Michael Phillips, Jamestown

2013 Owners MagazineFavorite charity? 

My favorite charities are the James Beard Foundation and WITS (Wellness in the Schools).

Real estate prediction for 2014? 

In 2014, New York City will continue to recover from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. However, it’s likely that the outer boroughs will be impacted positively from the growth of innovation economy and modern manufacturing.

Where in New York is there still untapped potential for real estate development? 

Areas to watch are old manufacturing neighborhoods like Hudson Square in Manhattan, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Long Island City, Queens, and Port Morris in the Bronx.

Who will become New York City’s next mayor?  

Ask me again on Nov. 6.

What real estate policy should New York’s next mayor make a priority?   

The next mayor needs to strike a balance between traditional FIRE industries and continue to incubate and support entrepreneurship and small businesses, which are the backbone of a diversified New York economy.

What qualities do you look for in an agent representing your buildings? 

I look for agents who show a strong commitment to personalized customer service.

What is one aspect of your business you wish you had more time for? 

Creativity and finding best-in-class architects and designers by traveling to global capital cities to observe design trends in office, retail and residential buildings.

Greatest fear: 

That we forget that New York is about a sense of place and human interaction.

If approved, the Midtown East rezoning initiative will: 

Provide an opportunity for Midtown East to adapt its building stock and street-level amenities to include the growing innovation economy tech and media tenants, which have historically preferred more organic and amenity-rich neighborhoods downtown.

In the film version of your life, which actor would portray you? 

I could not hazard a guess on the actor but would only speculate that they would need to be a physical comedian.

Foreign real estate market you’d most like to invest in: 


Is broadband connectivity in New York City a priority at your buildings? 

Very. We recently participated in the Wired NYC survey that scored our properties as to their fiber connectivity. Our assets scored some of the highest ratings in the city with regards to broadband connectivity, thus making them well-suited to attract and support many tech and media firms.

What should happen with Madison Square Garden and Penn Station? 

I think it’s clear that New York City deserves a better gateway than the current Penn Station. As the neighborhoods surrounding it continue to grow and evolve in a dynamic way, Penn Station has the opportunity to provide an intersection to showcase the vital industries of New York City such as fashion, finance, entertainment, sports and tech into its design, retail tenancy and street expression.

What New York City building should be torn down? 

I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that question.

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