Empire State Building retrofitting “not about the greening”

Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, said that he learned in the recent process of retrofitting his company’s Empire State Building that it’s not about the greening.

“I think we learned that in the end it’s not about the greening but about money and about returns,” Malkin said at last night’s YJP Real Estate Investment Summit 2011 (see photos above). “If you put a green waterfall in your lobby it’s not going to change the world but if you can provide a greater than 40 percent reduction in the use of energy and save your tenants money by being efficient that makes a difference.”

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He was on a panel with Ralph Herzka, CEO of Meridian Capital, Jeffrey Gural, chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, Steve Witkoff, founder and CEO of the Witkoff Group, and Isaac Zion, co-CIO of SL Green Realty. It was moderated by Marc Landis, a partner at Phillips Nizer.

The panel answered questions about recent deals, current trends and gave advice on some of the best practices for a young broker getting started in the business. Gural’s advice: “There are two things you need to know. Don’t put too much debt in a building and try to live as long as you can because the value will go up and if you made mistakes and live long enough you out live the mistake. Where people screw up is they can’t outlive the downturn. I remember one building after I bought it I thought I was so stupid but now 20 years later, I look like a genius. Never sell.” — Marc Becker