Editor’s note:
Work-life (im)balance

Jun.June 01, 2015 07:00 AM
Stuart Elliot The Real Deal

Stuart Elliott

Forget work-life balance. That supposes you have to choose between the two.

The big players in New York City real estate work hard and play hard — often at the same time.

It makes a lot of sense during the summer, when nothing beats being outside even as the office beckons, and also in this connected age, when work is never out of reach.

My favorite (if slightly out-of-season) example in this issue comes from our “At the Desk of” feature. We sit down with Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger, who talks about how he doesn’t let his passion for skiing get in the way of the $10 billion in projects he oversees. He wears a bluetooth-wired helmet while tearing down the mountain, and is often “actively negotiating” while on skis. He’s even gotten a speeding ticket on the slopes, maybe while hashing out a particularly contentious deal.

Meanwhile, New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye has her hands full overseeing the nation’s largest public housing system, with 11,000 employees, plus two kids and a newborn baby she delivered last month, right after we interviewed her for our “Day in the Life” feature. Olatoye jokes that “You can take over the world by 9 a.m.,” because by then, in addition to getting the kids off to school, she’ll have updated the mayor and been in touch with much of her staff.(Full disclosure: Her husband, Matthew Strozier, the editor of the Mansion Global website at Dow Jones, is a former TRD editor and drops off the kids some days, too.)

The intersection of leisure and work is also present in this month’s main stories.

For many New Yorkers, including plenty of real estate bigwigs, heading to the Hamptons each summer means rest and relaxation. Yet Hamptons real estate is big business itself.

How big? For the first-time, The Real Deal tallied the total dollar volume of listings at the biggest brokerages, and found the top five residential firms have some $9.1 billion in listings. That’s a respectable number, considering the top five Manhattan brokerages had roughly $12 billion in active listings during TRD’s most recent tally. (The fact that Manhattan is relatively starved for inventory might have something to do with the numbers being so close.) It’s no surprise then, given the size of the market, that Manhattan firms are looking to increase their Hamptons reach. 

Speaking of work and (lots of) play, we’ve got a photo recap of last month’s massive ICSC retail conference in Sin City, and a round-up of TRD’s new development conference in Chelsea, which drew more than 3,500.

While many of you are frolicking in the waves this summer, we’ll be at work preparing our next big event, the first ever U.S. Real Estate Showcase in Shanghai, from September 10 to 12. The event will enable developers, brokers and others in the industry to build relationships in China, which is critical, since doing business in China, where a lot of today’s new money is coming from, is all about relationships. Check out TheRealDeal.com/Shanghai for details. In the meantime, read our story on the changes coming to the wildly popular EB-5 program, the conduit for much of the Chinese money arriving in New York.

Also worth checking out is our ranking of Brooklyn’s most expensive new condo projects, in which we examine how prices are closing in on Manhattan levels, with the first developments breaking $2,500 per-square-foot. 

We’ve also got a piece that might have been titled, ‘Where in the world is Leonard Litwin?’ about what the legendary (and M.I.A.) 100-year-old developer does or doesn’t know about two statewide political scandals ensnaring his firm, Glenwood Management.

Finally, The Real Deal will be hitting many of you where you both work and live for the first time.

Along with this issue, you’ll find our inaugural New Jersey Market Report, which includes a ranking of the biggest developers in northern Jersey; a look inside the hipster takeover of Jersey City; the teardown trend in pricey suburbs; a look at the perennial real estate rivalry between New York and Joisey and more.

There’s lots to feast on, whether you’re reading for work, pleasure, or can’t tell the difference between the two. Enjoy the issue!


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