November 2016 Issue

Mogul vs. Mogul:
Real estate’s battles royal

The recent matchup between media mogul Barry Diller and NYC real estate patriarch Douglas Durst has put the spotlight on the industry’s ugly rivalries

As the early aughts unfolded, the notoriously mercurial real estate mogul Sheldon Solow waged one of his characteristically deep-pocketed legal battles over a Manhattan ground lease. Solow claimed that a group of sellers — including the British billionaire brothers David and Frederick Barclay — had fudged the value of the lease to trick him into overpaying for the interest at 380 Madison Avenue. The courts, however, dismissed Solow’s claim as… [more]

Vornado post Roth?

Steven Roth has been Vornado’s overlord for more than 35 years —
but some are wondering if the aging CEO has a succession plan in place

“Don’t be jerky,” Steven Roth told Gary Barnett. “It’s not even close.” Sitting among other industry titans at Bloomberg LP’s headquarters last spring, Roth was… [more]

Game on: Eastdil vs. Cushman

With the Harmon and Spies power duo leaving for Cushman, a new rivalry emerges for wrangling trophy towers

The bombshell news last month that New York City’s top two investments sales brokers, Doug Harmon and Adam Spies, decamped for Cushman & Wakefield after years at Eastdil Secured is… [more]

The resurrection of 425 Park

Inside the drama-filled rise of the first new office tower on the swanky avenue in 50 years — from the family friction to the complicated ground leases to the collapse of Lehman Brothers

It was a Sunday evening in September 2008, and David Levinson was leaning over the balcony at a hotel in Paris. He and… [more]

Buyers take the reins

From free rent to price chops, developers and owners sweeten the pot as balance of power shifts

Free rent. Paid attorneys’ fees. Falling prices. It sounds like a scary flashback to the dark days of 2009. But it’s actually all happening today in different segments of New… [more]

The Closing: Alan Wiener

The Wells Fargo multifamily finance executive on showing Jimmy Carter the South Bronx, lending on Stuy Town, and buying exotic cufflinks

Alan Wiener is the group head of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, where he specializes in large multifamily loans to landlords and developers. … [more]

The making of a
Lower East Side linchpin

As Essex Crossing takes shape,
TRD dissects the $1.5 billion

For five decades, Broome Street east of Essex was a dead zone — blighted by the remnants of a slum clearance and urban renewal project whose renewal… [more]

The real estate investors’ guide to getting past Uncle Sam

How the industry has turned tax avoidance into a legal art form

Let’s face it. Stories about people’s taxes don’t typically lend themselves to juicy scoops for journalists. The federal IRS code is complex and confusing even for the most erudite tax… [more]

The Fortis of solitude

The Long Island College Hospital controversy has thrust a mid-sized player that values its privacy
into the limelight

When construction workers began to dismantle the 156-year-old Long Island College Hospital earlier this year, it signaled the end of one bitter battle and the… [more]

What’s at stake if
Deutsche Bank topples?

As the German lending giant teeters, the industry is questioning its importance to the market

More than $13 billion is a pretty large sum, even by real estate standards. That’s how much Deutsche Bank lent on New York City properties between 2011… [more]

The Theater District: Act III

The latest drama over air-rights fees has theater owners in a bind

While audiences and actors may be interested in what takes place inside Times Square’s theaters, landlords are often focused on what’s above them. The historic, low-rise properties have acres of… [more]

The EB-5 debate
in full effect

Corporate welfare, legitimate financing or the corruption of American ideals? What opponents and stakeholders have said over the years

The EB-5 visa program, which grants foreigners a provisional right to live, work and study in America in… [more]

The industry’s climate
change complacency

How landlords are struggling
to adjust to rising tides

When millions of gallons of briny water gushed into the lower reaches of 80 Pine Street on October 29, 2012, concrete walls buckled, electrical systems shorted out and several maintenance… [more]

The Financial District
doubles down on retail

An influx of residents, big-spending tourists
and office workers has the financial hub hopeful about its retail future

Westfield’s World Trade Center complex may have gotten off to a wobbly start,… [more]

The Real Deal
hits Shanghai

Industry heavyweights to gather at second annual showcase

To get a pulse on the movers and shakers in New York City real estate, industry buffs now look to China. In the past 12 months, Chinese firms invested more… [more]

A bravura performance

The WTC’s arts center design
deserves a standing ovation

In a city where so much of the new architecture is indifferent, the World Trade Center site stands out for the exceptional quality and execution of its designs. The area… [more]

Manhattan land slide

Land sales in the borough fell to
a six-year low of $195 million
in the third quarter

Sales of Manhattan development sites fell to their weakest level in six years against the backdrop of slow condominium purchases and no resolution to the renewal of the state’s 421a… [more]

The composer of smart cities

In his debut book, developer Jonathan Rose lays out a grand vision for metropolises

In 1963, Rose Associates, led by its second-generation patriarch, Frederick Rose, was closing in on a huge triumph: the completion of 280 Park Avenue, an Emery Roth-designed building in Midtown… [more]

Clueless on non-competes?

Industry execs are watching the latest cases, but have yet to get answers on whether contracts are ironclad

How ironclad are non-compete agreements? That question — which has been bandied about in the residential brokerage world for the past several years — has once again been thrust into… [more]

Editor’s note:
The benefits of being bold

Most public company heads tend to be pretty circumspect in their statements to the press. Not Vornado’s Steven Roth, who is the “last in a line of brash hustlers running… [more]


A roundup of news and data on the residential market
A roundup of news and data on the commercial market
The Forest City Ratner exec on losing (and then landing) the job she always wanted, her favorite profanity and why she’d never go back to architecture.
A roundup of real estate-related happenings from last month
The interior designer and Bravo show co-host on her new TV gig, “old-lady wallpaper” and skipping business lunches
Real estate pros share picks for books on leadership in war, Donald Trump, and how to get what you want
The funniest and most insightful comments
on real estate

Comings and Goings

Scott Durkin has been named chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman. He previously served as executive vice president of acquisitions and growth and had been a Corcoran Group manager before… [more]

We Heard

If the residential real estate world were the high school cafeteria, venture capital-backed brokerage Compass would almost certainly be the kid eating lunch alone. The three-year-old start-up, headed by Robert… [more]

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