Editor’s note: Ready for takeoff
It’s not called Strong Island for nothing. The real estate markets in Nassau and Suffolk counties are, by and large, thriving, data and accounts from industry players show. Indeed, there’s ever-increasing demand for commercial and residential spaces of every type, making it a market to bet on. And investors surely have, as is evidenced by our ranking of the priciest commercial sales of the year, which reveals that businesses from far-flung locales are angling for a piece of the local prosperity.
But an island that “sells itself” to investors presents big challenges to residential brokerages, which are endlessly engaged in a struggle to increase their market share despite shrinking inventory and growing competition. For our cover story, reporter Christopher Cameron looked at the firms that logged the highest sales volumes last year. Pervasive poaching practices have been a thorn in the side of those forced to match unsustainably high commission splits and huge signing bonuses in order to maintain their talent pools. In addition, more New York City brokerages are rumored to be pouncing on the Island.
If there’s someone who’s faced his share of thorns — and been one himself — it’s developer Jerry Wolkoff, who was just ordered to pay $6.7 million to graffiti artists after he painted over their work at 5Pointz in Long Island City, property he’s owned since the early ’70s. But the man behind Islip’s Heartland Town Center has bigger fish to fry at the moment — he’s facing labor union disputes and a lawsuit from a local school district.
Though Wolkoff is focused on his work in other parts of the Island, he’s a full-time resident in the Hamptons. Our check-in on how the summer rental season is shaping up out there finds more early interest than usual, especially because Southampton’s Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is hosting the U.S. Open in June.
Unlike that time-honored tradition of city dwellers heading to the East End in the summer, attendance at the legendary horse races at Belmont has diminished over the years, which is why Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recently announced plans to add a $1 billion dollar arena and retail space to the property has gotten locals talking. Learn about the players involved here.
Finally, our ranking of top developers shows that even those who’ve created a niche for themselves in office or retail construction are pivoting to multifamily projects, while our list of the top condo projects by sellout reveals that the market’s thirstier than ever for easy living.
Enjoy the issue!