Anthony Malkin (right) and Christina Chiu (left).
Anthony Malkin and Christina Chiu
Chairman and CEO; CFO and executive vice president at Empire State Realty Trust
Last year's rank: 20
The past year has been a busy one for Empire State Realty Trust.
The firm picked up two multifamily properties in December: the 417-unit Victory at 401 10th Avenue near Hudson Yards and a 408-unit rental tower at 345 East 94th Street on the Upper East Side. It paid $307 million for a 90 percent stake in the two buildings. It also signed 381,000 square feet of office leases in the first quarter of this year, including 70,000 square feet with fertility firm Progyny at 1359 Broadway and nearly 200,000 square feet with Signature Bank at 1400 Broadway.
Despite workers’ hesitancy about returning to the office full time, Christina Chiu was confident that a weaker labor market would ensure better office leasing down the road.
“We have found business leaders all acknowledge that productivity is better with in-person presence, but the employees have more of the bargaining power with the great resignation,” she said. “As the labor market becomes more competitive, there should see a movement back [to the office]. We see in the form of leasing activity and momentum and inquiries that companies are planning ahead of that.”
Anthony Malkin remains a significant proponent of commercial landlords reducing their energy usage and carbon emissions. He serves on the advisory board for Local Law 97, New York City’s green buildings law, and he recently released a guidebook on how landlords can make their buildings comply with the law. (The release for the book included honored guests such as Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and former President Bill Clinton.) His goal is for the Empire State Building to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and for the company’s entire portfolio to meet that standard by 2035. He does, however, remain skeptical of the law itself.
“We agree with the intention of Local Law 97, and at the same time my personal focus has been on work to correct the errors in the way it was written,” Malkin said. “This law was written without any serious effort by its authors — who are not on the City Council anymore — to get any real input from people who have expertise in this area. So it’s very much a law of intention rather than something that was really well drafted.”