Tall, genial and full of life, Scott Handler burst into the office of his partner, who is also named Scott.
“So,” Handler asked. “How’s it looking? The meeting. With the guy.”
“We have a call at 5 p.m.,” said Scott Galin, a tireless executive with a work ethic and commitment to excellence second to none. “I’m prepping for it now.”
Such is the relationship between the two Scotts, who own and run Handler Real Estate, a boutique real estate company that has quietly and systematically become a more prominent player in the industry than either of them foresaw when they joined forces nearly a decade ago.
Handler Real Estate (which has a third ownership partner, a private investor) consists of three core divisions: the oversight of several hundred thousand square feet of office properties it owns, manages and leases in and around the Garment District; a boutique brokerage that arranges third-party office leases on behalf of tenants and landlords throughout Manhattan and the New York metropolitan area; and significant co-general partner and limited investments in real estate properties and funds.
The success did not happen overnight.
Rewind to 2005 when Galin, now 60, exited his family’s retail apparel business, G&G, which had previously partnered with a private equity firm.
“My dad and I had taken G&G as far as we believed it could go,” recalls Galin, who grew up in G&G, rose to CEO, and expanded the business to more than 650 stores throughout 44 states, and the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands.
While overseeing G&G’s real estate, Galin was personally involved with the negotiation of leases exceeding $1 billion in total. “But the apparel industry changed,” Galin said. “It was time for me to try something else.”
The Handler family owned 229 West 36th Street, where G&G leased its headquarters space and co-owned 520 Eighth Avenue, which G&G later occupied.
“We became best friends,” said Scott Handler, 65, of their early meetings nearly 40 years ago. “Scott [Galin] is like my brother.” Knowing Galin was looking for his next challenge after he left G+G and started a retail consultancy, Scott Handler turned to his father, Jerry Handler, who was always fond of Galin. But Jerry told his son, “Scott will never come here.”
“I declined several times,” Galin conceded with a laugh. “I knew what I needed to make a move like that and what I would do at the company but wasn’t sure the Handler family would go for it.
But Scott and Jerry, a giant in the industry who since passed away, bought into my vision.”
“We were thrilled to have him join as a partner,” said Scott Handler, who oversees Handler’s building operations. “He’s exactly what we needed.”
Coming in as a principal and president, in 2009, Galin spent his first five years intensely focused on running Handler’s day-to-day business operations.
But he wasn’t interested in just running a three-property portfolio and an in-house brokerage that serviced these buildings — 263 West 38th Street, 315 West 39th Street, and its headquarters building at 561 7th Avenue. He wanted to expand deeper into the market.
“We’re never going to be a global brokerage, nor do we aspire to be. But I was adamant we do business and conduct ourselves at an elite level,” Galin said. He studied and emulated processes and
client interactions of leading brokerages, including the contracts, offer letters, templates and payment schedules they utilized. Galin also pointed out that the Handler team made significant upgrades to its core office properties, including lobbies, elevators and mechanical systems, while providing high-end buildouts and tenant improvement packages.
Whereas garment tenants traditionally made up the lion’s share of leases, the Handler portfolio now includes those in technology, media, marketing, legal, professional services, not-for-profit, garment, and other business sectors.
Yet as the Handler business and demands on his time grew, Galin needed someone to help him further elevate the brokerage division. Enter Darell Handler, son of Scott Handler, who worked side-by-side with Galin and the other brokers, making his way up from intern to associate and finally to executive vice president.
In the nine years that the younger Handler, 30, has been with the firm, he has arranged or assisted with some of its most significant core-property leases and executed on third party transactions for
“ Whatever we do, it’s in a thoughtful way. We know our place in the market ”
Mr. Handler established Handler Enterprises, Inc. in 1979. At the same time, he also became associated with Handro Properties (a family real estate management concern). Prior to establishing Handler Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Handler was employed as a broker at Newmark & Company Real Estate, Inc. from 1976 to 1979.
Throughout Mr. Handler’s career, his responsibilities have included management and leasing of numerous eastside and westside New York City office, showroom and loft buildings. During his career, he has negotiated in excess of 1,000 leases ranging in size from 2,000 to 175,000 square feet. Some of Mr. Handler’s corporate and institutional clients include CNBC, Bloomingdales Department Stores and International Flavors and Fragrances.
Mr. Handler’s previous notable transactions as leasing broker include a 165,000 square foot lease with CNBC and a 90,000 square foot lease with Bloomingdales Department Store for executive and buying offices.
Additionally, Mr. Handler acted as a consultant to International Flavors & Fragrances for their headquarters building on West 57th Street (450,000 square feet). In that capacity, he acted on behalf of IFF to renew CBS’s 150,000 square feet back office and support facility. He also has completed sales of a 125,000 square foot industrial building in Westbury, NY and recently completed a sale of a 150,000 square foot loft building in New York City.
Mr. Handler is a Deputy Trustee to 32BJ on behalf of the Midtown Owners Association and also sits on the board of the Garment Center Business Improvement District. He graduated from Tulane University in 1976. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker and member of REBNY.
Mr. Galin joined The Handler Real Estate Organization as a Principal in March of 2009. Prior to joining HREO, Mr. Galin was involved in commercial real estate for roughly 30 years. In addition to his ownership interests in the portfolio properties, and limited partnerships, Mr. Galin also oversees the brokerage division (including HREO properties, aggregating over 500,000 square feet) and heads up the financing/acquisition team for the property ownership entity as well. Under Mr. Galin’s leadership, HREO has purchased/invested in over 20 new properties over the past two years.
Mr. Galin began his career at G&G shops, a small family retail business located in New York. As President and CEO he was instrumental in G&G’s growth from 30 locations throughout the New York City metropolitan area to a national chain of over 600 stores located in 45 states plus an expansion into the Caribbean. In 1982, Mr. Galin was involved in the merger between G&G shops and Petrie Stores Corporation, a NYSE company with over 1,400 stores. Mr. Galin also served in the capacity of Senior Vice President of Petrie, in addition to his roles at G&G.
Mr. Galin has been involved in well over 1,000 commercial leases valued in excess of $2BB that have been located across all sectors, including office and industrial properties, major regional malls, power/strip centers, and downtown retail locations. In addition to his experience as a real estate executive and corporate CEO, Mr. Galin has been involved in several commercial real estate investments throughout the years. Mr. Galin obtained a B.S. in finance from New York University. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fashion District BID since 2000 and is a licensed real estate broker and member of REBNY. Mr. Galin also serves on the New York Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League.
Executive Vice President
In his capacity as Executive Vice President, Darell oversees the leasing of the Handler Organization owned properties as well as well as the third-party tenant representation division of Handler Real Estate Services. Mr. Handler is also involved in many other aspects of the Handler Organization, including operations, and marketing.
As a tenant rep broker, Mr. Handler has represented a broad spectrum of clients in numerous commercial and retail transactions, including, amongst others, QSAC in their 40,000 SF relocation and expansion, Wachtel Missry in their renewal of 17,000 SF at 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss in the renewal and expansion of 15,000 SF in the Chrysler Building and Mane USA in their restructuring and expansion of their existing lease at 555 Madison Avenue. Additionally, he has assisted with the sourcing and analysis for several of the Handler Organization’s proprietary commercial and residential real estate investments.
Mr. Handler was named a 2018 Rising Star by Real Estate Weekly. He sits on the board of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association, the St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s FOSM Committee, the Anti-Defamation League’s NextGen Real Estate Committee and he is a Founding Friend of the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of New York and is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.
Executive Managing Director
Mr. Newman joined Handler Real Estate Services as Executive Managing Director in September 2010. Prior to joining HRES, Mr. Newman was active for twenty years in the New York Real Estate community, focused primarily on tenant and landlord representation.
While at Handler, Mr. Newman was responsible for the Leasing of 263 West 38th Street, where he brought the building to 100% occupancy and nearly doubling its’ rent roll.
Additionally, Mr. Newman was the lead broker who built and trained the Brokerage Team and continues to be a leader as a Tenant advocate.
His extensive and successful work representing a who’s who of corporate tenant’s including, but not limited to: Mane USA for their 20,000 square foot renewal and expansion in 555 Madison Avenue, QSAC for 40,000 square feet for their relocation and expansion, Advance Care Alliance for their expansions in various locations throughout the New York City and Long Island markets. Mr Newman structured the expansion for the new headquarters for Alex apparel Group for their 30,000 square foot lease at 1407 Broadway as well as several locations for Marc Jacobs International.
Additionally, Mr. Newman has extensive experience representing financial firms and technology firms such as: 20 Gates Management for their lease in Tower 45 and Central Entertainment Group for their new headquarters at 1001 Avenue of the Americas.
Mr. Newman began his career at Edward S. Gordon Company, Inc, where for nine years he represented various corporate entities including financial service firms, law and accounting firms, insurance and publishing companies. Additionally, Mr. Newman represented prominent landlords including Orix Management for 270 Madison Avenue and Emigrant Savings Bank for their headquarters building at 6 East 43rd Street. Mr. Newman was also responsible for the leasing of 140 East 45th Street (aka 1 Grand Central Plaza). Between tenant and landlord representation, during his tenure at ESG Mr. Newman was involved in over 500,000 square feet of transactions valued at over $1 Billion.
Prior to joining Handler, Mr. Newman Mr. Newman continued his career at Newmark & Company Real Estate Services as a tenant representative and landlord agent. Some noteworthy landlord assignments included the leasing services in prime office buildings including: 260 and 261 Madison Avenue, 100 Church Street, 90 William Street, 90 John Street, 55 John Street, 150 Broadway and 17 Battery Place South. Additionally, Mr. Newman was very active with the technology industry in procuring office space including two 50,000 square foot acquisitions for Interactive Futures Inc. Mr. Newman was involved in leasing transactions aggregating over 35,000 square feet for the American Kennel Club, 60,000 square feet for AFTRA and AFLAC for its New York Headquarters. The estimated value of the transactions exceeds $1 Billion.
In addition to the acquisition and disposition of space, Mr. Newman was highly skilled in representing tenant’s in their efforts at restructuring their existing leases.
Mr. Newman is a Graduate of Syracuse University. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York
Managing Director, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Alex Furst is a seasoned commercial real estate advisor with over 15 years of experience. He has successfully closed hundreds of leasing and sale transactions throughout his career, with a combined aggregate approaching $1,000,000,000. Alex’s specialties range from commercial leasing advisory to acquisition and value analysis. His hybrid of expertise encompasses office and retail leasing, commercial landlord representation and tenant advisory services. Alex is heavily focused on Prime Manhattan and New York City Submarkets.
Beginning in 2003, Alex has successfully navigated extreme market conditions. “The years following the financial crash were a true test of my ability as a professional. It was survival of the fittest, and I rose to the challenge”. His most notable achievements over the last decade, include the sale of 5 East 59th Street ($85,000,000), the Franklin Credit Manhattan portfolio sale ($17,800,000), Long Island City Center ($20,000,000), Parade Publications (80,000 SF), and 85 Mercer Street ($15,200,000). His Tenant advisory experience includes companies such as the UPS Store, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, HP France, Ladenburg Thalmann, Conde Nast, Sid Lee, and Premier Partnerships.
Alex is an alumnus of the University of Miami and a member of the Zeta Beta Tau organization. Native to the Northeast, Alex was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Alex graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies. Before finding his true passion in Commercial Real Estate, Alex, worked both in sales and as a Project Engineer for a construction company. Everyday Alex uses his diverse experience in the architecture, construction, and sales to ensure that his clients find their perfect space for the best price possible. Alex loves what he does and that is evident in the hard work and dedication he provides to each and every client. Navigating the New York Real Estate market can be tricky and Alex believes in making the process easy for his clients by putting their needs above all else.