10 intriguing things said at TRD‘s New Development Showcase

Insightful comments on the market, doled out by some of the most-respected execs in the industry

May.May 16, 2014 11:35 AM

The industry executives speaking at The Real Deal and Luxury Listings NYC‘s New Development Showcase on Thursday had plenty to say. From development to design to brokering sales, the panelists who sat in on the three discussion topics offered insightful — sometimes funny — comments about the current state of the real estate game. Here are 10 things that stood out.

1. That famous Russian oligarch
Leonard Steinberg. The Elliman broker debunked the notion of overseas buyers who are ready to throw ridiculous money at NYC real estate. “Every time a seller tells me about this illustrious Russian oligarch that is going to step out of the shadows and buy their $100 million apartment – that is probably worth a lot less — I shudder.“

2. The new normal
Jonathan Miller. The well-known appraiser triggered a whole lot of tweets and retweets when he said, along with others on his panel, that $3,000 a square foot is the new $1,500 a square foot.

3. The end is near
Miki Naftali. The chief executive of the Naftali Group sounded the alarm about surging condo prices. “At the end of the day, if someone thinks that prices tomorrow or six months from now will continue to grow at the same pace, it’s a mistake.”

4. You don’t always have to look for the union label
John Cetra. Addressing the rising use of non-union labor on jobs, the architect noted that the quality of work done by such firms has improved greatly since the previous construction boom. “We went through a learning curve with non-union construction,” Cetra said. “Today the quality of the non-union is two- or three-times or more than it was during the upturn.”

5. A bad strategy
Richard Steinberg. The Warburg Realty exec warned brokers about the pitfalls of failing to use social media, saying anyone who ignores such a presence has essentially adopted an “out of sight, out of mind” business strategy.

6. More where that came from
Stephen Kliegerman. In a discussion about overseas buyers, the president of Halstead Property Development Marketing said that representatives in China have actually shown him lists of tens of thousands of people who want to invest in New York and U.S. real estate. Wow.

7. Big opportunity
Michael Stern. The managing partner of JDS Development said he sees Brooklyn as a market ripe with opportunity for new development, because, as he noted, there are neighborhoods in the borough that are open for growth.

8.Edifice complex
Bjarke Ingels. The architect bemoaned when developers choose separate designers for a building’s exterior and interior. “There is sort of a lobotomy where the connection [is lost] between the floor plans and the envelope. It’s almost like two different projects.”

9. As seen on TV 
Steve Witkoff. The Witkoff Group boss revealed that he’s an avid Law & Order fan, and even played a juror in an episode a few years back

10. As not seen on TV
Adam Modlin. The celebrity-friendly broker, taking a poke at shows like “Million Dollar Listing New York,” stated that none of his clients would work with him if he went on a reality television show.

Our favorite tweet of the event? This one, from an attendee:
“And, lastly, I apologize for introducing myself as Gary Barnett. I meant no harm & I was surprised when the Bondny rep fainted.” — TRD Staff

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