What is the average stay for most of your residents?
The average stay differs from location to location. We have four properties in New York City. Sutton Place and the United Nations, the average stay may be two or three months. Times Square and Central Park, the average stay is two or three weeks.
Do you consider yourself a residential developer or a commercial developer?
Korman, in general-myself, my brother, my father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather-all would consider ourselves residential developers. You’re dealing with where someone is living. We take such passion and pride in what we do because more so than where you eat or what you drive or what you wear, this is where you’re staying. And we look at our roots as home builders; but now you’re taking that individual who’s leaving his home, maybe leaving his spouse, and coming to this crazy city for three months and you’re providing that sanctuary. So I think it’s even more important than the home itself because they’re away from home.
Give me some celebrity gossip.
I think some stars who have been conditioned to stay at the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, in order to get their acceptance we’re trying something new. We promote the anonymity that AKA offers. We’re talking about actresses and actors who have won Oscars and are iconic and they love it here. They’re skeptical when they first get here. They’re not sure, but they fall in love with it. It’s one of those wow effects, but it’s a slow wow. Over time, the wow factor grows from week to week to week.
Are there any celebrities here now?
Yes. When we were doing [another interview a few weeks ago], we bumped into one major star that was on the cover of the New York Post that day. When we went into the cafe, there was a major female star that’s in a major movie in New York. I won’t name any names, but the reporter literally bumped into three high-end actors.
Do you work closely with your family on a day-to-day basis?
Absolutely. My father, my brothers, we’re all best friends. My father is a spectacular entrepreneur who has mentored us and at the same time has given us great autonomy to spread our wings. My one brother went to Duke with me and then he went to Wharton. He’s probably the brightest financial mind I know, and he is completely involved in his world of finance for growing AKA and AVE and ARK. My youngest brother came back into the business, and he runs our commercial division. But we really are each other’s best friends; we have each other’s back; and we have complete confidence in one another; and that’s allowed us to grow and be innovative.