Presented By: Marks Paneth LLP
Real Estate Leaders Discuss How Technology Is Shaping Commercial Real Estate Trends in NYC
Mixed-Use Property Becoming Increasingly Important
On December 3, Commercial Observer hosted its first-ever Innovators Forum, where the movers and shakers of New York City’s commercial real estate industry discussed the trends most likely to shape the city’s future.
Abe Schlisselfeld, Partner-in-Charge of the Real Estate Group at Marks Paneth LLP, moderated a panel on real estate innovations that are following or shaping larger economic trends, and what this means for commercial real estate in New York moving forward. The panelists included Seth Pinsky of RXR Realty, Helena Durst of the Durst Organization, Jacob Elghanayan of TF Cornerstone, Inc., and Alexander Karnal of Deerfield Management Company, L.P.
Schlisselfeld remarked that new technology attracts new investors and industries to New York, life science centers being one example. Buildings are being constructed strictly for life science — where science, technology and medicine are intertwined.
Schlisselfeld also cited Hudson Yards as an area shaped by technology.
“Everything there is being done from your phone,” he said. “You can get your food, you can get your car from the parking garage. Technology is being used in unbelievable new ways, and it’s allowing new industries to emerge here.”
At the panel Schlisselfeld moderated, Pinsky, Executive Vice President at RXR Realty, spoke about how top talent is now seeking out areas where work and play are closely connected.
“The workplace will not just be a place where they clock in and clock out, but where they can actually live their lives — not just working, but also experiencing culture and recreation and going for interesting food,” Pinsky said. “So mixes of uses are increasingly important, we believe, in our commercial portfolio.”
Schlisselfeld expanded on this: “Developers are looking to maximize profits, but more than that, they’re trying to build communities, which means intertwining residential and commercial,” he said. “ ‘Eat, work, play’ is a big phenomenon we’ve been hearing about, and technology is a driving force behind getting that moving.”
While New York has always been a magnet for top talent in a variety of industries, technological change has shown how New York cannot afford to take this status for granted. The city must accommodate the evolving needs and expectations of young talent in order to remain a central technological hub.
“The beauty of emerging technologies is to attract young, bright talent here to New York City,” Schlisselfeld said. “We need to attract the best and the brightest in order for businesses to continue thriving. We need to make sure we are giving them the right residential living space, with office space in close proximity. Amenities used to be a residential requirement. Now, that has morphed into a commercial one because of the whole ‘eat, work, live, play’ thing. When developers put up or reconfigure a building, they have to make sure they have a lounge, and more of those kinds of amenities for tenants.”