For one night, the city’s landlords were one big happy multifamily.
Hundreds of the city’s movers and shakers in the multifamily market, from landlords to developers to brokers, packed into the red-hued room at The Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel in NoMad for Rosewood Realty Group’s annual holiday bash Thursday.
Attendees included Stonehenge Partners’ Ofer Yardeni, Heritage Equity Partners’ Toby Moskovits, Slate Property Group’s David Schwartz, Morgenstern Capital’s Robert Morgenstern, Heller Realty’s Ben Heller and Newcastle Realty Services’ Margaret Streicker Porres. There were also emissaries from firms such as CBRE, GFI Realty Services, Eastern Union, HPNY and Meridian Capital Group, including its CEO Ralph Herzka.
Steven Croman, who faces up to 25 years in prison for 20 felony charges, made a brief appearance early in the evening.
Guests indulged in an array of Kosher meats, sushi and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Rosewood president Aaron Jungreis, whose 10-person multifamily-focused firm is one of New York’s most prolific brokerages, doled out hugs, handshakes, and good wishes.
Slate’s Schwartz said players with patience and access to capital will be fine next year, but those who “didn’t know what they were doing” would be in a lot of trouble, which could create an opportunity in the market for distressed assets.
Stonehenge’s Yardeni predicted a solid year ahead for the multifamily market.
“The underwriting will change,” Yardeni said, “but there’s no place like New York.” Yardeni also talked about being part of a bike-riding club with Herzka and other real estate players, involving 7a.m. bike rides on the Long Island shore.
Market chatter, however, wasn’t restricted to investment sales.
Elie Gabay, vice president on Greystone’s capital markets team and a cousin of his namesake at Coney Realty Group, weighed in on the luxury residential market.
“The top of the luxury market is absolutely struggling – there is glut to the 100th degree,” Gabay said.
Yardeni reminded The Real Deal of his bold proclamation in 2014 about Billionaires’ Row. At the time, he said that had the ultra-exclusive street been a stock, he would have shorted it.
“Look at where it is now,” he gloated.
On the lending side, CBRE’s Shawn Rosenthal said construction lending, “which is incredibly tight,” would be the biggest challenge in 2017.
For many in attendance, the forthcoming year is marked by uncertainty, amid fallout from the president election and the flurry of industry brokerage shake-ups as Colliers International and Cushman & Wakefield made huge hiring gains.
“It’ll be interesting to see how it affects middle-market guys like us,” said Jeremy Nazarian of Venture Capital Properties.
Hiten Samtani and Rich Bockmann contributed reporting. All photos by Alistair Gardiner for The Real Deal.