Don Peebles

Don Peebles.

Don Peebles

Chairman and CEO at The Peebles Organization

Don Peebles
By November 15, 2021 10:00 AM

How much longer can this go on?

We should be on the road to the new normal by spring 2022.

What does normal look like?

Seventy-five percent back to where we were in January 2020, with many office-using businesses and their workforce relocated in communities with lower costs and higher quality of life; 30 to 50 percent of office workers working remotely full- or part-time; continued greater focus on quality of life. Far less business travel; an increase in leisure travel and less commuting. A continued and even greater focus on economic equity, inclusion and good corporate citizenship, with continued and even greater working efficiency using technology.

If you could go back in time to March of 2020, what’s the first thing you would do?

Reach out to all of my family members and friends to make sure they were taking this threat very seriously.

From a business perspective, because our business is national and we operate in seven major markets, we had already embraced technology and utilized video conferencing daily. Many of our team, including me, engaged in part-time remote working. Thus, we were well-positioned to operate our business.

Personally, my family has homes in NYC, Sag Harbor and South Florida, so we were able to utilize our homes, spend time together, and engage in outdoor activities. Thus, there is little I would initially do differently for our business or personally.

What do you do now that you never did before 2020?

Wear a mask when traveling and inside indoor public places.

What’s the biggest threat to the return to normal?

Americans not being vaccinated and the continued politicalization of vaccination.

Is now the time to buy or sell?

Depending on what asset class; hotels, luxury condominiums and retail, it’s a time to buy; office, it’s time to wait; and rental apartments, it’s time to sell.

Suddenly, there’s a big change to the New York state constitution and you’re now named the 58th governor of the Empire State — what do you do about the eviction moratorium?

End it and provide financial rent support for those who truly need it such as those who are suffering from an illness that prevents them from working or they are a caregiver to someone who is seriously ill or incapacitated, and people who are out of work due to COVID and are actively looking for a job.

Landlords should not be responsible for carrying tenants as they have operating expenses to pay. The eviction moratorium creates a financial domino effect and can lead to significant abuse. The responsibility to support those in need during this pandemic lies squarely with the government.

Lightning round

Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa?

Eric Adams.

Last time you got on an airplane, what was your destination?

Two weeks ago to Los Angeles and again tomorrow to Dallas-Ft Worth, and then Los Angeles this weekend.

What vax did you get?

Moderna two times.

Your go-to takeout?

World Pie.

Where does your patience wear thinnest — evictions or anti-vaxxers?


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