Real Estate Titans Gather, Express Commercial Confidence
Tom Acitelli Oct. 7, 2009, 1 p.m.
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 recessionary trenches leaner, shell-shocked, and hungry for deals, though some panelists were more upbeat than others about the prospects for a long-term recovery.
Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer, William Rudin, president of Rudin Management, Richard LeFrak, chairman of the LeFrak organization and Related’s Stephen Ross were among those who spoke on panels like “How Will New York Real Estate Be Re-Invented,” evincing a positive outlook while expressing some caution that the real-estate community would have to watch government closely
Regardless of the panelists’ outlook, “people are scratching their heads saying, ‘Where’s the stress,’” observed SL Green’s CEO, Marc Holliday, who moderated the second panel on “When/Where Will the Smart Money Come Off the Sidelines.
Some participants argued that even if the market does recover sooner rather than later, investors cannot expect the outsized returns they became accustomed to when New York property values were at their peak in 2006 and 2007.