Billy Macklowe opens up, barely

September 29, 2010 10:00AM

Billy Macklowe

In a pair of sit-down interviews this week, William “Billy” Macklowe opened up — barely — about his split from his father, Harry’s, Macklowe Properties, what he learned from the collapse of the Macklowe empire and his just-launched venture, the William Macklowe Company.

He was tight-lipped with the Observer, refusing to talk even about cooking because, as he put it, “so much has been written about the past and all that, it’s just not an area that I really wish to comment on.” He contended, though, that he was “not tightly coiled at all,” as the reporter had observed.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Macklowe was more relaxed. He told the publication: “one lesson we’re absolutely going to take away from this is no short-term financing,” when asked about Macklowe Properties’ debt woes and the decision to sell off trophies like the GM Building. He fought back against the notion of being the so-called “poster child” for the real estate bust, nominating other notorious failures like the General Growth Properties bankruptcy and Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village foreclosure for the title.

Still, his peers weren’t as kind. “Billy Macklowe is a guy who woke up on third base and thinks he hit a triple,” one anonymous broker told the Observer. Another said, “he was really mean to people when they were on the top of the world, and unfortunately that’s what people are remembering right now… but at the end of the day, he’s a really talented guy with a high aesthetic.”
[NYO] and [Bloomberg]