May 14, 2024

POWER 100 – #45 MaryAnne Gilmartin

Founder and CEO of MAG Partners

Last year’s ranking: 50

This market feels like it requires magic to get deals done — and that makes MaryAnne Gilmartin something of a magician. Gilmartin’s MAG Partners managed to finance, capitalize and break ground on two apartment building projects in 2023 — in a race against the expiration of the 421a development incentive in New York City.

In Manhattan’s Turtle Bay, MAG partnered with Safanad and Global Holdings on the equity side, and secured a $95 million construction loan from Bank OZK to build a $200 million, 24-story apartment building, scheduled to open in 2025.

Near Penn Station, MAG was selected to build a $150 million co-op building by affordable housing co-op Penn South. The firm partnered with Safanad and MetLife on the equity side, and secured a $73 million construction loan, also from Bank OZK. 

“We’re the poster child for doing the impossible,” said Gilmartin. 

Gilmartin founded MAG Partners five years ago, after spending 22 years at Forest City, where she helped develop a wide range of properties, including most notably the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. 

The plucky way that she and her small team completed these more recent deals is a reflection of their ethos, said Gilmartin. As a small, newer and woman-led company, they couldn’t rely on deep pockets or generational wealth to get deals done.

MetLife, for example, usually wouldn’t even look at a company of her size. “Usually MetLife would want to see a very large portfolio. They’re used to more zeros,” said Gilmartin. “When we spoke to them, they were interested in de-risking and doing bite-size business, so they were more open to it.” 

MAG Partners also completed and refinanced Ruby, the firm’s first ground-up apartment development in Manhattan. Outside of New York, the firm is progressing on the Baltimore Peninsula megadevelopment, a 235-acre project in partnership with the family office of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank that will remake an entire neighborhood on Baltimore’s waterfront. Currently, 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space is already open, out of a total 14 million square feet of entitlement.

As a Brooklynite, Gilmartin loves and resonates with the Baltimore spirit, which really came to the fore after the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. “We love Baltimore because it has that kind of grit and come-from-behind spirit that we like — because it’s similar to Brooklyn,” she said.