President and CEO at Marx Realty & Improvement Co.
In 2021, will you buy or sell any real estate? What kind?
We will continue to be buyers of value-add office buildings in New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. We hope to be able to purchase and reimagine/reposition more buildings to our distinctive, hospitality-inspired office offerings.
How f@*$ed is retail?
Poorly located retail is pretty f@*$ed. However, we own the Cross County Center — one million-plus square feet of vibrant, outdoor shopping and dining space in Yonkers, N.Y. — and it is doing amazingly well, because of its ideal location and terrific tenant mix. We like to think that forward-thinking ownership has something to do with it, too — we own the center with Benenson Capital Partners.
In this environment, outdoor centers will have an advantage, continue to outperform and attract the better retailers, whereas enclosed retail centers will only become more f@*$ed as they lose tenants to the better centers and bankruptcies.
How flexible are you with negotiating rents?
Has your “dead to me” list grown?
I love everyone. I hope this isn’t the case but, if anything, I might be on someone else’s “dead to me” list.
Are you in the market for financing?
If I say yes, we will receive dozens and dozens of calls and emails from every capital markets banker in the city, so … no, we are not in the market for financing.
What would be the signs that things are NOT going to improve in 2021?
A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, forest fires, floods, property damage, gun violence — hard to imagine things not markedly improving in 2021.
What do you think will NOT go back to normal?
I think everyone now appreciates family life and how family time should be cherished. That’s a good new normal!
Who do you like for mayor in 2021?
What do you think the city and/or state should do to help both real estate and the city?
New York is the greatest city in the world with the most talented, industrious and resilient workforce; but the city and state should be more business-friendly and partner with companies to make New York an even better place to live and work. I find it frustrating when I hear certain politicians speak ill of our corporations or wealthy New Yorkers. That rhetoric is neither helpful, nor wise.
When I see all of the job growth that Amazon is bringing to the D.C. region as a result of HQ2, it reminds me that, certain New York politicians have to do a better job in making the city a more hospitable place for business — Queens should have had those good-paying jobs.
How do you think the November election will affect real estate? How do you see a Trump win? How do you see a Biden win?
Uncertainty around an election is never good, but with low interest rates and a Fed that is doing everything right, real estate will bounce back once there is a COVID-19 vaccine.
Where’s your apocalypse bunker? Does the screening room in my basement count?
Favorite at-home quarantine foods?
Tara Stacom sends me a bucket of KFC every once in a while.
Did you gain or lose weight during quarantine? KFC … this COVID 15 thing is real.
Sourdough bread, banana bread, other? Chocolate chip banana bread baked by my daughter Lily. She is the best baker, which was not a good thing during quarantine.
Which TV show have you binged?
I tried to watch “Schitt’s Creek,” but it didn’t do it for me. What am I missing?
What restaurant did you go to when restaurants reopened?
Katz’s Deli. Pastrami on rye.
Mayor de Blasio: Best Mayor or Best Mayor EVER? What’s behind door number three?
Best work-from-home hack? While on, yet, another Zoom call, I took a screenshot of myself, made it my background, and then slipped out of the frame. Still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Where did you quarantine? Bedford, N.Y., with my wife, son and daughter. Although my son was not happy to leave college and my daughter was missing her high school friends, we found it great to have our kids stuck with us for a few months. Lots of time to play Monopoly together.
Biden, Trump or Kanye? They are all such great candidates, it’s just so hard to choose!