwind, a boutique real estate investment firm based Downtown, bought the property in 2014.

    3.) In the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, a 66-key hotel traded hands for $14.1 million. A partnership led by Hyon Paek and Choon Taik Lim acquired the Anchor Inn at 215-34 Northern Boulevard from Northern Motor Inn Inc. City records show Northern Motor Inn owned the property since 1978.

    4.) Brisa Builders, in cooperation with the Housing Partnership Development Corporation, acquired a seven-parcel development site in Brownsville from the Church of God of East Flatbush for $12.6 million. The development site is home to auto repair shops at 257 Hegeman Avenue, 68 New Lots Avenue and 94 New Lots Avenue. It’s also home to a used car dealership at 670 Powell Street and three adjacent vacant lots which hold a total of 219,000 buildable square feet. In 2001, the church paid $8.2 million for the site. Brisa, an affordable housing developer, made an unsuccessful bid in 2014 to buy the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill.

    5.) An unknown buyer under the entity Sterling Portfolio 189 LP picked up a 24-unit rental building in Prospect Heights for $11 million. The four-story building at 189 Sterling Place spans 15,528 square feet and includes all market-rate units. Robert and Jerome Kessler owned the building since 1986.

    6.) A six-unit townhouse located at 248 East 49th Street in Midtown traded hands for $10.4 million. The owners of Manhattan Bridge Car Wash Inc. and short-term rental company 30 Day NYC Stay sold the property to 248 E 49th St LLC. The eight-unit residential building spans 9,614 square feet between Second and Third avenues in Midtown.

    [The Real Deal] - Kyna Doles
  • New York Department Store Chain Buys Design District Property August 20, 2014 ⚬ 
    New York Department Store Chain Buys Design District Property The E.G. Cody building in Miami’s Design District was acquired by a major New York-based department store chain for $16 million.

    Jerry Cody and Eduardo Gonzalez, co-founders of the home furnishings company that operates a showroom at the 80 Northeast 40th Street building, sold the property in a transaction recorded on Tuesday, according to Miami-Dade County records. Cody and Gonzalez, as general partners of CGI Studio, owned the 8,025 square foot building for nearly 32 years before Tuesday’s sale. They paid $525,000 for the property.

    Miami DD 80 Blue is the buyer. The New York company is tied to Century 21 Department Stores. Century 21 co-owner Isaac Gindi is identified in state corporate records as Miami DD’s managing member.

    Bank Hapoalim gave Miami DD an $8 million mortgage for the purchase.

    Metro 1 founder and CEO Tony Cho and Metro 1 Commercial executive vice president Tony Arellano represented CGI Studio. Whitehall Realty Advisors brokers Devlin Marinoff and David Spitz represented Miami DD in the $1,993 per square foot acquisition.

    [The Real Deal] — Eric Kalis
  • Century 21 Owners Sell Trio of Bldgs. for $46M June 26, 2014 ⚬ 
    Century 21 Owners Sell Trio of Bldgs. for $46M The buildings on Nassau Street are the last to be sold from a 26-property portfolio that netted the Gindi family, downtown's most famous retailer, a total of $164 million. The latest sale is likely to result in the construction of a 100,000-square-foot residential tower.

    A trio of downtown Manhattan buildings could soon give way to a residential tower with more than 100,000 square feet. Lexin Capital has purchased 75-81 Nassau St., three contiguous buildings two blocks east of the World Trade Center site paying nearly $46 million.

    The buildings, which have 41-market rate apartments and ground-floor retail space, currently total about 50,000 square feet. That is less than half the roughly 108,000 square feet that the site is zoned to accommodate. Metin Negrin, the chief executive of Lexin Capital, said he would continue to operate the property as-is and in the coming years may redevelop the site, which permits up to about 72,000 square feet of residential space and about 36,000 square feet of commercial.

    "We are big believers in the area, and in one or two years you're going to see a lot of the investment here come to fruition," Mr. Negrin said, referring to the billions of dollars of infrastructure and commercial development that have been built in and around the WTC site. Those projects include the new Fulton Center, now weeks from opening, and 1 World Trade Center, along with hundreds of thousands of square feet of surrounding retail space, that will open next year.

    Bob Knakal, chairman of the brokerage firm Massey Knakal Realty Services, handled the deal for the sellers, the Gindi family. The properties were the last of a 26-building portfolio that the Gindi family hired Mr. Knakal to sell beginning in 2012. In addition to its real estate holdings, the family is notable for being the owner of the department store chain Century 21.

    Mr. Knakal said that the entire portfolio, which totaled 420,000 square feet and includes 55 stories and 117 rental apartments, yielded $163.5 million. By splitting up the properties and selling them individually rather than as part of a package, Mr. Knakal said he netted more proceeds for the Gindi family.

    "Selling them individually led to a significantly higher total price," Mr. Knakal said.

    The buildings were spread throughout Manhattan and the boroughs. One was in Philadelphia. Mr. Knakal said the Gindi family's patience in selling the buildings over a two year period was also helpful in netting more proceeds. The market rose dramatically during that period.

    Correction: A trio of buildings sold for $46 million. The sale price was misstated in an earlier version of the headline and text of this article published online June 26, 2014.

    [Crain] - Daniel Geiger
  • Ashkenazy, Gindi Family Buy UWS Office Building For $20M April 25, 2014 ⚬ 
    Ashkenazy, Gindi Family Buy UWS Office Building For $20M Ashkenazy Acquisition and the Gindi family, owner of discount department store chain Century 21, jointly acquired a seven-story office building on the Upper West Side for $20 million in an off-market deal, according to property records filed with the city today.

    The 20,800-square-foot building at 2067 Broadway, near West 72nd Street, is fully occupied except two small office spaces, said Daniel Levy, a partner at Ashkenazy. Tenants at the property include fast-casual restaurant chain Gigi Café and EPIC Security, a provider of uniformed guards at apartment complexes.

    “We believe this will be another long-term holding for us,” Levy told The Real Deal.

    The New Rochelle, N.Y.-based seller, Gary Strutin, said he has owned the building for more than 20 years. His acquisitions are largely in Westchester County, and 2067 Broadway was his sole New York City building. Strutin, whose 1970s startup Plastic Works grew into a multi-million-dollar company, said he has no plans to buy more properties in the city.

    Brokers did not represent either side in the transaction. Law firm Kriss and Feuerstein LLP represented the buyers as legal counsel.

    In January, Ashkenazy signed a 20-year deal with Bernard Spitzer for the master lease of 200 Central Park South for $18 million, as previously reported.

    The Gindi family, who could not be immediately reached for comment, sold off a six-story, cast-iron building 287 Broadway in Tribeca for $8 million in November, as The Real Deal reported.

    [The Real Deal] - Mark Maurer