January 2017 Issue

Real estate’s diversity problem

An entrenched culture marked by privately held family firms has largely blocked out minorities and made sexism a norm

For both Hollywood and NYC real estate, January marks the self-congratulatory awards season, when the most talented and highest-paid stars come together to put on a feel-good, well-oiled show. But disruptions can happen. At last year’s Academy Awards, the dearth of minority nominees spawned the #OscarsSoWhite protest, capped off by host Chris Rock delivering a scathing and controversial opening monologue that skewered the establishment. Not unlike Hollywood,… [more]

Real estate’s political payoff

A first-of-its-kind analysis shows just how tactical the industry is about bankrolling state legislators who will protect its $1.4 billion tax break

This story was co-published with ProPublica. In 2014, an obscure campaign in the foothills west of Albany between a sheep farmer and a home builder mushroomed into… [more]

Massey’s long shot

The storied NYC broker is selling his biggest asset: himself

Everywhere Paul Massey looks these days, he sees a problem that he’d like do something about. In April, he spotted four homeless people near his Midtown office. “Homelessness is a… [more]

Rising tensions in
Two Bridges

Even with four big towers on the way, developers are facing several hurdles in the area

Michael Stern was approaching the lectern when a booming voice from the back of the Gouverneur Health building at 227 Madison Street stopped him in his tracks. … [more]

Covert poaching operations

Behind the secret meetings (and big payouts) increasingly needed to poach residential brokers in today’s ultra-competitive market

Richard Steinberg, a longtime Warburg agent who recently defected to Douglas Elliman, was on vacation in Jamaica when he finally decided it was time to … [more]

Towering over 2017

Brooklyn and Queens projects beat Manhattan megadevelopments to the punch among the biggest planned projects of the new year

While Hudson Yards and Essex Crossing continue to inch forward in Manhattan, it’s the booming outer boroughs that will see many of the most ambitious … [more]

The Closing:
Andrew Heiberger

The Town Residential founder on his lack of corporate training, his multimillion sale of Citi Habitats, and his upcoming nuptials

Andrew Heiberger is the founder and CEO of the Manhattan-based residential brokerage… [more]

Soho House’s soul-searching

The members-only club is betting
that the global-property-buying
spree that’s hurting its books now will pay dividends later

It was 1996, shortly after he’d sold his shares in Virgin Entertainment, when Robert Devereux sat down to lunch with an old friend at 192, a famed celebrity… [more]

Macklowes locked in high-stakes tug of war

As father and son wrestle for control of their digital domain, a $300 million lawsuit threatens their fragile coexistence

It takes about six minutes to walk from Harry Macklowe’s office at 510 Madison Avenue to the soaring condominium tower… [more]

WeWork’s new corporate life

Last year was a trying time for the co-working giant — but its executives have big changes in store for 2017

When WeWork approached venture capital firms to raise $355 million in late 2014, it painted a detailed picture of the kind of company it wanted to become in… [more]

Sizing up the Second Avenue Subway bump

After decades of false starts and
eight years of construction, the UES starts to reap the rewards of a real estate game changer

Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, the Upper East Side should have a new subway line in 2017. As of late last month,… [more]

A skyline worth staring at

Melding modernism and classicism at Mack’s Greenpoint tower

As the development and gentrification of Greenpoint and Williamsburg continue apace, a new building promises to contribute in a major way to the area’s stock of residential architecture. Designed by… [more]

The commission split dance

Brokers and firms ended the year by negotiating new splits in a tough market

Before ringing in 2017, many of the city’s residential agents were furiously trying to ring up a few more sales. Adding to their urgency was the fact that a number… [more]

The great (office) debate

Some brokers hear renewed optimism, while others see too much space on market

A handful of office tenants with leases likely to be signed in 2017 are hunting for space with more optimism in the new year, some brokers say. Several banks and other… [more]

Editor’s note:
Bracing for the ride ahead

From the White House all the way down to your house (or condo or co-op or townhouse), who knows what the new year will bring? Here’s what we do know… [more]

Trouble in paradise?

At the top of Greenwich’s luxury market, it now takes serious price chops to move mansions

Greenwich, Connecticut, has long been known for its sprawling estates, well-heeled populace and high concentration of hedge funds. Now, it also has the unwanted reputation of a housing market that… [more]

Hipsturbia’s vertical growth

The northern migration of the Facebook generation has spurred a multifamily building boom in Westchester County

Everyone wants a piece of the millennial pie, and Westchester County is no exception. The coveted demographic of consumers — those born between 1981 and 1997 — is 75.4 million… [more]

Chinese investors bet
on the ’burbs

Despite fears about China’s outbound capital limits, investors are cashing in on Westchester and Fairfield

Strategic Capital could have spent its money anywhere. But executives at the firm, the American arm of a Chinese state-owned company, bet on Yonkers — … [more]

Will Westchester see
a Trump bump?

The developer owns or manages several properties in the county

Global uncertainty is high about President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda. But in Westchester, regardless of what side of the political fence they’re on, real estate professionals hope that having… [more]

Retail’s restaurant revolution

Developers are increasingly seeing food as the hot new commodity

As mixed-use developments have proliferated across Westchester in recent years, restaurants have emerged as some of the most important players in the building boom. At Rivertowns Square, a $150 million… [more]

Biotech boom fueling office market growth in Westchester

The industry is set to more than double its footprint in the county

The road to Westchester’s future is lined with sprawling biotechnology campuses — at least in the eyes of commercial developers and local government officials. Given the massive projects in the… [more]

Bidding wars on the Hudson

Rivertowns in hot demand — for the right price

This summer, a nondescript, 1,268-square-foot, three-bedroom house in Tarrytown received 17 offers before closing for $620,000 — $70,000 above the asking price. A five-bedroom home in Hastings-on-Hudson in September had… [more]

Shaping the Westchester skyline

Louis Cappelli brought New York City swagger — and height —to the suburbs, but it’s been far from smooth sailing for the developer

Louis Cappelli was not going to be outdone. In the mid-2000s, as the suburban developer was building Trump Plaza, a… [more]

Mapping top brokerages in Westchester County

New players keep the old guard on their toes

In an age of disruption across the board, Westchester brokerage firms have hardly been immune to the greater trend, with shake-ups roiling the county’s real estate scene. In a few… [more]

Flush times for New York State’s suburban mortgage lenders

Tight inventory, not rising interest rates, poses the biggest risk

Manhattan couples seeking a quieter lifestyle and room to grow are keeping the Westchester housing market humming along — and generating big business… [more]

Reimagining Westchester retail

Developers are breaking ground on new projects and revamping old malls after years of ignoring new trends among shoppers

With an average household income of $135,000 — 8 percent higher than found in Manhattan, and 54 percent higher than the rest of New York State — … [more]

Hospitality’s southern migration

County’s room shortage pushes hotel construction south

The Westchester hotel market is going south — but not in a bad way. Experts say the trend in the county’s new hotel construction has focused heavily in favor of… [more]

Stamford’s office
market struggle

Developers and city officials are working hard to lure new companies to fill the glut of available space left by the shrinking financial sector

The city of Stamford is bullish on building. But first it has to work through a big problem: a surge in high-end office… [more]

In the lapse of luxury

Weakness in the top tiers of real estate means a bonanza for big-name buyers, but trying times for normally
high-flying sellers

The weakness in the high-end real estate markets in Westchester and Fairfield counties created winners and losers among high-profile names last yea… [more]

A bridge more traveled

The Tappan Zee’s replacement could be a boon for real estate markets on both side of the Hudson

Westchester commuters, rejoice! After years of delays, the process of replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge — long a serious bottleneck between Westchester and Rockland counties— is moving… [more]

Editor’s note:
Reimagining the suburbs

In a new world order where up is down, left is right, and a billionaire real estate developer and reality TV star is about to be president, it barely warrants a… [more]



With Trump Tower under lockdown as the president-elect’s headquarters, the luxury real estate corridor is feeling the pain
A roundup of news and data on the residential market
A roundup of news and data on the commercial market
The Gensler principal on interior design,
Shanghai and orchids
A roundup of real estate-related happenings
from last month
Gotham Organization’s president on playing guitar, recovering from a skiing accident in Utah and how he sources deals
Real estate pros share picks for books on consumer culture, strategies for selling and Bruce Springsteen
The funniest and most insightful comments
on real estate

Comings and Goings

Eastern Consolidated has promoted Tripp Lyons, Alexandra Rossland, Ted Volynets and Peter Aarts. Each now holds the title of director. All four were previously associate directors.  Attorney Alexa Klein has… [more]