NEW YORK CITY-Veteran broker Suzanne Sunshine, who has specialized in serving nonprofit and women-focused tenants, has formed a strategic partnership with Colliers International to address the real estate requirements of these niche tenancies. The Colliers-Sunshine alliance marks Sunshine’s third time working with Joseph Harbert, now president of the Eastern region at Colliers, and she tells that the connection isn’t mere coincidence.

“What Joe Harbert can bring to Colliers is one of the reasons I went there,” says Sunshine, who had worked with him during his years at CBRE and, more recently, Cushman & Wakefield; at each firm she led the New York nonprofit practice. “As Colliers transforms, Joe is bringing our regional office up to an institutional level.”

What Sunshine brings to the partnership, in her view, is her “passion” for meeting the needs of nonprofits and businesses that are owned by and/or geared toward women. She launched S. Sunshine & Associates LLC, a brokerage that specializes in nonprofit tenants, three years ago; over the years, her client list—whether with her own firm or while at CBRE and C&W—has ranged from American Ballet Theatre and the Andrew Mellon Foundation to the Anne Frank Center. The alliance will enable her to continue growing S. Sunshine & Associates while representing tenants and landlords through Colliers’ full-service global real estate platform.

Noting that “the world has changed dramatically in terms of women” and their influence, Sunshine says, “I feel that women won the presidential election. If Republicans had more of a pro-woman platform, they might have won this election. Many of the people that are sitting across the table from us now are women, and I see that the commercial brokerage world has not kept up.” The women-owned and/or focused tenants that the Colliers’Sunshine alliance will serve include those in the arts, fashion, publishing, health, wellness, cosmetics, technology, education and financial sectors.

In a release, Harbert notes that “New York City has been impacted greatly by both the election and the recent storms, presenting real estate challenges and opportunities that the Colliers-Sunshine alliance is uniquely positioned to solve.” Sunshine has seen this in the post-Sandy challenges faced by nonprofits. As 9/11 was the event that propelled her into commercial brokerage, motivating her to help repair the fabric of the city’s economy, “it’s not a coincidence that once again, we saw a lot of destruction after Sandy. I have a number of nonprofit clients in Lower Manhattan that are still out of business,” she says. “It’s a natural disaster that seems to have legs. The devastation is real.”    

Through her alliance with Colliers, Sunshine plans to do “significant landlord agency work, as well as significant tenant rep work in every area where I’ve had experience.” Those areas of experience run the spectrum of retail, office and industrial, as well as sales and acquisitions and development. “I just happen to be passionate about the nonprofit world and about businesses that have women in their leadership, so I will make a greater emphasis on those types of new clients,” she says.