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Schanzer named CEO at rebranded Friedland Realty

A corporate growth and turnaround specialist is leading a market rebranding and organizational restructuring at Friedland Realty, a 44-year-old commercial real estate firm in Yonkers.

Ayall Schanzer, who in March joined the Yonkers company as president, on Friday was named CEO of the renamed Friedland Realty Advisors by founder and company chairman Robert Friedland.

Anthony “Tony” Lembeck, whom Friedland promoted to CEO in 2010, remains with the privately owned company and is under contract through the end of this year. Lembeck said his future with the company is uncertain.

Ayall Schanzer
Ayall Schanzer

Formerly NAI Friedland Realty Inc., the firm has severed its relationship with NAI Global, Schanzer said in a phone interview.

“We’re now focused on our own brand,” he said. The new name was unveiled July 24 along with a new corporate logo and website.

Schanzer said the company, which operates retail, industrial and office divisions, added “Advisors” to its name to better reflect the “360-degree perspective” that Friedland brokers bring to deals and clients in a “much more complex” real estate market that more frequently involves land use conversions.

The repositioning company is recruiting brokers and plans to add about 10 to the 25 brokers currently at Friedland, Schanzer said. As part of an internal restructuring, their approach to the market and clients will be “much more team-oriented, collaborative,” Schanzer said, with “strike forces” of Friedland professionals taking a “hybrid approach” to transactions.

Friedland is growing its geographical footprint beyond its established market base in Westchester County and the Bronx, Schanzer said, with “a much deeper reach within the five boroughs and going outward from Westchester into Rockland, Orange” counties in the lower Hudson Valley.

Schanzer noted the company’s recent deal in Manhattan, where a Friedland Realty retail broker represented Citizen Watch Co. in a Times Square lease for its first global flagship store. Brokers in Friedland Realty’s industrial division this spring relocated a cooperative of 52 auto businesses to an 80,000-square-foot building at Hunts Point in the Bronx from Willets Point in Queens to make way for a $3 billion redevelopment project in the Citi Field area.

The rebranded company has hired a vice president for marketing to direct an aggressive, multipronged marketing campaign that includes social media, Schanzer said. The company is “bridging that digital divide” and improving its technology infrastructure, he said.

A Friedland spokesperson in a press release said the company in the months ahead will upgrade its technology “to better showcase its properties and aid the tenants, investors and communities they serve.”

Friedland, the company’s founder, in the announcement said Schanzer “is the ideal leader to take Friedland to the next level. His acumen and business intelligence are already charting a successful new course for our team of expert brokers.”

Schanzer, who described himself as a corporate growth specialist, formerly was chief strategy officer at Salient Corp., a business performance management company, and has held top executive posts at several other business management and consulting firms. Friedland in the press release said Schanzer brings to the real estate company “deep expertise in growing and repositioning companies for sustainable growth.”

Schanzer practiced law earlier in his career and served three years in the 1990s as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Schanzer also is listed on LinkedIn as chief investment officer at Patria M2 Capital L.L.C., which purchases commercial real estate companies “seeking to accelerate growth and increase profitability,” according to his LinkedIn page.

Friedland Realty one year ago announced its merger with Benson Commercial Realty Inc. in Tarrytown and Greenwich, Conn. Scott H. Benson, the latter firm’s founder and owner, was named president of the Yonkers company to succeed Friedland, who remained as chairman.

A Friedland Realty executive said the affiliation was short-lived and Benson is no longer with the company.


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