Honors and Awards

Sonia Kaur Bain Named to Power 100 2022 by Commercial Observer

Commercial Observer

Blank Rome real estate partner Sonia Kaur Bain was named to the Power 100 2022 list by Commercial Observer, an annual list that honors commercial real estate's most powerful players.

This year’s Power 100 honored the “smart real estate players” who were able to “pivot and evolve” amidst all the rapidly evolving and changing economic activity and “keep things in perspective and think long term.” As noted in Commercial Observer, the honorees did not sit back during the pandemic, instead they did the hard work to make their buildings carbon neutral; invested in e-commerce logistics and industrial space; focused on multifamily and single-family rentals as a result of the underserved housing market; and understood the shift to building life science space as well as studio space, to name a few examples. They anticipated and stayed active in the commercial real estate industry, keeping it alive and moving.

Sonia’s Power 100 2022 profile is available here, and copied in full below.

As published in Commercial Observer's Power 100 2022:

Sonia Kaur Bain

Partner at Blank Rome LLP

The most challenging deals Sonia Kaur Bain negotiates aren’t always the billion-dollar ones — it’s the transactions for libraries, churches and family offices without inside knowledge of commercial real estate.

The New York native started her legal career as a bankruptcy litigator during the recession in the early 1990s, dipping her toe in real estate in deals for bankrupt properties before making her way through various real estate power house firms to join Blank Rome in October 2021. That year, she played a key role in representing the New York Public Library in a new 174- unit affordable housing development in Inwood, Manhattan. Located at 4790 Broadway, the building will include a 20,000-square-foot library and a 6,800-square-foot preschool from the Department of Education.

“It was an extremely rewarding deal because it [included] an affordable housing component [and] it showcased how public and private partnerships worked well to support a facility that was going to be very instrumental and helpful to a community that could really use it,” Bain said.

Bain also works on billion-dollar deals, like a $1.3 billion acquisition of a data center portfolio from a Singapore-based real estate investment trust she couldn’t name. (It’s likely the one where Mapletree Industrial purchased 29 data centers across 3.3 million square feet from Sila Realty Trust in May 2021.) She’s also represented the same company in the purchase of an Oakland office building for at least $420 million and represents a ground lessor under Related Group’s Hudson Yards development, according to Blank Rome.

Bain somehow still finds time to lead New York Women Executives in Real Estate, also known as WX. The invite only organization had to switch to virtual events during the pandemic, and many of its members faced challenges from child care to isolation. But with its 2021 gala seeing more attendees than ever, Bain is optimistic about its future and grateful that the organization could provide a sense of community during the pandemic.

“Every time I heard how rewarding it was when we saw each other either on Zoom or when we had the opportunity to get together in person and recognize just how gratifying that was, that kept me going,” Bain said. “It was necessary. It was something people needed for their own sanity.” •