A Victor Talks Spoils

 

Given that you have this rail yards project, will you stay in Moynihan?

Absolutely.

 

What do you make of the situation right now, with Madison Square Garden opting to stay put?

We obviously have great dreams to create an incredible space and an incredible area around Penn Station resulting from the larger plan, and we would like to see that through to completion.

 

Do you think it’s possible to still lure the Garden over to the Farley Post Office?

I hope so.

 

What would that depend on? The Garden’s owners seem pretty certain when you ask them that they’re moving ahead on renovating the arena.

I think you should talk to Jimmy Dolan about that.

 

What’s he like to work with?

He’s very demanding, and he knows what he wants; he knows what he needs to run his business. And I think he’s got a high bar and sets high expectations.

 

Do you have feelings about the Port Authority taking over the project?

I think it would be great.

 

Do you expect that with more than $15 billion in development over the rail yards, are you guys going to slow down elsewhere?

We’ll continue to grow the business in a responsible way. The market, more so than the yards, will have an effect on what we choose to do going forward.

 

Where do you see the market going in the short term? Do you think office rents will go down?

We’ll see. Real estate is really a byproduct of what’s going on in the rest of the economy. … New York has remained remarkably resilient throughout this, but I think that if there are additional layoffs, I think it would ultimately lead to that. I think it will stay flat for a while, and then will pick up again.

 

In retrospect, how would you have handled Pier 40 differently, given that there was a lot of neighborhood opposition to your entertainment complex proposal?

Our initial proposal, our initial renderings, portrayed an image that was bigger than what we ultimately planned to build, and I think that’s the image that ultimately stuck in everybody’s mind. And by the time we got around to making those renderings more lifelike—more real—I think that image was already in everybody’s head, and it was hard to change.

 

Do you think that [former deputy mayor for economic development] Dan Doctoroff’s friendship with [Related chairman] Steve Ross has had any effect on the jobs and awards you’ve gotten?

No.

 

And you’re marketing the Brompton condo on the Upper East Side now. What’s the status?

I think we’re about 90 percent sold.

 

How does your role differ from Steve Ross’ role?

I think Stephen spends a lot of his time on strategic vision and where he’d like to see the company go, and I probably spend more time on execution and management.

 

You started as an intern here?

I met Stephen when I was at the University of Michigan … The head of the real estate department introduced me to Stephen, and he wound up offering me a summer job; I guess my junior summer before I graduated.