Mort Zuckerman and 950 Fifth Avenue (Source: Propertyshark)
The Real Deal interviewed Mort Zuckerman for what it thought was The Closing section of the September magazine, a wide-ranging monthly Q & A piece with some of New York real estate industry’s top players.
But Zuckerman, the chairman of Boston Properties and publisher of the New York Daily News, might not have been thoroughly briefed on the personal nature of The Closing interview, which generally includes questions ranging from where people maintain homes to who they are dating to mistakes they’ve made in their careers.
When The Real Deal asked about the size of his apartment, one of the tamer questions slated for him, the 74-year-old billionaire said he didn’t “have any idea” about the square footage, called the question “silly” and terminated the interview.
The Real Deal decided to share a slightly condensed version of the Q & A with the divorced father of two on the Web. Check out what Zuckerman had to say below.
Your full name is Mortimer Benjamin Zuckerman, right?
So far. I haven’t changed my name for professional reasons.
You were born in Montreal, Canada. How did you kick the accent?
You haven’t heard me say “outhouse.”
You graduated early from McGill University. How’d you get ahead of your peers?
I had a sister who was a year older and when she went to school my parents decided that we both ought to go to school. So we both started at the same time even though I was a year younger than everybody else.
How many degrees do you have?
I have four degrees all together — BA, LLB and LLM and MBA.
You never took the bar. Why not?
Because I didn’t want to practice law.
What do you think is the worst commercial real estate market to get into right now?
I guess the worst commercial markets are the ones where you can’t lease up your space. Those are the markets we try and stay out of.
Where specifically are they?
I mean, I can’t give you an answer to that. I can only tell you what the condition is in the markets that we are in. We are in the upper end of the market, as anyone who knows our company understands. We are in supply-constrained markets.. So like Washington is like that. And Boston and Cambridge are like that. New York is, and so is San Francisco.
You live at 950 Fifth Avenue. What’s the square footage of your apartment?
I don’t have any idea. I’m not going to answer these kinds of questions. This has got to be serious. Why don’t we speak later? I’m sorry, I’ve got too many things to do. This is silly. The size of my apartment? This is silly. Come on. I don’t deal with these things. I’ll call you back. I’m going to get off. I’m sorry. [Click]