Thank God 2010 is here

Real estate pros share why they are glad 2009 is over <br>

From left: David Arena, Elizabeth Stribling, David Schlamm and Barak Dunayer

In the wake of the financial crisis that ripped through the country, real estate pros did their best to keep their heads above water in 2009. As 2010 commences, The Real Deal asked a number of New Yorkers hailing from different parts of the real estate industry why they are glad 2009 is over. Here is what they said is their top reason:

Joseph Caridi, executive managing director at FirstService Williams:

As 2009 began, the New York City office market was chaotic, with little confidence about how long or deep the downturn would be. With so much uncertainty, employees and employers were under enormous stress throughout the year. 2009 was a learning experience, but I don’t want to take that class again.

Samuel Himmelstein, partner at real estate litigation firm Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph:

Maybe we can see an easing of the crushing unemployment and
under-employment which has devastated the lives of so many, not only in
the U.S but around the world.

James Famularo, senior executive managing director at New York Commercial Realty Services:

The economic downturn is behind us.

David Arena, president at Grubb & Ellis New York:

I am happy that 2009 is over but the question I ask is this: What have we learned?

David Schlamm, CEO and founder of City Connections Realty:

November and December seem to put a drag on many people’s emotions/energy so I am happy that a new year has started. Going back the entire year, it was quite a ride, featuring the good, the bad and the ugly. It made me understand what is most important to me in my personal and business life.

Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing, marketing and sales division at Prudential Douglas Elliman:

The negativity was everywhere in 2009. You couldn’t pick up a newspaper, participate in a seminar or dine with friends without settling into doomsday forecasts. But since the fourth quarter, the collective mood has begun to improve. I’m glad 2009’s negativity is behind us and that the focus is on real solutions, rather than wallowing in the problems.

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Barak Dunayer, president of Barak Realty:

I’m not particularly happy 2009 is over. It was a pretty good year for us. But I’m always happy about new chapters and 2010 presents excellent opportunities.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group:
I’m looking forward to walking into a room in 2010 and not having five people ask, “When do you think the real estate market will turn around?” I think most people are getting it that it’s already happening.

Stephen Love, COO at

I am glad 2009 is over because now in 2010 we will be able to see the amazing reappearing bonuses start to trickle through the market.

Robin Abrams, executive vice president at Lansco Corp.:
Ready for optimistic attitudes rather than doom and gloom of past year.

Andrew Gerringer managing director of developments at Prudential Douglas Elliman:

Because New Year’s always brings about the prospect of hope for better things to come.

Elizabeth Stribling, president of Stribling & Associates:

I am always the optimist; the glass is always half full, and I have many happy memories of much that happened in 2009.

Compiled by Lauren Elkies