Jake Elghanayan

Jake Elghanayan.

Jake Elghanayan

Principal and senior vice president at TF Cornerstone

Jake Elghanayan
By November 3, 2023 10:00 AM

How much longer can this go on?

The COVID pandemic tends to humble those who prognosticate about the future, but I’ll give it a try. … Among countries where there is widespread availability of vaccines, I think we’re entering the third phase of the pandemic. 

The first phase was characterized by panic and confusion; the scientific community needed time to learn about a new virus and coalesce around some basic guidance while the public retreated into lockdowns. During that phase a lot of people died, especially in New York City. 

In the second phase, most of the public digested the guidance from the scientific community and returned to a semblance of normal, aided by growing levels of vaccination and improved-care protocol for those who contracted the virus. 

I think this third phase will be a further return to most of the pre-COVID normal. Most adults have either received a vaccine or overcome a prior iteration of COVID, making COVID exposure a real but not extreme health risk. As the perception catches up to that reality, I think the fourth and final phase will be when we recognize the COVID virus as something like the seasonal flu. 

What does normal look like?

Probably much like the pre-COVID normal, except with more digital commerce and the occasional Zoom video conference. At my most optimistic, I could also imagine a wave of bioscience innovation over the next decade, much like how the pace of industrialization in America accelerated following World War II.

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

Stop spraying my groceries with disinfectant!

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

Commute to the office via electrified Citi Bike.

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

Another variant of COVID that is vaccine-resistant or more deadly.

Is now the time to buy or sell?

It depends on the market, but when it comes to office, I think the flight to the highest-quality assets is real and sustainable. 

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?

I would end it — there is no longer an emergency health crisis that makes eviction an exceptional hazard, so it is no longer appropriate to freeze this one section of the free market from operating efficiently.

Lightning round

Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa?


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

This summer — Europe and Israel.

What vax did you get?


Your go-to takeout?

Simo Pizza.

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

I don’t think losing patience is the right answer in either case.