WATCH: Jonathan Rose on his development philosophy, why going green makes business sense & more

By Jhila Farzaneh | February 14, 2018 07:00AM

As a scion of the Rose real estate dynasty, it seemed developer Jonathan Rose was destined to one day help lead his family’s firm.

“As a child I knew I had this opportunity, this invitation to become part of Rose Associates,” Rose said during an interview with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani. “But that was always a debate for myself.”

After 13 years at Rose Associates – now run by his cousin Amy — Rose struck out on his own to launch Jonathan Rose Companies, a development firm that has now completed about $2.5 billion worth of projects nationally, with about $1 billion of that work in New York. It specializes in both affordable housing and environmentally-conscious projects.

“There was no such thing as green building back then, but I had a sense there must be a way to build environmentally responsible,” Rose said. “And I wanted to figure that out.”

(See more TRD interviews with top New York dealmakers here.)

In May, the firm paid $500 million for Forest City Realty Trust’s affordable housing portfolio. Months later, it raised $233 million through a fund dedicated to affordable housing. And early last year, the city tapped Jonathan Rose Companies to work with L+M Development Partners to build a 751,000-square-foot mixed-use development in East Harlem. The project, Sendero Verde, will include 655 rent regulated apartments and 163 permanently affordable units.

“There are 20 million American families today that spend more of 50 percent of their income on housing,” Rose said. “And we’re going backward every year.”

Rose also discussed the implications of the Trump tax plan, New York City’s pros and cons from a development standpoint, and more. Watch the full interview above.

Video produced by Jhila Farzaneh and Kerry Barger. Interview conducted by Hiten Samtani.