Back in March, as the world was crumbling before our eyes, Commercial Observer made a decision: It would look silly to run our annual list of the 100 most powerful people in real estate in April when everyone was rendered powerless.
So we decided to sit, and sit, and sit, and sit. (And we didn’t like it, not one little bit!)
But, just as New York was also taking its tenuous steps towards normalcy, we decided that the time was ripe for a good old fashioned ranking of the once, current and future top dogs of real estate. (At the beginning of July we did the same with the finance pros.)
Granted, we mixed things up a little more than usual. Keen observers of CO’s power lists will note that we put a greater emphasis on real estate buckets like industrial and life science, as well as proptech and tech innovators and tenants; likewise, retail, hospitality and office were somewhat diminished in our view. And given just how vulnerable real estate has proven to the whims of outside forces, we gave special place this year to the doctors who have been tackling the public health crisis, and the New York politicians whose sway over zoning, the budget and the city council will no doubt be more important than ever. Hopefully, the rest of the list speaks for itself.
One of those who did very well on Power 100 was Jeff Bezos, who landed on the No. 11 spot. But we didn’t fully appreciate just how well we had pegged him: Amazon announced this week that they had their greatest quarter ever, mostly thanks to people pandemic shopping. (Amazon proved to also be a hot topic during CO’s “Emerging Industry” forum on Thursday. “Nothing attracts capital like saying Amazon has looked at this space,” said John Randall of PCCP.)
Everybody should be so lucky. Sure, Bezos has it good, but the rest of the economy experienced the worst contraction in U.S. history, with GDP falling by almost 33 percent from the second quarter of last year.
No one should be surprised. We saw scary numbers all week. On the West Coast, UCLA put out a survey indicating that L.A. real estate would be depressed through 2023, and although L.A. saw a gain of 50,000 jobs last month, the City of Angels is still down 201,000 jobs from when the crisis started.
And the numbers in New York City real estate are, if anything, more horrific; JLL’s Bob Knakal took a look at every real estate sector from hotel, to retail, to land, to office, and everything was negatively affected. Even one of the safer bets, multifamily, saw a 91 percent drop from the previous quarter.
Heck, one can’t even drown one’s emotions with chocolate croissants. We learned that Maison Kayser is thinking about leaving New York City!
Throw Us a Frickin’ Bone, Here!
Yes, there are deals happening.
Exhibit (a): Cape Advisors closed on $280 million in financing for its Long Island City multifamily development at 30-77 Vernon Boulevard.
Exhibit (b): Silverstein Properties launched a Series B bond on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and managed to raise $30 million.
Exhibit (c): The 215,000-square-foot tenant lives!… in Alexandria, Va. That’s the amount of leases the city signed at 4850 Mark Center Drive to relocate various government agencies.
Exhibit (d): FiDi is still bagging leases. Namely, RXR got visual effects studio FuseFx to sign a lease at 32 Old Slip.
See you next week!