Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing interview series, Meet the Neighbors! Jay Heydt has done more than 10,000 transactions in his decade in the real estate game, all without taking shortcuts–that is his motto, “No shortcuts.” This earned him top listing status in 2008 and 2009, and he has built relationships with more than 300 buildings over the years. When he is not working, commuting or spending time with his family, Jay likes to give his time to charity.
Where do you live?
After several years in Manhattan, I caved into suburban life with my wife, my two little boys and our French bulldog, Bubba. I had the most amazing apartment off Central Park West on West 76th Street, and it was hard to let go.
How is work these days? What is your latest deal?
It’s an interesting question. I have been with Citi for 10 years. For the past 6 years I managed Citi Habitats’ largest office at 250 Park Avenue South. In May of 2010, I decided to create my own business plan and formed “The Heydt Group”. I have been very fortunate with my recent venture, completing 100 transactions. Since May.
Oh, I am sorry, you asked how is work these days? January was stellar, sold one of my listings, a one bedroom loft that was less than 30 days on the market, and just listed two more units for sale, and rented 15 apartments thus far… February was busy.
What was the best meal you’ve ever eaten in New York?
I love to eat. Everyone knows that about me. It’s one of my passions. This is a tough question because it depends on what type of food you want to eat. My favorite type of restaurant is either Italian or a steakhouse, so with that said here are my two top spots.
Villa Pacri. This is a brand New Italian Restaurant in the Meatpacking on Gansevoort. The Tagliolini with the white truffles is nothing short of amazing. The best part is, after your meal, the night continues at their club down stairs at tzigan, pronounced Cigan.
Mark Joseph’s Steakhouse. My friends to this day don’t understand my obsession. Amazing place on Peck Slip down by the Seaport. It’s a spin-off of Peter Luger’s but better, in my opinion. Porterhouse for Two, BACON, HASHBROWNS? NEXT!
What was your first apartment like?
My first apartment in the city was a studio on East 83rd Street. Great apartment because I had a 500-square-foot outdoor garden. Nice starter apartment, right?
What is your recession war story?
No war story, luckily. I am always positive, and don’t think negatively. Many people I know left the business. The truth is, I really believe that I thrived in the past three years and so did all my owners and clients. It’s all about adapting to the market place. Our business is recession-proof in my opinion. People will always need a place to live. Transactions still occurred, commissions were just down, but so what? If you think for your own pocket you won’t do any business.
How do you get around town?
Driver, cabs, on foot, subways, it depends. I walk very fast like my father.
What is your favorite building in the city and why?
My favorite building in the City from a historical standpoint is the Dakota. Its beautiful facade, gorgeous courtyard and location right off Central Park West is truly “classic New York.” My wife said she will move back to the City, if we can move there.
In regards to new developments, I was most impressed with Ian Schrager’s successful project, 50 Gramercy Park North at the Gramercy Park Hotel. One reason–the building’s modern apartments with “real” floor to ceiling windows overlooking Gramercy Park. It doesn’t get any better than that.
If you weren’t a broker, what would you be?
A commercial airline pilot
What is your dream home?
One of my favorite neighborhoods is the West Village and I would love to have my own single family townhouse. I have my eye on 23 Perry… in my dreams.
You just won the lottery. What store do you stop by and what do you buy?
I wouldn’t buy a material possession, that’s not my thing. I would buy a rental building immediately.
If there was one thing you could change about New York, what would it be?
I actually couldn’t make up my mind for this question, so I diverted to Facebook and put the question on my status page. After 30 different answers, the one I liked the most was “Fix the Mets.”