Tommy Craig

Tommy Craig of Hines.

Tommy Craig

Senior managing director for the tri-state office at Hines

Tommy Craig
By November 15, 2021 10:00 AM

How much longer can this go on?

If you are referring to COVID-19, it will be no longer or shorter than our willingness to change the way we think about how we treat those who pass up the opportunity to avail themselves of vaccines for the good health and protection of all.

As for work from home, it seems logical to conclude that a hybrid model of one sort or another is here to stay. For those cities with lengthy commutes, the best way to combat WFH is by creating work environments in new buildings that are perceived to be materially different and better, including better air quality and collaborative spaces. This is something Hines is doing through our involvement in the development of One Vanderbilt Avenue, One Madison Avenue and 555 Greenwich Street.

What does normal look like?

The new normal will look like it did after 9/11. It was different, but we got on with it, as we will with a post-COVID world. Terrorism did not go away, nor will the risk of another global pandemic. We should be planning to combat the risk of pandemics as a permanent part of our public health policy.

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

My own opinion is that our focus should have been on a discriminating lockdown aimed at targeting safety measures that protect the most vulnerable population groups — the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions, where the greatest concentration of fatalities have occurred. Instead, we had an indiscriminate lockdown that will have wider and more adverse outcomes.

Far more could and should have been done on behalf of younger people, who were less at risk of fatalities and whose lives have been disrupted in a far more material way than their seniors. It would not be wrong for a cynic to say, this is how our democracy works — against those without funds and for those with funds and an organized voice.

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

My domestic skills have been modestly improved with the patient and enthusiastic help of our son, Patrick. This has been applauded by other family members, who feel this was long overdue.

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

The biggest threat is that people pass up the chance to get vaccinated for their own safety and that of others.

Is now the time to buy or sell?

As for the financial market, it seems to change every day. For real estate assets, it depends on where and what you are buying and selling and, of course, price. There are many opportunities related to the pricing dislocation throughout the real estate industry right now.

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?

Phase it out humanely, reimburse the landlords who have had to bear the burden of this, and require the public sector to fund this as part of our social safety net.

It would be a sign of progress if we can both recognize compassion as a virtue but also respect those who are hardworking and successful and now own real estate in one form or another.

Lightning round

Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa?

Eric Adams, but, for entertainment, Curtis.

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

Cincinnati for a family wedding.

What vax did you get?


Your go-to takeout?


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


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