Tommy Craig

Tommy Craig

Senior Managing Director for the Tri-State region at Hines

Tommy Craig
By November 2, 2020 9:00 AM

In 2021, will you buy or sell any real estate? What kind?

Both. However, we are more likely to buy real estate than sell it, given the pricing cycle. Hines has long-term and resilient capital structures, often with all-equity financing, which provide for long-term holds. This obviates the need for any distressed selling.

In 2021, we expect to have multiple vehicles with discretionary capital to buy both ground-up development sites and existing buildings. We are well-prepared to buy, with a concentration on both the multifamily sector and the industrial sector, where the demand profile is positive.

How f@*$ed is retail?

Though New York City is considered to be pedestrian-oriented, more needs to be done than ever before. NYC will need to reinvent a new range of permitted zoning uses for ground-floor space to activate storefronts beyond traditional street retail. This could involve the creative use of art murals, community facilities, commercial space, classroom functions and other nonprofit activity, as well as convenience retail.

Online retail platforms may find it advantageous to complement their core digital business with a physical presence in existing retail space. COVID-19 only accelerated the trend well underway involving the displacement of traditional retail by e-commerce.

How flexible are you with negotiating rents?

We approach every lease transaction on a case-by-case basis, but with a view toward avoiding terms that compromise long-term value. There are many variables associated with a lease beyond face rental rates.

Typically, Hines has flexible enough capital structures to transact with willing users when there is a value proposition beneficial to both parties.

Has your “dead to me” list grown?

It seems to grow with age when a foreshortened lifespan concentrates mind, body and heart on only those things that match our deepest values and convictions.

What do you think will NOT go back to normal?

We think there is likely to be a wider variety of different types of lease transactions. The typical lease transaction involving customized and highly bespoke space will yield to more varied approaches. These lease transactions involve expensive build-out and relocation costs which, in turn, require a long-term space commitment. 

 For certain tenants and industry sectors that face high levels of uncertainty, an approach that is opportunistic, solution-oriented and adaptive is likely to be more effective. We think this may involve a combination of more prebuilt space, with more term flexibility, and either a clean-desk policy for users or a shared-space model like WeWork.

Who do you like for mayor in 2021?

Former Mayor Bloomberg

What do you think the city and/or state should do to help both real estate and the city?

Both of these government entities will need to provide federal funds and state funds for the MTA, particularly the subway system.

Certainly, it is, at least, as deserving as the airline companies, which were allocated approximately $25 billion, I believe, in federal relief.

How do you think the November election will affect real estate?

It seems like New York has become a political football in the last 20 years. Our elected officials can no longer attract bipartisan support. Whoever wins the election should confront the fundamental trade-off between long-term policies and short-term fixes.

It is disheartening to think that, 51 years ago, the United States was the only country in the world capable of putting a man on the moon after playing a decisive role in winning two world wars. And, we now find ourselves with a political class that used to ride on the wave of the prosperity created in the private economy, advancing policies that have neither been effective in limiting the transmission of COVID-19 or avoiding a deep shutdown of the economy.

The secondary adverse consequences will remain and survive long after this pandemic has finally been contained.

 

LIGHTNING ROUND

Where’s your apocalypse bunker? Vermont

Favorite at-home quarantine foods? Yogurt

Did you gain or lose weight during quarantine? Both

Sourdough bread, banana bread, other? Banana bread

Which TV show have you binged? Not a TV show, but John Meacham’s two podcast series “Hope Through History” and “It Was Said.”

What restaurant did you go to when restaurants reopened? Shuka

Mayor de Blasio: Best Mayor or Best Mayor EVER? He was a mayor without whose support One Vanderbilt would
not have occurred.

Best work-from-home hack?
Work-from-home has been a great opportunity to spend more time working side-by-side with my wife in adjacent offices, with our yellow lab, Teddy, in between us. We have also had three kids coming in and out of the house, as well as my sister, her husband, and their kids and dog as well.

Where did you quarantine? Connecticut

Biden, Trump or Kanye? None of the above

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