Considering what’s at stake in Long Island City—dozens of construction projects and the chance for each developer to create the neighborhood in his own image—how often does TF Cornerstone interface with other builders in the area, be it small firms or Rockrose?
I don’t really talk to any of the other developers. I’m glad there are these developments going on. I encourage it because I believe in the neighborhood building aspects of this—the critical mass. So I’m glad Henry is building his buildings, and I’m glad these other buildings are being made, too. But ours is the real luxury property out there.
Expedience is always important, but with so many developers rushing to complete construction in Long Island City, is there pressure to go online before the others?
No, no. That’s not my thinking. What’s happened is that the rental market in New York City now is very strong, and part of the reason for that is that the sales market is very depressed and the job market in New York City—as opposed to the rest of the country—is still pretty strong. And there’s been very little new production of luxury rental housing, so it felt right. We’ve owned the land for a long time. We’ve completed the remediation, so we get no income out of the land, yet it’s just sitting there. So we decided to build the project as quickly as possible and bring our product to market. So we’re phasing it out over time but building quickly.