Holley Drakeford, one of Harlem’s most prolific commercial real estate deal makers, is venturing out on his ownafter a decade of making deals up Harlem on behalf of Giscombe Realty Group, whose legendary founder Eugene Giscombe died July 10, 2016.
Drakeford has launched a new Harlem-based commercial real estate firm, The Drakeford Realty Group, LLC specializing in commercial leasing and investment sales, primarily in the Harlem market but capable of operating throughout the five borough area.
“I know the buyers and the sellers in Harlem and I’ve been putting them together on some of the highest profile deals,” said Drakeford, who recently opened his new office at 1974 Madison Avenue and 126th Street in Harlem.
Drakeford was a senior broker at Giscombe Realty Group, one of Harlem’s leading commercial real estate management, consulting, leasing, development and brokerage firms founded in 1982 by Eugene Giscombe, who was known as “the Mayor of 125th Street.”
Giscombe, who died suddenly last year at the age of 76, rose to become one of the neighborhood’s most active investors and played a key role in Harlem’s economic revival. Today Drakeford is carrying on that legacy, applying his high energy, dedicated work ethic and knowledge of the Harlem market to help many commercial tenants find exactly what they need in this competitive market.
Drakeford’s new company is geared to serve a wide range of clients which include owners, developers, financial institutions, national franchises, not-for-profits, pension funds, government agencies and other private business owners looking to buy, lease or manage both retail and office space in Harlem and throughout New York City.
As a top broker who knows Harlem and most of the important players, Drakeford often gets calls from downtown commercial brokers who are bargain hunting for commercial and retail properties for their clients looking to buy or lease properties on 125th Street and the rest of Harlem.
Drakeford has helped bring several tenants to the historic Lee Building on 125th and Park Avenue. The building was owned by Giscombe Realty and sold to Savanna Properties in 2015 for $48 million.
Drakeford also recently closed an 8,300 sq. ft. retail deal with Foot Locker at 272-278 West 125th for the landlord, United House of Prayer for All People, and many high profile retail deals for the Family Foot Care Group, Value Discount, Eres Shoes, Nicole Shops Envy Nails Boost Mobile, Pretty Girl Clothing Stores, H&R Block, Chase Bank and Foot Locker to name a few retailers who have opened shops along the historic corridor that is 125th Street.
Today Drakeford is an active community leader in Harlem serving on the Board of Trustees of the New East Harlem Merchant’s Association(NEHMA), Harlem Community Development Corp, Salvation Army Advisory Board for the East Harlem Citadel and New York College of Podiatric Medicine.
Drakeford is also an active member of Harlem’s Community Board #11 where he is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Economic Development Culture and Tourism Committee. He is a member of Board 11’s Land Use and Landmarks Committee.
Drakeford has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and sociology from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) where he serves on several committees including the Uptown Real Estate Brokers Committee, the Leasing Brokers Committee and the Northern Manhattan and the Bronx Commercial Committee. Drakeford is a member of the New York Real Estate Institute where he earned his real estate licenses and certification in both construction management and property management.