Marty Burger

Marty Burger, CEO of Silverstein Properties.

Marty Burger

CEO at Silverstein Properties

Marty Burger
By November 1, 2022 10:00 AM

How much longer can this go on?

I’ve been saying for the past year that I don’t think things will get back to normal until the summer of 2022. My mantra is I don’t think anyone knows anything more than anyone else.

What does normal look like?

I definitely think companies will use their office space post-pandemic, but they will be using it differently. In many cases, companies will need to get back into their offices and see how their employees use their space. Every industry, company and even department is going to be different.

Our company has been back in our office full time for 13 months. Our work life has changed a little bit, but not a lot. Over the past few years, we have opened several new amenity spaces in our office buildings, including cafes, cocktail bars, terraces, event spaces, yoga studios, wellness rooms, conferencing, mothering rooms and more.

Our setup and routines are the same; we are a little more flexible with our time. For example, many of our employees work remotely on Fridays. We recently hosted two in-person events at 3 World Trade Center — one for people outside the company, and another cocktail reception for our employees. We have not had a single case of COVID transmission from one employee to another since the pandemic began.

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

I would buy bitcoin.

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

I wear facemasks and have become very good at recognizing people by their hair.

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

I believe the biggest threat in our industry is business leaders not understanding that people need to be around other people to work and conduct business. As admirably as their employees have performed under duress, they are at their best when they work together in person. Zoom meetings are great, but they are no match for informal interactions.

In fact, many of my own colleagues have said how much better they work in person.

There are also some serious downsides to working from home, which we have all experienced to some degree. They include isolation and loneliness, a lack of distinction between home and work life as well as a negative impact on health and mental well-being. The increased burdens associated with child care and elder care have forced record numbers of women to drop out of the workforce altogether. Younger workers lack the real-life mentors and social interactions that are important building blocks in their careers.

Is now the time to buy or sell?

This is the time to buy. New York City politics have never been better, interest rates are still low and there are plenty of great opportunities.

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?

You shouldn’t evict or displace people who have been disadvantaged by the pandemic. Many New York City residents need time to reclaim their jobs or find new jobs. At the same time, we have to make sure there aren’t people who are taking advantage.

Lightning round

Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa?

Eric Adams.

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

Last Sunday I was in Washington, D.C., visiting my son.

What vax did you get?


Your go-to takeout?

Amaranth on East 62nd Street.

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