There’s a story behind every real estate sale, development and transaction in New York City. Award-winning journalist and The Real Deal contributor Adam Piore shared several of the most consequential ones in his book “The New Kings of New York: Renegades, Moguls, Gamblers and the Remaking of the World’s Most Famous Skyline,” now available online and in stores.
Last week, Piore joined radio host Leonard Lopate on New York’s WBAI 99.5 FM to dish on some of the highlights of what he calls the city’s “second Gilded Age.”
The book is a compendium of the era-defining deals from the past two decades of New York real estate, but Piore starts the story in 2019, with the opening ceremony of Hudson Yards.
Why start there? Well, the reality of Manhattan wasn’t always $100 million condos. Piore recalls a time when the city was gung-ho for new development, with the Michael Bloomberg administration ultimately rezoning about 40 percent of it — a stark contrast from the New York of the stagnation of the 1970s and early 1980s.
The March 2019 ceremony at Hudson Yards was meant to be both the culmination of this pro-development era and the beginning of a new one — a “centerpiece of this idea of revitalizing New York,” as Piore puts it in the radio segment.
So why, then, did the governor and mayor not show up?
Because just two weeks prior to the unveiling of Hudson Yards, the deal to bring a new Amazon headquarters to Long Island City was “scuttled” amid a torrent of local opposition.
The tension between these two events is just one example of the competing and conflicting forces that have made New York real estate such a fraught and frantic scene. Listen to the episode, and if you like what you hear, buy “The New Kings of New York” today.