How does a small-town boy from Duxbury, Mass., predict what the next big neighborhood in New York will be? Albert Price, the newly named president and chief operating officer of Blesso Properties, has spent his 20-year career developing commercial, residential and multifamily properties in areas that he believes will be deemed the Big Apple’s next hot spot. The Commercial Observer spoke to Mr. Price, about the challenges of starting a new development and his excitement about a hotel project in Panama. Read More
Gregg Weisser knows how to handle a hot house. The newly anointed executive managing director of the Moinian Group, and volunteer fireman with the Kismet Fire Department in Fire Island, New York, is no stranger to putting out fires, be it a burning beach house or as a director of leasing across some of the city’s most notable addresses. As the real estate director of JPMorgan Chase, where he had worked for over 20 years, Mr. Weisser closed a million and a half feet of empty space in 1 New York Plaza.
As senior vice president and general manager of the New York business unit of Turner Construction, Charlie Murphy oversaw approximately 800 employees and $1.5 billion in construction last year. Despite a general malaise across the construction industry, this year looks particularly active, with assignments for Silverstein Properties, New York University and Boston Properties, among other commercial buildings. Mr. Murphy spoke to The Commercial Observer about a promising spurt in construction spending, work on New York University’s Langone Medical Center campus and working with competing firm Tishman on the ground at the World Trade Center site. Read More
With three dozen projects underway in Long Island City, the brothers behind Rockrose Development—two of whom split to form TF Cornerstone in 2009—are poised to compete against one another for prize renters and retailers in what is rapidly becoming Queens’s answer to Williamsburg and Dumbo. TF Cornerstone chairman Thomas Elghanayan spoke to The Commercial Observer about the EastCoast, his firm’s waterfront rental complex, the infamous Rockrose Development coin toss, and his tense relationship with brother Henry Elghanayan, chief executive of Rockrose Development. Read More
Since breaking into Manhattan in 1998, the Spector Group has immersed itself in some of the city’s most notable design projects, including a series of assignments for NASDAQ, office designs for Internet start-up companies and some of the area’s earliest initiatives for data centers and telecom hotels, some of which are now being converted back to office use. Principal Scott Spector, 49, spoke to The Commercial Observer about one of his family-owned company’s biggest assignments, rebuilding the Winter Garden, as well as ongoing work for NASDAQ and what may be his most imaginative job yet—designing eclectic office space for Quirky.com with repurposed bowling alley materials.
As one of the original sons of Jack Resnick & Sons—the 84-year-old, family-owned development firm—Burton Resnick has steered the company to continued success while keeping it all in the family. The firm, which has more than five million square feet of office space under its purview, is now being led by Jonathan Resnick, Mr. Resnick’s son. But that hardly means Burton is out of the game. He still has plenty of buildings in need of a modern touch-up, fitting two of them—the Symphony House, at 235 West 56th Street, and 199 Water Street—with all the trappings of a modern building (Wi-Fi, generators, security systems, etc.). Mr. Resnick spoke to The Commercial Observer earlier this month about the joys and attendant challenges of updating a building for modern times. Read More
Two years ago this month, CBRE tristate chief executive Mary Ann Tighe rattled cages when the Real Estate Board of New York named her its first female chairwoman in the 116-year-old organization’s history. During those 24 months, the former TV executive—yes, she helped launch cable channel A&E—helped renew the 421a tax exemption program, oversaw passage of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, and shepherded a series of projects meant to fuel construction across New York. Throughout those lobbying efforts, she managed to tally what she described as the second-most successful year of leasing in her career. Last week, REBNY’s first lady spoke to The Commercial Observer about her achievements thus far as chairwoman, the complications behind her deals for Condé Nast, Coach and Young & Rubicam, and what to expect at this year’s gala.
Since 1986, Steven Spinola has served as president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the powerful lobbying arm that he has captained through two recessions, property tax reductions and a series of battles against the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Commercial Observer spoke to Mr. Spinola, 63, about what he learned in 2011, new battles for the New Year, his weakness for skiing and whether he’d rather be drinking with Robert Moses or Jane Jacobs. Hint: His answer probably won’t surprise anybody. Read More
In 2009, the brothers behind the Rockrose Development Corporation—Henry, Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan—divided their four-decade business partnership in half, with Frederick and Thomas spinning off to form TF Cornerstone, and Henry staying put at Rockrose with his son, Justin Elghanayan, 33. Since that relatively amicable split, in which the company’s $3 billion empire was divided in half, Henry Elghanayan has rebuilt the portfolio and elevated his son, who has taken the reins as the project manager of Linc LIC, a development in Long Island City, Queens, scheduled to include two residential towers and a retail complex that, when finished in 2013, could breathe new life into the long-simmering neighborhood. Last week, Justin Elghanayan spoke to The Commercial Observer about his family’s recent split, the future of Rockrose and his Long Island City project, which includes what could be the tallest building in Queens.
Since joining the Handler Real Estate Organization as a principal alongside company scion Scott Handler in 2009, Scott Galin has expanded the firm’s stature as a principal owner of 561 Seventh Avenue, 263 West 38th Street and 315 West 39th Street into that of a full-service real estate boutique. Besides spearheading a third-party leasing platform that has netted nearly a dozen nonprofits, retailers and financial services tenants, Mr. Galin, 52, has also exploited his acumen as the former chief executive of a $500 million women’s clothing company to tighten up day-to-day office operations and expand the company’s reach. After the jump, Mr. Galin speaks to The Commercial Observer about his predictions for 2012, his history with the Handler family and what changes to expect at the firm.