Editor’s note:
Blood, sweat and fears

Jan.January 02, 2020 10:00 AM

Stuart Elliott

They call it “deadline” for a reason.

At the end of every month, for the past 250 issues, we’ve raced to close the magazine on time, with the most ambitious stories we could muster and the fewest mistakes. If you’ve ever seen a newsroom, you’ll know the pressure of filing a story by deadline hangs over reporters like the Sword of Damocles, and fear of a correction makes editors sweat in equal measure during the mad dash to get the issue out. 

I am writing this note during that mad dash right now, knowing that the angry calls are coming in a few days regardless, because we’ve written about some of the most wealthy and powerful people out there, covering their deals — the good, the bad and the ugly.

The past 250 issues have been a parade of drama, unforgettable personalities and general shitshows in pursuit of a loftier goal.

That goal is to provide transparency to an industry that affects everyone but is fundamentally opaque. And to provide the vital information that creates a level playing field for real estate professionals in the most important markets in the world.

In covering the billion-dollar deals and their billionaire dealmakers, we also try to show how money and power really work in this city and beyond. Of course, not everyone likes being written about. We at The Real Deal have been written about from time to time, so we know the good and the bad that comes with it. But sunlight is the best disinfectant. Even if it burns.

With this issue and every other, TRD is always only as good as the editorial team that puts it together.

In the early days, it was hard to lure good people. TRD’s publisher and founder, Amir Korangy, even suspected rival news outlets were somehow in cahoots with our first freelancers: The copy was so bad, it must have been some sort of sabotage. (I was one of those freelancers and became editor-in-chief by the third issue, so my stories were apparently good enough that I wasn’t a suspect.)

Years later, I’m proud of all the journalists we’ve groomed, who have risen at TRD or moved on to places like the Wall Street Journal (where we’ve sent more than 10 reporters and editors).

TRD now has 65 people in four cities who cover the news, sell advertising and otherwise support the mission of this company, which still has so much room for growth. Besides Yoav Barilan, who has been there since the beginning selling the ads that pay the bills, a special shout-out goes to the veterans who have been here the longest (in order of the length of their tenure): Rob Stearns, Ross Fox, Junaid Zahid, Hiten Samtani, Marcus Guest, Sigalit Levi, Chris Cuomo, Amir Ghaheri, Rich Bockmann, EB Solomont, Victoria Tuturice, Katherine Kallergis, Ina Cordle, Karen Francis and Eric Reyes. And special thanks to senior editor Jill Noonan, who left TRD last month after 12 years, and to Damian Ghigliotty, the managing editor of the New York issue. They are the ones who keep the wheels turning.

So don’t miss our look back at the last 17 years of real estate news (page 67). We’ve got all 250 of our covers, with Amir and myself recounting the backstory behind some the most memorable ones.

But we should also look forward, as a new legislative session starts this month in Albany, where even more tenant-friendly reforms could be on the docket (page 62).

We also take a look the high-end residential market’s state of “peak uncertainty” (page 76), where developers face increasing pressure from lenders as condo sales slump (page 42).

Finally, check out our profile of Related, which aims to top Hudson Yards and expand beyond real estate (page 34); a piece on Katerra, another SoftBank-funded company where the promise might not match the hype (page 46); and a story about Amazon’s strategy for its industrial real estate (“bricks and mortar are kind of a necessary evil” — page 60).

Enjoy the issue and our look back at the past 250 issues!

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.