To whom it may concern:
We have had the pleasure to work with Stephen Sunderland and the team at Optimal Spaces Inc. over the past year. Stephen helped us with our facility search and found several properties that met our needs.
Stephen was an integral part of our team. He took the time to listen to and understand our special requirements and limitations. As a result of his knowledge of the market and ability to think outside the box we were able to find a great deal that met our physical and budgetary requirements. Stephen is a true professional and a pleasure to work with.
Dr. Deborah A. Kenny
To Whom it May Concern:
Explorer Charter School
Finding a space for a charter school in New York City is an Herculean task. The most challenging variables include a charter that is only good for five years; the need for a space that can support future growth; the need for a space that is affordable and in-line with the State Education funding allocation. Steve Sunderland put his heart and soul in this project until he was as well-versed with the charter school landscape as the most seasoned New York City-based charter school operators.
His entire work style shouted professionalism. Each site he showed me demonstrated his full understanding of our unique needs. Each conversation with landlords exhibited his sense of follow-through and accountability. Each conversation I had with him illustrated his level of analysis of each potential deal and the benefits or drawbacks of that deal to our organization. Often, I asked Stephen for advice, and never once did I feel he gave me information shaded by his position as a broker.
Stephen's persistence, follow-through, communication style, and work ethic all guarantee that I would call him in a second to help us with future real estate needs.
To Whom It May Concern:
Over the past year I worked very closely with Steven Sunderland as my real estate broker. My requirements for medical space was rather unusual in that I originally needed about 7,000 square feet and wound up needing double that amount. There are not too many place in the upper East Side that can meet that kind of demand.
Steve was excellent at finding and pursuing all available options. When we finally found the space, negotiations with the landlord were tricky to say the least. Steven has a calm unflappable quality that saw me through many ups and downs and despairing moments. He was always positive and worked hard behind the scenes to bring the lease to fruition.
I have only positive comments for Steve and his work. I would gladly use him again if the time ever arises and would recommend him without hesitation to others.
Cecelia McCarton, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
I can't wait to use Stephen's brokering services again to open my next preschool!
-Melody Stevens, Owner
We would like to thank Optimal Spaces and you, in particular, for your remarkable commitment, patience, persistence and flexibility in getting our National Center for Community Schools a true "optimal space" in one of New York City's most desirable areas and at a very affordable price. We have no doubt that being located at this high-end building is going to help us reach new heights in our work to advance the community schools agenda nationally.
We cannot thank you enough for sticking with us even when the original plan was scaled down, not only in terms of space but also in terms of leasing time. It was obvious you weren't there for the money-time and again you made yourself available, kept searching for possibilities, making us feel like very valuable customers. You clearly paid attention to our parameters and not once did you waste our time showing us spaces that didn't fit them. And you treated as if there were a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, though we all knew that was not the case.
Everybody in our agency who had contact with you during the process-from the neophytes in dealing with commercial realtors, like us, to seasoned ones like our Head of Facilities or our Chief of Operations-had complimentary comments about your disposition and knowledge of the field.
It is a blessing for non-profits to be able to count on professionals like you in the real state business, and it was pleasure working with you over the months of our search.
The Children's Aid Society
Director for Community Schools Director, National Center for Community Schools
I had several other brokers offer to help, but they quickly lost interest when I did not jump at one of the sites generated by checking current listings. In contrast, Stephen took the time to understand what we needed, and actively searched for it. He reached out to personal contacts he has developed over the years, and unearthed a variety of options to consider.
Even when a particular space was determined to be viable, and while we were deep into working out the details of a deal, when other options came to his attention he shared them and encouraged me to explore them.
He understood the financial limits we had, and the importance of having the Landlord contribute to the build-out. With that understanding he interceded with the Landlord on my behalf, encouraging them to see the advantages of us as a tenant. We had a number of false starts and challenges, and he guided me through the process-he never urged me to take a particular space, always sharing ideas and options.
Of particular importance was his generous sharing of his resource contacts. When we ran across a problem, he reached out to an architect friend, a knowledgeable attorney, a contractor-all of whom provided guidance and solutions based on their relationship with Stephen.
When negotiating the lease where I am now, he was involved in every detail-he read and commented on the lease, had back channel conversations with the Landlord , and was present at every step, including the closing.
Stephen took a personal interest in our venture, and from construction to this day, he reaches out to see how we are doing, and makes helpful suggestions.
His knowledge, experience and personal interest helped us secure our current location, and he was able to help negotiate the terms we wanted and needed. I would highly recommend his firm for any commercial real estate leasing need, and I am personally aware of his depth of experience with educational space and retail.
William Swan, Ph.D.
The Goddard School of Manhattan
Letter of Recommendation for Mr. Stephen Sunderland.
To Whom It May Concern:
Mr. Sunderland worked closely with Aspect Education, Inc. to locate and occupy a new space for our New York English as a Second Language school in 2004. His responsibilities included: locating appropiate properties per my specifications, educating me on the NYC commercial real estate market, brokering the deal with the executives at the space we chose, advising me throughout the lease negotiation process and providing me with excellent recommendations for real estate attorneys, movers, architects and phone companies. During the course of this process, Mr. Sunderland proved himself to be exceptionally knowledgeable, timely, hard working, well connected and talented.
I was quite impressed by Mr. Sunderland's abilities and commitment to thoroughly guiding me through each stage of the process, including being extremely helpful long after the deal had closed. I know he was involved in many other projects during the time he was working on ours, but it felt like we were the only active clients because he was always available to us on short notice. I have worked with several commercial real estate brokers over the past 5 years. Mr. Sunderland's negotiating prowess, knowledge of each stage of a real estate deal and enthusiasm are unparalleled. There wasn't a detail too small for him to want to make work out for our benefit.
In the end. we have a gorgeous new space in the Empire State Building. We are extremely happy with the cost and how Mr. Sunderland helped move the process along as quickly as possible. I strongly recommend Mr. Sunderland as a commercial real estate broker.
Executive Vice President