Real estate pros talk shop at The Real Deal’s holiday party

By Jovana Rizzo | December 10, 2008 11:32AM


The Real Deal
held its holiday party last night at the Sicis Art Factory, at 470 Broome Street in Soho. More than 1,000 real estate professionals filled the four-floor showroom packed with mosaic designs covering entire walls in flower and animal patterns, hanging tile displays that looked like flying carpets and mannequins dressed in armor. Attendees included Bob Knakal and Paul Massey, co-founders of Massey Knakal; Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel; Michael Shvo, founder of the Shvo Group; Steven Siegel, chairman of global brokerage at CB Richard Ellis; and Tamir Shemesh, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman. While touring the floors of art and drinking champagne and sampling hors d’oeuvres, many of the real estate pros at the party talked about the state of the market and what they are up to.

Here’s a sampling:

Adelaide Polsinelli, associate vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap:

In 2009 you will see a consolidation of brokerages. It will be survival of the fittest.

Romy Goldman, owner of Gold Development:

A good product that’s moderately priced will sell. Buildings that are done will sell. The residential mortgage market is changing on a daily basis.

Tom Acitelli, senior editor of real estate coverage at the New York Observer:

I think now is one of the better times to be a rental agent because of the demand. [And] now is the time to own property near an outer borough transportation hub. When the next wave comes, those areas will bounce back fastest and first, outside of Manhattan.

Itai Nave, investment sales broker at Berko & Associates:

The market will turn up in 2010, and I think we’re going to hit the bottom next year. Right now, [for investors], the smartest properties to buy are malls with strong anchor tenants like Wal-Mart. The discount retailers are doing well.

Developer Henry Justin of HJ Development:

We’re going to hunker down and stay the course. I’m not going to [turn my building at 211 East 51st Street] into a rental.

Adam Leitman Bailey, real estate attorney of the eponymous law firm:

Only the people who can predict the weather in the up coming months can predict real estate’s future.


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