Robert Lapidus

Robert Lapidus

Robert Lapidus

President and Chief Investment Officer at L&L Holding Company

Robert Lapidus
By November 1, 2022 10:00 AM

Tell us about a deal that did NOT go through this year and why it didn’t happen?

We had a full building lease that we negotiated for six months. We got to the point that it was out for execution, and then the deal died due to overall economic uncertainty.

Have you refinanced anything in 2022? How difficult/easy was it?

We refinanced an apartment building in Palm Beach Gardens, which went as smoothly as possible given that we closed in early 2022. We are currently in the market on a refinance of one of our office buildings as well as construction financing for The Wynwood Plaza, a 1 million-square-foot development that will bring new office, residential, retail and outdoor space to Miami. These have proven to be more challenging given the current market, but we’re confident we’ll get to the finish line on both.

There’s a lot of Class B and C office in NYC. If you could lay your hands on them at a really great price, what would you do with them?

I’d look to convert them to affordable housing if the zoning permits it.

What market outside of NYC do you like and why?

I like the Sunbelt region and the Southwest, where local politics tend to be more business-friendly, taxes are lower, and the population is growing.

There’s a midterm election this year. How closely are you following, and do you think the national political climate will have an effect in New York?

I try not to follow politics because it’s the most painful thing in the world. Of course, the national political climate impacts us to a degree, but New York City is really its own animal in that regard.

How many days per week are you in the office?

I am usually in the office four days a week when I am in New York.

How many days per week are your tenants in the office?

The overall numbers are increasing every week, but the range is still all across the board — from five to zero days. It really depends on the individual tenant, their corporate culture, and the type of work they do.

NYC apartment rents have reached never seen levels. How much further can it go? How does the housing squeeze play out?

We are still way undersupplied in New York, which continues to put upward pressure on pricing. However, there is a breaking point, and I think we are getting close to the height. It doesn’t feel like people can afford to pay much more than they are given inflation and other market conditions.

ESG: fad or fixture?

Fixture.

Class quote

“It’s all good!”