Winick Realty’s recently appointed managing partner among far west side’s earliest shepherds
Steven Baker built a life, and staked his career, on the Far West Side of Manhattan at a time when the High Line still languished as an abandoned freight track and nearly every block west of Ninth Avenue included a warehouse, garage or parking lot.
While other brokers followed dollar signs in midtown and across Madison Avenue, Mr. Baker, then a young broker living in a Ninth Avenue bachelor pad, saw potential in the dusty warehouses and loading docks he walked past in the summer of 2000.
“I knew I wanted to control the neighborhood,” recalled the 40-year-old Mr. Baker, now a managing partner at Winick Realty, who has played a leading role in transforming the area.
From his earliest deals with Payless Shoe Source and John Jay College, which created classrooms on 10th Avenue where a boarded-up retail space once shriveled, Mr. Baker has helped change the Far West Side from a ghost town of dreary industrial buildings into a pedestrian-heavy attraction for city trendsetters and tourists alike.
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