Day in the life of
5:15 a.m. I usually wake up around 5:15 and then spend some time in the gym. I live in Westchester. I lived in the city for 20 years — always on the Upper East Side. When my daughter [Hallie, 9] was on the way, [my wife, Amy, and I] retreated to the suburbs. That results in spending a lot of time in my car.
6:30 a.m. By 6:30 or 6:45 I’m heading to the city. I drive down every day. I have Howard Stern to keep me company in the morning. At night, I’m generally on the phone. It’s become part of my daily routine.
8:00 a.m. My first stop [in the city] is my first cup of coffee of the day at Laughing Man [Coffee & Tea in Tribeca, which is owned by actor Hugh Jackman]. I meet with my partners [Bill Brodsky and Elliott Ingerman] every morning at 8. We talk about things that happened the prior day and strategize about what needs to get done that day. All eight of us at the company also meet on Monday mornings to review every project and talk about the goals for that week. It’s very much an open environment. This is an office with no walls — other than the conference room. Our three ongoing projects are: The Smyth [Hotel and Residences at 85 West Broadway], which is up and running; the Marriott [Residences Inn World Trade Center at 170 Broadway], which is in construction, and the Baccarat [Hotel and Residences at 20 West 53rd Street], which is in construction [and being built in partnership with Starwood Capital Group]. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on an office building acquisition [in the Times Square area].
9:30 a.m. I usually have between three and six meetings a day. We have a weekly meeting [at the Baccarat]. We sit for generally about three hours in the sales center. We meet on the Marriott project monthly with our partners to go over construction issues there. The office building acquisition has been a daily — if not hourly — task. It’s always crunch time when you’re about to close on a deal.
Noon I probably eat lunch out three to four times a week. It’s a convenient time to catch up with capital partners or various people that are helping us with deals. I’ve got my Midtown spots and my Downtown spots. In Midtown, I’m a big fan of Koi in the Bryant Park Hotel, Bice for Italian and Milos for fish. Downtown there’s Koi in Trump Soho, Sarabeth’s Kitchen and Plein Sud at our hotel [the Smyth]. If I’m overbooked, I’ll do two lunches: Same restaurant so I don’t have to travel. Yesterday, I had a 12:00 lunch and a 1:30 lunch. Both were important and I couldn’t cancel either. I didn’t eat twice; I ate a salad for the first lunch and lunch for the second one.
3:00 p.m. I spend a lot of time building relationships with capital partners. This afternoon I’ll be meeting with a lender to solidify our financing for the office building acquisition. I’m not in the office all that often. Fortunately, we only cover one market. In my prior job [as managing partner at Sonnenblick-Goldman, which is now part of Cushman & Wakefield], I covered the entire country, so I was on a plane every week. So it’s nice that this is all confined to one island, as opposed to running around the country.
6:30 p.m. I have work-related dinners with friends, maybe two nights a week. Having been in this business for almost 25 years, many of the people we do business with have become close friends, so I’m able to combine personal and business. [When I’m not in the city] I’m home with the wife and kids. The kids [Hallie and Benjamin, 11] are away for the summer, so I spend a little more time in the city.
8:15 p.m. I’m a big Yankees fan. The Yankees are having a tough time with all of their injuries, but I try to catch a Yankees game, or part of it, whenever possible. I’m not really into too many shows right now. “Homeland” isn’t on.
11:00 p.m. I usually go to sleep between 11:00 and 12:00. It’s a lot of running around.