Whether it’s revitalizing an old property with hip new tenants, or reassuring an established firm that its current address is the right fit, David E. Green showcases the kind of commercial real estate savvy that has earned him trust among an eclectic portfolio of clients.
Mr. Green’s peers recognize it, too, and that’s why the Cushman & Wakefield executive director has been named this year’s Real Estate Board of New York “Young Real Estate Man of the Year” recipient.
Simon Ziff is a classic example of the small-town boy done good in the big city.
Born in Philipsburgh, Pa., near Penn State University, the Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group president grew up around his grandfather’s clothing store. He studied finance at State College and everyone figured he’d stay in the area because everyone else did. Mr. Ziff, however, had bigger plans.
“Real estate was a way to get to either of the big cities—Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,” he said.
Stat of the Week
As the members of REBNY gather together this week, many will congratulate themselves on a fine year for leasing activity, despite the difficult global economy and the Beltway disaster otherwise known as the U.S. Congress.
All things considered, it was a decent year “leasing-wise” with activity from a wide variety of industries—even financial services, which seemed to always be teetering on the edge due to new regulations (still awaited) and mass layoffs (just beginning).
On a family trip to Miami when Pamela Liebman was 4, what interested her the most were not the white sand beaches or the clear blue water, but the buildings. “What are those?” asked the future chief executive of the Corcoran Group, Manhattan’s top real estate brokerage firm.
“That’s a condominium,” her mother replied. She said she spent the rest of the trip rolling the word “condominium” off her tongue.
“I think I was predestined to go into real estate,” she said. Years later, when visiting her realtor aunt in Beverly Hills, she said the interest still hadn’t flagged. All the other kids wanted to swim the pool. “I just wanted to go look at the houses,” she said.
Real estate was never supposed to be a career for Gerard Schumm.
The executive vice president of RFR Realty always wanted to be a musician, a drummer to be exact. But while going to St. Francis College, he asked his father, who worked in the real estate game, to help him find a day job until the record companies came banging at his door.
Since it started with a roll call of 27 members in 1896 with the goal of “facilitating transactions in real estate,” the Real Estate Board of New York has indisputably been the city’s most influential real estate organization, with its annual gala being to brokers what the Vanity Fair Oscar party is for Hollywood: If you’re there, it means you’re somebody.
Sure, some may lovingly write it off as a veritable men’s club (men are thought to outnumber women five to one), chide it as “The Liar’s Ball” (each year is a broker’s best year, no matter how wretched the marketplace) and speak ill of the food (nearly everyone avoids the chicken and filet mignon).
But the REBNY gala is as essential to a real estate person’s reputation and status as the buildings and bricks he works with. A dozen of the city’s most legendary players spoke to The Commercial Observer about the blurry nights and boom years that helped make the event what it is today.
Tales of Retail
Maybe the Fulton Mall just needs some zoning changes to save its mom and pop shops. That’s what they’re doing on the Upper West Side, tired of all the giant Duane Reades and Chases. New zoning requirements would limit the size of stores on Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, protecting the character of the neighborhood and possibly discouraging national retailers, who tend to prefer bigger spaces.
Not surprisingly, landlords are not happy about the proposal, according to The Journal.
Privately owned public spaces, or POPS, have been largely ignored by New Yorkers, even as they have reshaped the city over the past 50 years. Plazas, passageways and pocket parks have been carved out of giant new office and apartment buildings in exchange for considerable development bonuses (a few hundred thousand square feet here or there). This has led a band of urban activists to fight for awareness of and activity in POPS across the city.
Thanks to the occupation of Zucotti Park, people have begun to take some notice of at least one such POPS, and the POPSters hope they can turn this into a new awareness of the spaces citywide. But the protests have also angered the landlords responsible for the spaces, and now they are preparing to fight back, possibly placing further restrictions on the city’s POPS.
A rare divide has formed between Democrats and affordable housing advocates over a prevailing wage provision in the extension of the popular 421-a tax credit. Those advocates say that an extension of the 421-a tax credit that includes requiring them to pay prevailing wages to construction workers on non-public projects will drastically reduce the number of Read More
New York’s recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has been slow. Though monthly job growth has been positive, unemployment is about 30 percent for the city’s construction industry. A more robust recovery with meaningful job growth will require more private sector capital investment. This capital investment is stalled due to uncertainty Read More