NYC Real Estate Expo Panelists Let It All Hang Loose


Ofer Yardeni
Stonehenge’s Ofer Yardeni.

A lot of panel discussions are staid affairs, where nothing exciting is said and audience members can safely nod off before the end.

Not so this morning at the panel discussion led by Commercial Observer Deputy Editor Lauren Elkies Schram with industry big shots at the sixth annual NYC Real Estate Expo.

Among the panelists were Gristedes and Big Apple Real Estate owner, and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis; Norman Sturner, president and chief executive officer of MHP Real Estate Services; Stephen Siegel, chairman of global brokerage at CBRE; Ofer Yardeni, CEO and managing partner of Stonehenge, and others. Many spoke optimistic words about the state of New York City real estate—with the possible exception of Mr. Yardeni.

With unadorned bluntness, Mr. Yardeni came looking to slaughter the industry’s shibboleths:

A few minutes later Mr. Yardeni unloaded on West 57th Street:

And don’t get Mr. Yardeni started on the High Line:

After railing against the overheated luxury condo market Mr. Yardeni continued:

This was about all that Mr. Sturner could take. You don’t buy apartments, Mr. Sturner cheerfully chided Mr. Yardeni, you buy whole buildings!

Still, Mr. Yardeni refused to be cowed. While he didn’t say that the market overall was in bubble territory, he did say that luxury condos were:

And he got another panelist, Richard Mack, CEO and co-founder of Mack Real Estate Group to agree with him:

Of course, any forum that includes Mr. Catsimatidis promises to be at least somewhat amusing. Mr. Catsimatidis opined about interest rates:

He expressed his happiness with Tuesday’s election results. (He wasn’t the only one; Mr. Sturner did, too.)

And he managed to garner some mild applause for shutting the borders and railing against rent control:

Mr. Mack did not agree:

As the panel wrapped up, Mr. Mack threw in the one piece of solid real estate advice that every developer and pro can take to the bank: