Excellence in
Real Estate
Project Management
F I R M
P R I N C I P A L
 
F I R M
P R O F I L E
 
 
F I R M
H O N O R S
 
 
F I R M
P R O J E C T S
 
 
Real Estate
Development
 
 
Construction
Management
 
 
Pre-Purchase
Services
 
 
Claims Analysis
 
 
Special Reports
and Studies
 
 
Property
Management
 
 
C O N T A C T
U S
 
 
 
1999
Business
Excellence
Winner
 
Category:
Commercial
Real Estate Deal
of the Year
 
Winner:
Continental
Group,
Ziggy Rutan,
President,
Wappingers Falls,
New York
 
Project:
Gap, Inc.'s
Old Navy
Distribution
Center
 
Location:
Merritt Park
Route 9
Fishkill, N.Y.
 
Significance:
Largest
construction
project
in decades;
will ultimately
employ 1,475
people
"Ziggy is a
walking
file cabinet
and his
personality
and long-
standing
relationships...
(helped)
ultimately
make the
deal."

– James Nenni Sr.
Nenni Equipment
Corporation

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
F I R M
P R I N C I P A L
 
 
F I R M
P R O F I L E
 
 
F I R M
H O N O R S
 
 
F I R M
P R O J E C T S
 
 
Real Estate
Development
 
 
Construction
Management
 
 
Pre-Purchase
Services
 
 
Claims Analysis
 
 
Special Reports
and Studies
 
 
Property
Management
 
 
C O N T A C T
U S
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 9 9 9 X A W A R D X F O C U S

"Ziggy's talent for
circumventing potential
problems and
helping others realize
a goal is what
brought the Gap to
Dutchess County."

– Jack Railing, Engineer


Ziggy Rutan
of Continental Group
lauded for Fishkill coup
by Craig Wolf
Poughkeepsie Journal
 
FISHKILL–Ziggy Rutan drives past a sprawling pile of twisted steel, broken block and general rubble at Merritt Park. It was, until recently, a building.
 
"Twenty years ago that was a major building for me," said Rutan, who manages the business park. "Now we're tearing it down. It's amazing. After 20 years, you start to see the business cycles."
 
It was IBM that paid for construction of Building 504. This was the company's last week on the site, as the Building 503 offices were vacated, he said. IBM has cycled out, retreating from the leased space and filling vacancies in its owned facilities at Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill.
 
But the purpose of this tour is not to see Big Blue vanish here. Turn around and look at the replacement – giant 40-foot concrete slab walls tower above, rising from the dust.
 
It's the Gap. It's huge already, and this warehouse complex is not even done yet.
 
When finished, the three buildings will measure 2.57 million square feet, house 1,475 workers and serve Gap's growing chain of Old Navy and Banana Republic stores across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
 
This could qualify for real estate deal of the decade at least, but the business excellence award, from Dutchess County Economic Development Corp., is for commercial real estate deal of the year.
 
The economic impact is huge, estimated at $709 million in a 10-year span, said Peter Winne, an economist working with Dutchess County Economic Development Corp. That includes payroll, taxes, construction and indirect effects.
 
Rutan's role was to represent the owners of the site and get a new tenant, a prize that has slipped from his hands before. An earlier deal – for an 800,000 sq. ft. warehouse – fell through recently.
 
Then the Gap opportunity knocked.
 
"Gap initially had a cheaper and shovel-ready site picked in Scranton, Pa.," said Jack Railing, an engineer who was one of the nominators of Rutan.
 
Began with a phone call
Rutan got a call from Paul Taxter of Empire State Development Corp. "He said he showed a 1 million sq. ft. user a site in Orange County and the site visit went terrible. ... He said maybe I can get him to come to your site."
 
Consultants and executives came, and liked the Merritt lands, close to the New York City market and adjacent to Interstate 84.
 
"The hot button was that these guys needed to be in place quick," Rutan said.
 
But projects this big rarely move quickly. There are environmental impact studies, design work, planning board reviews, perhaps rezoning appeals and not uncommonly neighborly objections.
 
The key here was the existing site plan and studies already in place and Rutan's successful pitch to local officials to use them as a starting point.
 
"We would take the preliminary site plan approval from the 800,000 sq. ft. warehouse. We would have a shovel-ready site, and then we went back in to amend it," Rutan said.
 
A generic environmental impact study had been completed. "All we had to do was show that the plan was consistent with the original plan."
 
"We did these marathon phone calls to figure out what studies were absolutely critical," he said. The planning board approved the old site plan, which meant the first phase, clearing the land, could begin, while Rutan and Gap representatives prepared to present an amended plan for the larger facility.
 
"Everybody pitched in and said it was a big enough deal," Rutan said.
 
William Ritcheske, who chairs the Town of Fishkill Planning Board, said the earlier plan helped clear the way for the later one. "There's no doubt about it. Ziggy is a pretty astute developer, or broker or representative of the owners of that land. When it reached the planning board, things went pretty smoothly, really. The Gap people respected the planning board's comments and did what the board felt they had to do."
 
James Nenni Sr. of Nenni Equipment Corp. in Fishkill said Rutan's command of the details made the deal go.
 
"Ziggy is a walking file cabinet and his personality and long-standing relationships with the local people enabled him to sit down at the table and speak with the parties at the village, the town, the vendors and the interested parties from the Gap, and help them work out the problems, questions, and ultimately, make the deal."
 
Sunday, September 19, 1999 Poughkeepsie Journal