In 2013, founder and CEO of Peebles Corporation Don Peebles and his partner, the Israeli-based American real estate company Elad Group, purchased a 13-story building at 108 Leonard Street from New York City for $160 million.
The deal was significant at the time because it was said to be the single largest building ever sold by the city. But sources told The Real Deal it was noteworthy for another reason: it was the most valuable deal ever made between the city and a minority developer.
Peebles — the city’s highest-profile black developer — is just one of more than 70 real estate professionals who spoke to TRD this month about an industry that remains largely dominated by white men. The numbers speak for themselves. A 2014 survey by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showed racial and gender imbalance at all levels of the industry in the city, but most severely at the senior level, where 22 percent are women, and nearly 86 percent are white.
In our cover story this month, we ask why the industry has been so slow to adapt to the city’s changing demographics, and how developers, executives and brokers feel about the situation.
There’s plenty for L.A. readers to chew on, too. In a profile of trendy members-only club Soho House, we look at how the expenses associated with the company’s aggressive expansion and buying binge have put pressure on cash flow, leading credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to downgrade its ratings.
We also explore how co-working giant WeWork is starting to look a whole lot less like the tech company it once claimed to be and much more like a boring corporation. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
To read the December issue of TRD, click here or on the “Magazine” tab on the top left of the homepage. Enjoy! — Miriam Hall and Katherine Clarke