Rob Speyer will be just 43 years old when he takes over as chair of the Real Estate Board of New York in January. That will make him the board’s youngest-ever chair. Impressive though that achievement is, even more noteworthy is Mr. Speyer’s pedigree. He will become a third member of his family to serve as the board’s leader.
The Committee to Save New York has a number of laudable goals in mind, goals that this page shares. Committee members, many of whom are well-placed among New York’s civic and business leaders, have sought to win public support for political and fiscal reform in Albany, reforms desperately needed if New York is going to prosper in the 21st century.
It’s clear that the committee has struck a nerve—it was able to raise $17 million last year, and it spent $12 million. No doubt you’ve seen the committee’s television ads, and if they seem like campaign commercials for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, well, that’s not a coincidence. Many of the committee’s leaders, including co-chair Rob Speyer, have close ties to the governor. The governor’s agenda and the committee’s are one and the same.
Here’s the problem: If the committee truly is serious about changing the dysfunctional culture of state government, if it is, in fact, in favor of greater transparency in political decision-making, if it really wants to set an example, it simply cannot continue to play by the old rules.
But it is doing just that.
Speeches were casually ignored, drinks were spilled and bonds were formed at last Thursday’s 116th annual Real Estate Board of New York Gala, which this year drew an estimated 2,000 brokers, owners, advertising buyers and real estate reporters to the New York Hilton for an evening of conviviality, honorifics and hushed deal making. Among the fray was Commercial Observer staff writer Daniel Geiger, who during the course of the evening saw his stenopad tossed by an irate real estate broker and who unabashedly accosted Studley’s Woody Heller in the hotel’s bathroom, all for the sake of the story. Below, a timeline of gala comings and goings, from the innocuous gossip down to the downright obnoxious.
Movers and Shakers
Two years ago, in the months before the fall of Lehman Brothers, when New York’s economic lily was still contentedly gilded, crafting a list of real estate’s biggest machers was pretty easy: Moguls X, Y and Z had done deals A, B and C, and the business of real estate ticked along.
Then came the Read More
To flip through the pages of the 2006 offering book for potential buyers of the 11,200-apartment Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village-a deal that has devolved into the largest individual property default in modern history-is to immerse oneself in an historical delusion, one that, from today’s privileged vantage point, appears as likely as Read More
If the saga of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village sale is a countdown clock-the $5.4 billion purchase by Tishman Speyer and BlackRock is nearing default-there’s a loud ding every few weeks in the form of a new analysis by a real estate tracking firm.
Each shows a fresh, dismally depressed value for the property ($1.99 Read More
Amid increasingly apocalyptic prophecies about the fate of New York’s commercial property market, more than a dozen “Masters of Real Estate” convened at the Metropolitan Club on Tuesday for an eponymous conference hosted by The Observer devoted to making sense of the market’s troubles. The major players appear to have emerged from the Read More
New Stuyvesant Town/Cooper Village watchdog blog The Stuyvesant Town Report, written by an apparently anonymous Stuy Town tenant, chronicles a recent visit by landlord Rob Speyer:
As reported by a member of Stuyvesant Town message board, Tishman Speyer President and Co-CEO Rob Speyer and a group of about nine suits (minus Read More
If there is anything to be learned from the moves and actions of the Speyer family over the past few years, it is that its members have a penchant for high-profile trophy properties; they have no qualms about aggressively engaging in mega-deals for the city’s largest sales; they can win out in tough contests; and Read More
Maybe it’s best to keep the champagne on ice just for a few more days.
There’s a bit more work to be done on the deal between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Tishman Speyer over the West Side rail yards, as the MTA did not give, as it once planned to, a “conditional letter Read More