March 2016 Issue

Shaken by worldwide tumult

A breakdown of the latest wave of international economic turmoil — from volatility in China to falling oil prices — and what it all means for Manhattan

Hardly a day has gone by in 2016 without headlines about turmoil in the world’s financial markets and struggling economies. High on the list of concerns: plunging oil prices, erratic stock markets, the slowdown in China, a rising dollar and a possible U.S. recession. Yet these days, it’s not just brokers on Wall Street who have their heads in their hands but also those in the New York City real… [more]

NYC’s global real estate giants

The countries that poured big money into Manhattan commercial real estate in 2015

Abu Dhabi Like other oil-rich countries, Abu Dhabi’s investment in New York mostly runs through its sovereign wealth fund. Foreign investors spent $1.16 billion here last year. But early last… [more]

Airbnb is not taking
it lying down

Startup ramps up for fight
of its life in NYC

If there was ever a clear sign that things had gotten ugly for Airbnb in New York, it might have been last October, during a City Council hearing on a… [more]

Airbnb across the world

A look at which cities have fought
the home-sharing giant and which
have embraced it

Airbnb’s worldwide reach is unquestionable. The home-sharing company operates in more than 34,000 markets across the globe. But not all cities treat it the same. Some, like New York and… [more]

Piggybacking on Airbnb

A cottage industry has sprouted up to capitalize on the short-term rental craze, providing everything from key exchange services to market analysis

As Airbnb has grown, so has the number of companies piggybacking on it and its rivals in the short-term rental market space. Firms like Keycafe, Pillow, AirDNA,… [more]

The double life of
Stephen Siegel

The ‘godfather’ of commercial brokerage moonlights as an investor
at Fairstead, inking more than $1B
in deals in the last few months

Stephen Siegel, the chairman of CBRE’s global brokerage division, is a notoriously lousy golfer. On a good day, … [more]

Are top NYC co-ops
in panic mode?

Freedom to finance and renovate — co-ops loosen rules to attract
would-be condo buyers

When a Chinese buyer scooped up a $70 million co-op at the Sherry-Netherland, the deal was a Herculean effort, and not just because the original asking… [more]

Can the Zeckendorfs break
the mold again?

The brothers’ latest Park Avenue project is its most ambitious since its blockbuster 15 CPW, but this time there’s more competition — and risk

To be a Zeckendorf, one of New York City’s most influential real estate families, is to be both inspired and haunted by… [more]

Inside Vornado’s Penn Plaza ‘war room’

Will Steve Roth’s quest to reposition one of the biggest office portfolios in the city pay off?

Penn Plaza takes its moniker, of course, from Pennsylvania Station — the nation’s busiest transit hub. But Vornado Realty Trust, the mega-REIT that … [more]

The Closing: David Bistricer

The Clipper Equity developer on losing Starrett City, not having a TV, and the ‘vice’ of making money

David Bistricer is CEO of Clipper Equity, a real estate firm started by his father in the 1950s. Today, the Orthodox Jewish family owns 60 buildings, with thousands of residential… [more]

Are unions losing their
grip in NYC??

NYC’s union vs. non-union construction battle intensifies as financial and political ‘perfect storm’ takes hold

In the 1970s, union members had a monopoly on New York City’s skyline. At the time, card-carrying union workers made up a stunning 90 percent of the city’s… [more]

With 421a expired, all eyes in the NYC real estate industry turn to Albany

Thus far, no moves have been made to replace the program

In the months leading up to a state-imposed negotiations deadline in January, the Real Estate Board of New York and union leaders came tantalizingly close to coming… [more]

Developers start lowering
the price bar

Amid softening market, developers
are beginning to drop condo prices
to stay competitive

No developer likes to cut prices. Many will resort to incentives and other giveaways to avoid the negative optics of a discount. But a number of new condominiums… [more]

Book Review: The architectural eye candy of Robert A.M. Stern

Robert A.M. Stern’s latest coffee-table tome 'City Living' showcases a rare and first-rate body of work

By now, most New Yorkers with any interest in real estate or architecture have an intuitive sense of just how active Robert A. M. Stern Architects has been in the… [more]

Architecture Review: One Vandam’s cramped style

The site’s odd, triangular shape restricts its design and leads to
less-than-stellar results

Few acts of architecture seem harder — and less fun — than designing a building for a triangular New York City lot. There are, of course, instances in which it… [more]

Commercial bubble trouble?

NYC investment sales brokers say talk of a market peak is exaggerated, but concede investors are exercising more caution

Predicting a market bubble is almost always a losing pastime. But that hasn’t stopped brokers, market analysts and economists from talking about whether the… [more]

Which office tenants are looking for the biggest blocks?

A ranking of the companies on the hunt for the most Manhattan office space

Landing a monster office tenant is getting harder these days. Most of the big companies hunting for space committed in the last few years, fueled by confidence in the market… [more]

The return of the
domestic buyer

U.S. buyers ‘sense an opening’ as foreigners pull back in midst
of global turmoil

Shortly after headlines proclaimed Manhattan real estate was feeling a “Russian chill” in early 2014, Chinese cash flooded the New York City market…. [more]

Editor’s note:
Trumpeting the alarm

The leading Republican candidate for president of the United States says he wants to punch protesters in the face, retweets quotes from Benito Mussolini, cyber-bullies detractors, fails to disavow the leader of the Ku… [more]

The struggle to build bigger
in Nassau and Suffolk

Long Island faces the threat of losing its younger generations and workforce if its local communities don’t allow for more density and height

These days Long Island is enjoying a boom in real estate development along the bustling train lines that serve as major… [more]

Inside RXR’s massive bet on the suburbs beyond NYC

Seth Pinksy expects a great return
to suburbia as prices in the city
keep rising

RXR Realty is perhaps best known in New York City real estate circles for owning some of the most high-profile office properties in Manhattan, including the… [more]

A commercial crossroads
in Nassau and Suffolk

Office, retail and industrial space are in high demand across Long Island, but stagnant population growth imperils future developments and property sales

It’s a mixed bag when it comes to Long Island’s commercial real estate market. On the one hand, there’s notable… [more]

Long Island brokerages
face off

The times they are a-changin’
for some of the longest-standing
residential firms

It’s high tide. Long Island’s luxury residential brokerage business is seeing a new wave of competition as more new entrants grab market share by way of new… [more]

The Island’s price of admission

Long Island, which dominated a 2015 Forbes list with 26 of the most expensive zip codes in the country, has no shortage of upscale enclaves.

Long Island, which dominated a 2015 Forbes list with 26 of the most expensive zip codes in the country, has no shortage of upscale enclaves. Those neighborhoods… [more]

The new urban
condo wave

Demand for Long Island
condominiums — especially those
with a chic Manhattan feel and ample amenities — is on the upswing

Older homeowners downsizing and younger couples moving from the city have fueled a recent surge in the number of… [more]

The 10 biggest home sales
on the North Shore

Amid buzz over $100 million listings, the median price for luxury homes
fell 5.5 percent

Long Island’s glitzy North Shore made headlines in September with the listing of a $100 million, 8-acre estate. The Gatsby-style 60,000-square-foot property… [more]

Homes hit hard by Sandy are getting more mileage

There is ongoing demand for storm-damaged properties on LI

Despite the flood danger to houses near Long Island’s northern and southern shores, properties severely damaged by recent storms continue to get snatched up by families looking for new homes,… [more]

Mall than meets the eye

Long Island malls and outdoor shopping centers are in high demand, even as online sales change the appetite for brick-and-mortar retail

Compared to big cities like New York, suburbia may have less to offer young shoppers and residents. But when it comes to Long Island, don’t rule out… [more]

The East End’s indie
hospitality scene

The boutique hotel market on Long Island's East End is flourishing

While the country’s hospitality market has started to cool, developers are betting there is still room on Long Island’s East End for upscale boutique hotel conversions. Two months ago, New… [more]

Talking Nassau office deals

Tony Fromer of the We're Group discusses Wexler and Rechler family roots and Long Island leases

For Tony Fromer, who spent his childhood in Great Neck and watched his grandfather Jack Wexler develop office buildings in Lake Success, Huntington and Jericho, … [more]

Celebs loving and leaving LI

Stars and corporate bigwigs are
behind many recent real estate
flips on the Island

Hedge fund manager Scott Bommer closed on the $110 million sale of 101 Lily Pond Lane — a 6.4-acre East Hampton estate — to Michael Smith, the chief executive officer of Freeport LNG Development… [more]



In NYC, the market for grave space is alive
and on the rise
A roundup of news and data on the residential market
A roundup of news and data on the commercial market
The Corcoran Sunshine powerhouse on horse racing, life without a driver and transforming the skyline
A roundup of real estate-related happenings
from last month
The under-the-radar multifamily broker on her “Coyote Ugly” bartending days, jacking herself up on caffeine and her $690M deal
Real estate pros share picks for books on NYC history, relationships and Louis Kahn
The funniest and most insightful comments
on real estate

Comings and Goings

ABS Partners has hired Jeff Sharon as managing director. Sharon, who was formerly at CBRE, will work directly with the firm’s partners at ABS, focusing on tenant representation. Colliers International… [more]

We Heard

Look out, New York: One of Gotham’s super brokers has a “mini-me.” Dolly Lenz, among the most successful real estate agents in New York City and the country, has hired her… [more]