Charles Bendit, Taconic Investment Partners
I serve on the board of Pencil, a nonprofit that helps advance public schools and their students by connecting them with private-sector partners to help meet school needs and increase student achievement. I also serve on the New York State Board of Regents, the policy-making board of the New York State Department of Education. Helping to improve public education is a priority of mine.
Real estate prediction for 2014?
2014 may bring a lot of uncertainty to the real estate industry here in New York, depending on who wins this mayoral election. In addition, while interest rate increases may not be significant until after 2014, the acknowledgement of impending increases could have a meaningful impact on market sentiment, which may slow the currently frenetic pace of the market.
Where in New York is there still untapped potential for real estate development?
The Lower East Side and the boroughs, namely neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with great public transportation access. We are also seeing meaningful new development in the Bronx.
Who will become New York City’s next mayor?
It is very difficult to predict who our next mayor will be at this time. Needless to say, it is a big job with very important policy decisions that will affect all New Yorkers.
What real estate policy should New York’s next mayor make a priority?
Maintaining and continuing to improve the quality of life that has given renewed vitality to the city. While this is not directly a real estate policy, quality of life and real estate values are inextricably linked. To preserve and continue to increase the value of real estate in New York City, we need to continue to work at making it livable and workable.
What qualities do you look for in an agent representing your buildings?
Integrity, creativity and drive.
What is one aspect of your business you wish you had more time for?
I wish I had more time to meet with colleagues in the business and to be out in the field looking at properties and exploring emerging neighborhoods. We are fortunate to have a great investment team, which Kevin Davis leads, that has us covered in that department.
To not be seated when the music stops.
If approved, the Midtown East rezoning initiative will:
Allow owners to replace antiquated and outdated buildings with ones that meet current standards and tenant demands, which will improve the competitiveness of New York City.
In the film version of your life, which actor would portray you?
Foreign real estate market you’d most like to invest in:
Is broadband connectivity in New York City a priority at your buildings?
Yes, absolutely. In today’s world, high-quality connectivity is as important as high-quality HVAC.
What should happen with Madison Square Garden and Penn Station?
Madison Square Garden and Penn Station should be torn down and replaced with truly iconic, architecturally significant, highly functional structures. Penn Station should be rebuilt to match the old Penn Station. MSG and Penn Station are seen by people from all over the world; they should be more representative of what New York City is today—a true world capitol city.
What New York City building should be torn down?
There are many important landmark structures that serve to remind us of our great history. However, we need to continue to improve the quality of life in the city. There are a number of properties that are well beyond their functional relevance and should be considered for demolition. Penn Station/Madison Square Garden could be considered one of those.