Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

NEW YORK CITY-The future of Lower Manhattan and this year’s spate of desk-jockeying by many of the city’s top brokers were among the topics discussed at a town hall meeting held yesterday at the first New York RealShare Conference. More than 300 people attended the event, which was held at the Roosevelt Hotel.

The panel, a who’s who of New York real estate, was moderated by John Salustri, editor of GlobeSt.com, the breaking news affiliate of RealShare organizer Real Estate Media Inc. Salustri queried panelists on World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein’s recent court defeat, in which three insurers were found liable for coverage of only one incident in the twin tower bombings, rather than two.

“It is one factor in what is really a complex series of issues,” said Mary Ann Tighe, president and CEO of the New York Tristate Region for CB Richard Ellis. “I’m sure the insurance [issue] will be a factor in the discussion, but it is just one small piece, and I think we’re not going to get much more clarity until after the elections.

“Certainly Larry is appealing [the decision], but whether it’s $3.2 billion or $7 billion is somewhat missing the point that what is ultimately built is also probably premature to talk about,” said Bruce Mosler, president of US operations for Cushman & Wakefield. “The question that needs to be resolved today in order for anything down there to be successful is the transportation question. Downtown has been stepchild to Midtown for 50 years-plus. For Downtown to succeed, what has to be answered now, in a timely fashion, is what is going to be done not to restore transportation, but to bring it to the next level?”

Anthony Malkin, president of W&M Properties said Downtown is “a story with three parts.” The first part, he said, is that Downtown has suffered the loss of many industries, leaving it largely dependent on the financial services sector. Second, he noted, is “the 24/7 lifestyle, people who move down there, who like it down there, you’ve got to work on that.” The third component, Malkin stated, is importing workers to an area “that’s difficult to get to. You’ve got to deal with more people being there. You’ve got to make it easier for people to get there.

“The unfortunate reality of the World Trade Center is that it’s just too damn big an issue,” Malkin stated, adding that an attempt to rebuild the original space today “would send the market into the toilet to fast you have no idea. It would make your eyes spin.”

Lower Manhattan is “a tough issue from a lending perspective,” said Michael Higgins, managing director and head of the US Real Estate Finance & Investment Banking Group at CIBC World Markets. “Our offices were in the World Financial Center prior to 9/11. We moved to Midtown. I’m happier in Midtown. Most people are. It’s easier to get to. So I think you’ve got to have the transportation solved. The incentives will get tenants back down there again, and there are tenants that have committed to staying down there.

Mosler also weighed in on the hot topic of broker moves. “There’s been a lot of conversation about broker volatility and moving for the dollars,” Mosler stated. “People don’t ever move just for the dollars. People move because they think the place they’re moving to has the platform and the ability to service their clients as well or better than where they were and people who were winners will continue to win. In the end analysis all this conversation is a byproduct of the fact that there’s not enough business going around to talk about.”

The one-day event kicked off with a keynote address by Tishman Realty Corp. executive vice president Daniel R. Tishman, who emphasized the real estate industry’s cyclical nature. “We are in an industry that will go up and go down and come back up again,” he said. “And there really is no magic other than working hard and doing what we do best.” He added that “creativity is the name of the game” in today’s real estate world, and that the more an individual understands about industry topics outside of his or her specialty, the greater is that person’s chance for success.

Rounding off the conference was a one-on-one session with entrepreneur Ethan Penner, hosted by Real Estate Forum editor-in-chief Michael Desiato. Penner, widely recognized as having revolutionized modern-day real estate finance, was known as a CMBS and real estate finance wizard during his days at Nomura Asset Capital Corp. Penner resigned from the firm when CMBS took a major beating in the late ’90s.

“The experience that I and people who were fortunate enough to have been part of [Nomura], colleagues, coworkers and clients, had was very unique” Penner said. “It was an incredible experience. It was a rare kind of coming together of an institutional capital base with an entrepreneurial mindset, and I think that combination allowed a lot of amazing things to happen. Obviously not all good. But we learned a lot of valuable lessons.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.