Robert A. Knakal

Chairman, New York Investment Sales


Mr. Knakal is Chairman, New York Investment Sales of Cushman & Wakefield. Previously, he was Chairman and Founding Partner of Massey Knakal Realty Services, New York’s #1 building sales firm. He has graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1984.

He started his real estate career at CB Richard Ellis where he met Paul Massey. They both left CB in 1988 to form Massey Knakal.

From 1988 through 2014, Massey Knakal closed over 6,000 transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $23 billion. To date, Mr. Knakal has been personally responsible for the sale of more than 1,700 buildings (generally considered to be the highest total ever for a single broker in New York) and over $13 billion in sales.

On December 31, 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal.

In 1998, at the age of 36, Mr. Knakal was named to Crain’s New York Business’s Forty Under Forty/New York Rising Stars list for his outstanding achievement in the New York City business community. He is a two time winner of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Robert T. Lawrence Award in the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Contest.

Mr. Knakal writes a weekly article on the NYC Real Estate Market called Concrete Thoughts for The Commercial Observer.

Mr. Knakal’s personal civic involvements are numerous and are highlighted by his presidency of the 152-year-old Prescott Foundation for Children and Youth, which makes grants to disadvantaged children for educational purposes. He also serves on the boards of several New York City Charitable organizations.


-2012: Mr. Knakal recognized as one of the top 5 sales brokers in North America in Rod Santomassimo’s book Brokers Who Dominate.

-2004: Mr. Knakal wins the Robert T. Lawrence Award in REBNY’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Contest” for the sale of the Gotham Book Mart at 41 West 47th Street.

-2002: Mr. Knakal wins the Robert T. Lawrence Award in REBNY’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Contest” for the assemblage of the easterly blockfront of Second Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.


  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), 20 Member Executive Committee
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Arbitration Committee
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Sales Brokers Committee, Chairman
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Economic Development Committee
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Seminar Committee
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Transportation Committee
  • Realty Foundation of New York
  • National Realty Conference, President
  • The National Association of Realtors
  • National Realty Conference, Board of Governors
  • Wharton Real Estate Center
  • Building New York, Advisory Board
  • Wharton School, JWD Board of Trustees
  • Shema Kolainu, Board of Directors
  • Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), Board of Directors
  • Ice Hockey in Harlem, Board of Directors
  • The Prescott Fund for Children and Youth, Board of Directors
  • Wharton Club of New York, Board of Directors
  • Lincoln Center Real Estate and Construction Council
  • University of Pennsylvania Club of New York
  • Metropolitan Opera Guild
  • New York Philharmonic Association
  • Ice Hockey in Harlem, President
  • The Prescott Fund for Children and Youth, President
  • Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center
  • Tomorrows Children Fund
  • New York Building Congress and Trustee
  • Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church


    Third Quarter 2014 - A Message From The Chairman
    The Land Rush Continues in 2014: The market for land revolves around what is probably the most perplexing product type in New York City today. While underlying fundamentals in the commercial real estate market have improved, on average, by 15 percent to 20 percent, land values have, in some cases, doubled, tripled and in some rare cases quadrupled. View Article

    Fourth Quarter 2013 - A Message from the Chairman
    After my column appeared in these pages last week, in which I forecasted a record year in New York’s investment sales market, the emails came flooding in primarily asking me if I have lost my mind. Nearly everything written or discussed by market analysts, or participants, has predicted “flat”, “moderating”, “normalizing” or “more of the same” as the fate of the 2014 sales market. I strongly disagree with these positions and will explain why I believe our sales market will produce record results this year.View Article

    Message from the Chairman
    The recovery in the property sales market continues to outpace the recovery in the broader economy and is, in fact, performing better than the recovery in commercial real estate’s underlying fundamentals would dictate. 2012 was a banner year, therefore, comparatively this year is lagging but activity is better than we had in 2011, a year in which we were all feeling very happy. View Article

Robert A. Knakal
Chairman, New York Investment Sales
(212) 660 7777
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Jonathan Hageman
(212) 660 7773
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Cory Rosenthal
Managing Director, Brokerage Services & Operations
(212) 660 7712
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Elysa Berlin
Associate Director
(212) 660 7764
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David Kalish
Associate Director
(212) 660 7726
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George D'Ambrosio
Senior Associate
(212) 660 7790
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Patrick Yannotta
Senior Associate
(212) 660 7791
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Charlotte Myers
(212) 660 7749
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Zach Rosenberg
(212) 589 5166
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Nicholas Tierney
(212) 660 7792
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Thomas Willoughby
Corporate Graphics Associate
(212) 660 7730
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Stephanie Ng
Graphics Design Associate
(212) 660 7762
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John Fontana
(212) 660 7783
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Dallas Rapoport
Junior Analyst
(212) 589 5129
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Erin Mitchell
Executive Assistant
(212) 660 7787
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Leica Meliton
Executive Assistant
(212) 660 7787
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Stella Nicolas
Administrative Assistant
(212) 660 7763
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Notable Recent Transactions

21 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001/$244,000,000 Commercial Buildings, Penn Station, New York


645 First Avenue "The Corinthian Unsold Shares", New York, NY 10065/$147,000,000 Development/Conversion Sites, Apartment Buildings, Murray Hill, New York


350 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018/$112,000,000 Development/Conversion Sites, Hudson Yards, New York


985-989 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022/$100,000,000 Development/Conversion Sites, ,


85 Fifth Avenue- RETAIL, New York, NY 10003/$85,000,000 Commercial Condo/Co-op, Union Square, New York