Leff joins as a Principal to expand firm's tenant-representation business line
NEW YORK CITY, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Greg Kraut, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the company's New York City office, announced today that Michael A. Leff has joined the firm to expand the company's tenant representation and corporate services platforms.
Effective immediately, Leff joins Avison Young as a Principal and will be based in the company's New York City office.
Most recently a Senior Managing Director in the New York office of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Leff has 13 years of commercial real estate experience with a specialization in tenant representation. Throughout his career, he has consummated more than 3 million square feet (msf) in transactions on behalf of a long list of clients in the legal, financial services and fashion and apparel industries. At Avison Young, Leff will focus on providing a full range of high-level corporate and transaction services to the firm's tenant clients, including site selection, lease negotiation and strategic planning.
"Over the past several months, we have continued to make meaningful progress in achieving our goal of developing a world-class team in the New York Metropolitan Area, and the hiring of Michael further strengthens our position as we look to provide clients with specialized expertise across a full-service platform," comments Kraut. "As a highly-experienced tenant-representation specialist, Michael has a proven ability to identify optimal space solutions tailored to the specific requirements of his clients that will contribute significantly to the expansion of our tenant services offerings."
Prior to joining Newmark, Leff served as Corporate Managing Director at Studley, Inc., a commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation, where Leff was part of a top-producing team that represented several high-profile companies, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Accenture and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
Leff has earned numerous honors and accolades during his career, including recognition for facilitating a 194,000-sf lease at 650 Madison for Polo Ralph Lauren, which was named one of the Top Commercial Leases of 2009 by The Commercial Observer. He was also included in Real Estate Weekly's list of Top Up-and-Comers in 2006, as well as bestowed with SL Green's award for the most significant deal in 2005 for securing a 186,000-sf lease at 625 Madison Avenue for Polo.
Before entering the commercial real estate industry, Leff was the owner and operator of Evolution Motorsports & Imagine Motorsports, a high-end automobile firm. He holds a Master's degree in accounting from C.W. Post and a Bachelor's degree in economics from Syracuse University.
"I have been closely following Avison Young's growth over the years and have been impressed by the caliber of professionals the company has recruited, as well as the firm's collaborative, team-oriented approach to client service," says Leff. "Joining the firm as a Principal is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to playing a key role in helping to expand Avison Young's services for existing clients, in addition to identifying and developing new business opportunities."
Earlier this year, Avison Young opened its first office in New York City to expand the firm's market and business-line coverage in the Tri-State area. The company has since opened its first office in New Jersey in October, followed closely by the acquisition of leading project management firm The Walsh Company, also in October.
Founded in 1978, Avison Young is Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Avison Young is also the largest Canadian-owned, principal-managed commercial real estate brokerage firm in North America. Comprising more than 1,100 real estate professionals in 43 offices across Canada and the U.S., the full-service commercial real estate company provides value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-residential properties.
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