Cornerstone Group has served since 1999 as real estate development consultant and virtual staff, working on a wide variety of planning and development projects.
Manhattanville Campus Planning
Cornerstone worked as part of a team of consultants during the planning phase of Columbia’s new 17-acre campus in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem. This massive undertaking, which involves land assemblage, rezoning, and the development of millions of square feet of academic space and new infrastructure, will accommodate the University’s growth for decades. As advisors during the planning phase, CG interfaced between University stakeholders and a team of design consultants led by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Once the Project was approved as appropriate for eminent domain proceedings under the auspices of Empire State Development Corporation, Cornerstone led the land assemblage and tenant relocation work that was crucial to the Project’s success. The first phase is now open, with subsequent phases currently under construction.
Brooklyn Public Library
Strategic Real Estate Plan
While working at K. Backus and Associates, Steven Jacobs undertook in 2007 to complete a strategic plan for its 58 branch libraries, which occupy a physical plant of nearly 750,000 square feet. Mr. Jacobs and the consulting team, which included an architect and a land use attorney, completed a comprehensive review of all of the Library’s facilities as to their physical condition, programmatic success, and potential for redevelopment or public/private partnership. Based on this assessment, the team, led by Mr. Jacobs, identified, analyzed, and recommended options to meet the Library’s long-term needs. This included the sale for mixed use redevelopment of the Library’s Business Branch in Brooklyn Heights.
Most recently, Terry Stanley represented The Library as its broker. He led the effort to procure a 25 year lease for a branch library in DUMBO. The lease negotiations were concluded in 60 days, but were preceded by market studies, multiple site matrices, multiple draft letters of intent, many site visits and preparation of draft Board materials. From start to finish the assignment lasted 12 months. A relevant note for this subject proposal: even though Mr. Stanley has leased nearly one million square feet in Downtown Brooklyn, the DUMBO Sub market is sufficiently differentiated that he thought it in the best interest of the client to bring in a local co-broker. The result was a lease in an off-market building that would never have otherwise been identified.
New York City School Construction Authority
Providing Real Estate Advisory and Tenant Representative Consulting Services to the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA). Since 1994, Cornerstone has been selected several times through competitive bidding processes to be one of the brokerage representatives for the SCA. Our responsibilities include site identification and acquisition, negotiating sale/lease agreements, providing market analysis reports, site assemblage, and the relocation of occupants from their condemnation sites throughout New York City. Recently, Cornerstone Group successfully completed many assignments on behalf of the SCA both for traditional school sites and for the new Universal Pre-K Program. Cornerstone was given specific parameters that were often located in densely populated areas with little to no availability. Using different methods of research, Cornerstone identified sites that were not on the market and spearheaded complex site assemblages to meet the SCA’s size requirements. (Services provided 1994 to Present).