Michael A. Burak serves as an associate broker at Helmsley Spear, LLC and is a 40 year veteran of real estate ownership, sales, leasing, development and property management. His deep understanding of the subtleties of real estate were honed over these many years. Prior to joining Helmsley Spear, he was an associate broker at the Bloom Real Estate Group. For most of his career, he was the principal of a property management and leasing firm based in New York City which invested in and managed office, residential, and industrial properties in New York City, Boston and Providence, RI.

Mr. Burak was the first person to open an American commercial real estate firm in South Korea and still maintains close ties to the Korean business community here and overseas. He was honored by the South Korean government for his work on the new 69,000 seat soccer stadium as a sub-contractor for Samsung. He has strong ties to some of the major South Korean companies and has completed several retail leases in NYC for Korean companies. He also has relationships with several major Japanese companies and the firm has an exclusive with a Japanese hotel company called First Cabin that is expanding into the USA market.

In the 1980’s, as general partner, Mr. Burak purchased and operated several investments including the following:

·         The Northeastern corner of Fifth Avenue and 42 nd Street, and created an assemblage which he later sold. During his ownership he was also the leasing and managing agent.

·         In Boston he converted 145 South Street, then a leather factory, into office lofts. At 8 Winter Street in downtown Boston, he renovated a 12 story office building. At 50 Eagle Street, in Providence, he converted a textile mill into artist lofts.

·         In Jersey City at 7-11 Tonnele Avenue he converted a hotel into 82 apartments. At 33-01 Queens Boulevard, Queens, NY, he converted the Thomas’ English muffin factory into lofts and offices.

After all these projects were completed, they sold. Mr. Burak has negotiated over 1,000 leases with an aggregate value in excess of $160 million comprising over of 1.2 million square feet. He has sold over $200 million of commercial properties including what is now the Pod Hotel at 145 East 39 th Street.

He received a B.S. in Real Estate from NYU School of Commerce and an M.S.in Urban Planning from Columbia University School of Architecture. During his time at Columbia he won a competition among all the major architectural schools and worked on a project in San Juan, P.R. Upon graduation he was awarded the William Kinne Traveling Fellowship which provided the funds for him to live in Europe for several years studying and writing about real estate and planning issues.