New York, NY The New York Real Estate Journal recently sat down with its executive of the month, Matia Nikolovienis, Esq., a partner at Cohen & Perfetto LLP, for a question and answer session.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Bayside, Queens in a Big Fat Greek Wedding/Fiddler on the Roof household.
Q: How did you get started in the real estate industry?
A: Growing up with a father who was in the diner business (yes, very stereotypical for a Greek family) location of the property was always an important discussion with respect to growing a business. What better way to merge how I grew up with the type of law that I practice?
Q: What was your first job out of law school?
A: I worked for a small firm on Long Island that focused primarily on commercial lending.
Q: When did you join Cohen & Perfetto LLP?
A: I joined Cohen & Perfetto in July 2005 as an associate attorney and became a partner in 2012.
Q: How did your career change when you joined Cohen & Perfetto LLP?
A: At Cohen & Perfetto not only did I work on commercial lending transactions but I was also given the opportunity to do work on a full range of matters including office, retail and ground leasing; conveyancing on behalf of purchasers, sellers, investors and developers; financing with institutional, public sector and private companies on behalf of lenders and borrowers; government incentives for owner occupied and developer transactions; land acquisition and development. This work is what allowed me to become a well-rounded attorney whose focus and niche is in commercial real estate.
Q: What made you want to become partner at Cohen & Perfetto LLP?
A: It was the dynamic and the relationships the firm built with its clients and with each other that made me know that Cohen & Perfetto was the place I wanted to call home. I also admired the way Cohen & Perfetto handled the real estate market crash and slow economy thereafter. After the crash we were able to stay strong while completing complex real estate transactions for many clients and also continuing to be loyal to our employees.
Q: What are some of the memorable transactions you have worked on?
A: One of the most memorable transaction was assisting a longtime client in the $560 million sale of a multi-state and multi-borough 22-property portfolio. Just this past year we represented the same client in acquiring a $27 million site in College Point, a $15 million site in Brooklyn, in addition to ground leasing properties in both New York and New Jersey. Most recently one of our clients sold a two building industrial complex in Jamaica, Queens for $78 million to a REIT that will most likely upgrade the buildings to attract industrial and commercial tenants in one of the last remaining commercial thoroughfares in New York.
Q: Tell us about Cohen & Perfetto LLP.
A: The most exciting news is that Cohen & Perfetto opened up an office on Long Island. Not only do we have offices at 560 Lexington Ave., New York, we are now also in Port Washington. This second office will allow us to have more of a local presence in Nassau County while also remaining focused in New York City.
Cohen & Perfetto is a one-stop, real estate shop for our clients; a hub where clients can count on us to help them streamline the process of a real estate project. We pride ourselves in always being available for our clients and in taking a proprietary interest in each and every matter. Our goal is to provide sound and practical advice with an eye to adding value to every transaction in which we are involved. We created a law firm with a niche practice area and a focus on building strong relationships with clients that would help them step through every part of a real estate deal.