Justin Elghanayan

Justin Elghanayan.

Justin Elghanayan

President at Rockrose

Justin Elghanayan
By November 1, 2022 10:00 AM

How much longer can this go on?

In six to nine months, things will be much more normal. A combination of vaccination and immunity through infection should bring the situation under control, at least to the point where people can go back to most of their daily lives.

What does normal look like?

Flu season, all year round. Close to normal is already here in some ways without people totally acknowledging it, in the sense that, if you’re in a vaccinated pocket of the population, risk of serious illness is fairly low. People just need to adjust to that new reality.

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

We believe the world will mostly return to how it was. Since real estate is such a long-term business, most of our long-term decisions haven’t been that greatly affected by COVID. The real long-term threat to New York real estate isn’t viral, it’s political.

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

The epidemic has forced everyone to face mortality and, if anything, I cherish life now more than ever. From a business perspective, one has to give a healthy amount of respect to the possibility of black swan events, having lived through this one.

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

Obviously, variants that are vaccine-resistant, yes, but, on a psychological level, people may be addicted to a state of pandemic, even when technically the pandemic is no longer dangerous in the same way. Habit formation can be very powerful and for the economy to fully reengage people have to go out and live their lives again.

Is now the time to buy or sell?

Buy. I believe normalcy is coming soon. We shouldn’t underestimate human ingenuity or resourcefulness. Humankind will prevail over this virus.

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?

As we’ve seen in some parts of the country, lifting moratoriums has not led to as many evictions as predicted. A tenant is a valuable thing, and landlords are not as eager as some believe to let them go.

Lightning round

Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa?

Eric Adams.

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

Miami, pre-pandemic.

What vax did you get?


Your go-to takeout?

Joya, a Thai restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

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

Anti-vaxxers. C’mon, dudes.