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Merger whispers between Cushman and Newmark reignite at REBNY Gala

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Rumors will be made from flimsy stuff. But they tackle added attention when so little verifiable, large-scale activity is going down within the business office market these early summer days.

One tale that has tantalized the business brokerage world for months is that Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark, town’s Nos. 2 and three brokerages by leasing and sales volume behind leader CBRE, plan to merge. It was a part of the thrill on the Real Estate Board of Recent York’s glittering gala gathering on the Glasshouse event space on Thursday night.

One insider on the bash told us, “I feel that cratered an extended time ago.” But one other said in a near-whisper, “It did disintegrate but now it’s on again.”

A Cushman rep declined to comment. A 2020 Bloomberg story incorrectly said that Newmark had rebuffed a Cushman takeover bid. Newmark didn’t get back to us.

The merger chatter gained added currency with an inside tip to Realty Check that Cushman & Wakefield, which is now based at Vornado’s 1290 Sixth Ave., secretly signed a lease to maneuver its offices to 220,000 square feet at Brookfield’s 660 Fifth Avenue.

Based on this intriguing but unconfirmed tale, the lease is under wraps pending the consequence of the Cushman-Newmark merger discussions. A Brookfield rep acknowledged there have been “talks” for a possible lease but denied that a deal was signed. A Cushman rep also denied it. But a lease could be one other coup for 660 Fifth where Macquarie Group recently signed for an identical amount of space.  

A high-powered Cushman team that features global brokerage chairman Bruce Mosler happens to be the leasing agent for 660 Fifth, the previous 666 Fifth that’s been renamed and redesigned.

A move there could be an expansion for Cushman, which has 180,000 square feet at 1290 Sixth where its lease expires in 2025.  Cushman’s interest in leaving 1290 Sixth when its lease is up was reported by The Real Deal earlier this month.

A Cushman-Newmark merger would likely profit Newmark most. CBRE, JLL, Cushman and Newmark are the highest four-ranked firms internationally, which matters greater than their local standings.

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