Here’s a tuxedo-clad Steve Ross, being a bit facetious in a video interview filmed last week by The Real Deal:
“Being a real estate developer today is like an oxymoron,” the Related Companies chairman said. “When there’s no money, there’s no business. So, today, to say you’re going to go out and develop something, I think anybody who told you that is smoking dope or something.”
That’s the same Steve Ross who is in “very sensitive” negotiations with the M.T.A. to do a $15 billion development over the West Side rail yards. Related won the rights to build there in May, but Related executives have been expressing concerns about the ability to finance the deal right now.
Related wouldn’t actually have to start paying rent on the rail yards for up to five years, giving the company a large cushion to wait for a better development market.