Maimonides says the second highest form of charity is to give anonymously to unknown recipients.
Real estate prediction for 2014?
Interest rates will rise moderately. There will be a slight increase in inventory. However, properties and development sites will continue to trade at record prices. The retail sector will continue to thrive thanks to rapidly expanding chains, an increase in tourism and international retailers looking to open flagships.
Where in New York is there still untapped potential for real estate development?
Overall, any neighborhood opposite the East River that’s near transportation with proximity to Manhattan has potential. Specifically, the area near Nomad still has a long way to go. There are still many large, underutilized properties near the booming Midtown South sector and major transportation hubs like Penn Station. The recent development has certainly helped, but it is still lacking neighborhood retail.
Who will become New York City’s next mayor?
My hope is anyone except the guy that put us on the Top 200 Slumlords list a few years ago.
What real estate policy should New York’s next mayor make a priority?
Moderate and fair property tax increases. Obviously, it’s easy to simply tax “wealthy landlords” and fuel the city’s growth, but don’t forget in some cases they’re passed on to tenants.
What qualities do you look for in an agent representing your buildings?
Accessibility and respect. Make yourself available at all times, whether by phone or email. Give the same level of respect from the summer intern to the vice chairman.
What is one aspect of your business you wish you had more time for?
Networking. Building new relationships is key to this industry, and one must be constantly meeting new people and players entering the market.
If approved, the Midtown East rezoning initiative will:
Bring new life into a very “tired” neighborhood. Every resident and every sector will benefit from the rezoning.
In the film version of your life, which actor would portray you?
Antonio Banderas and only because I used to get stopped on the street by people who let me know of the resemblance.
Foreign real estate market you’d most like to invest in:
Is broadband connectivity in New York City a priority at your buildings?
Absolutely. Our tenant mix includes media, production and tech companies where fiber or high-speed Internet is a necessity. It’s now one of the brokers’ preliminary questions that can be the deciding factor whether or not to be included in a tour.
What should happen with Madison Square Garden and Penn Station?
Nothing. Maybe give Penn Station a minor face-lift, but lets leave them alone and focus on the dozen more important issues facing the city.
What New York City building should be torn down?
The gentleman’s club next to my office.