It will be two years ago this summer that Matt Van Buren succeeded Mitch Rudin as CBRE’s tristate president. The Commercial Observer spoke with Mr. Van Buren about the state of the region—and of the Yankees—as the area prepares to emerge from its long, cold winter of discontent.
Since taking over as CBRE’s tristate president, what has been your biggest accomplishment and biggest setback?
I took over for a tristate region office that was in really good condition following Mitch Rudin’s presidency. The biggest accomplishment has been keeping that momentum going forward. When you’re number one, the goal is to stay number one. And we’ve been able to do that. Staying number one is one of the great unsung stories of the world. That’s why I respect the 2000 Yankees so much. [Laughs]
You run CBRE’s offices in Midtown, Downtown, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut. Do the fortunes of the different metro area hubs often diverge or does a rising tide lift all boats?
To a certain degree it does. Although the highs are higher and the lows are lower in Manhattan. If you look at rents and availability statistics, Connecticut, Westchester, New Jersey and Long Island vary in a fairly narrow range even from boom to bust.
Frankly, New York will always have lower availability. But the prices will fluctuate high and low if you took a percentage off of a norm.
In August 2011, Matt Van Buren took the reins as CBRE’s tristate president, a position held until then by Mr. Van Buren’s friend and mentor Mitch Rudin. Since then, the brokerage veteran’s responsibilities have expanded to include operations across Long Island, Connecticut, Upstate New York, Northern New Jersey and, of course, the five boroughs of New York City. The Commercial Observer caught up with Mr. Van Buren four months after his one-year anniversary to discuss the goals he has accomplished, what lies ahead for CBRE and his predictions on Manhattan’s most formidable market, Midtown.
It’s been 15 months since former CBRE New York Tristate Region President Mitch Rudin accepted the position of president and chief executive officer of U.S. Commercial Operations at Brookfield Properties, and, since then, nobody can say it’s been a picnic.
Besides the Occupy Wall Street movement, which famously descended on Zuccotti Park shortly after he took office, Brookfield Properties has waged an aggressive campaign to market space at the World Financial Center in anticipation of new interest in lower Manhattan as a wave of ambitious development projects come to fruition over the next three years.
Mr. Rudin spoke to The Commercial Observer from the 41st floor of a building in Denver last week about his first year in office, his ambitious plans for retail at the World Financial Center, the decision to rename that famous building, and the behind-the-scenes negotiations with the city after the protesters made camp at Zuccotti Park last year.
While at a charity event earlier this month, New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck told The Commercial Observer that he shared a tight relationship with RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler. The relationship is so tight, in fact, the two have been discussing possible joint real estate ventures. “I love Scott,” added Mr. Tuck.
As it turns out, Mr. Tuck isn’t an outlier. Indeed, former U.S. Olympians, baseball players, gridiron greats and soccer players fill out the ranks of developers and brokers in the competitive field of New York City (and American) real estate. After the jump, a small sampling of the sportsmen who have known the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, both on the pitch and at the negotiating table.
In June, Mitch Rudin took the reins as Brookfield Office Properties’s president and C.E.O. of U.S. Commercial Operations following news that Ric Clark would relinquish his role as president of the Canadian firm, which controls downtown’s World Financial Center, while remaining on as C.E.O. of corporate operations. Last week, Mr. Rudin, 58, assessed his progress.
The Commercial Observer: So, why don’t you assess your progress over your first 60 days at Brookfield?
Mr. Rudin: It’s been terrific. I wouldn’t quite call this my midterm report card, but I’ve been here for two months, and to the extent that there have been any surprises they’ve all been pleasant.
What kind of surprises?
Big Real Estate
Our Jotham Sederstrom caught up with Ric Clark, president of downtown Manhattan’s biggest office landlord, Brookfield, just as news of major moves at the firm trickled out. Chiefly, CB Richard Ellis exec Mitch Rudin would leave that firm after more than two decades to head Brookfield’s U.S. operations.
Why’d Mr. Rudin do it? According to Read More
CB Richard Ellis New York Tri-State Region President Mitchell Rudin is leaving the firm to be U.S. chief executive of Brookfield Office Properties, by far downtown’s largest landlord, whose properties include the World Financial Center.
“It is never an easy decision to leave a place as special as CBRE, but I was presented with a rare Read More