Great expectations at Members' Luncheon

Two weeks ago, the Real Estate Board of New York’s Members’ Luncheon featured a panel of industry leaders talking about their expectations for the end of 2013 into 2014. 

More than 500 guests filled up the room on November 19th at the Roosevelt Hotel to hear Robert Futterman, Chairman and CEO of RFK, Neil Goldmacher, Vice Chairman and Principal of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Woody Heller, Executive Managing Director of Studley, and Simon Ziff, President of The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, with moderator Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer of CBRE. 

Topics included trends and observations in the sales, leasing, financing, and retail markets.  The panelists, representing the full gambit of real estate advisory and brokerage services, walked the attendees through what they felt would be the defining forces in the New Year.  Mary Ann Tighe utilized her wealth knowledge and experience to expertly engage the panelists making for an exceptionally informative session. 

Simon Ziff outlined what he described as a healthy supply of capital for the real estate market, with a great deal of equity in the market.  He and Woody Heller both felt the financing market has returned to its pre-Recession strength, with capital stacks featuring multiple parties on every transaction. 

Heller also shared his thoughts on Williamsburg’s continuing attractiveness for institutional investor portfolios.  He illustrated this point by mentioning 111 Kent Avenue, a rental building that sold to American Realty Advisors, a California-based investor, for a record setting per unit price of almost $900,000.

Neil Goldmacher believes the emerging technology industries are maturing and will begin looking for better office space in the coming year.  He predicts that as that trend continues, tech firms will break into the midtown market forcing older firms and industries downtown for the first time.  Goldmacher thinks the barriers between markets will “melt away” and there will be a push for higher density spaces as well.

Robert Futterman expects a retail boom outside SoHo and other traditional areas in 2014.  Specifically, he spoke about development spreading northward from Eataly in the Flatiron District, and throughout the Lower East Side. 

I thank all of our panelists and those who attended the Member’s Luncheon. I look forward to an exceptionally productive winter season.

In other REBNY News:

Don’t miss the next Commercial “Crossfire” event, which will be on Tuesday, December 10th in the REBNY Mendik Center in 570 Lexington Avenue from 5:30pm-7:00pm.  Entitled “Modernizing New York Through Midtown South & Beyond”, the panel will feature: Mark Lapidus, Director of Real Estate Operations for WeWork; Debra Larsen, Founder & President of Workhouse; Jake Schwartz, CEO of General Assembly; Ryan Simonetti, CEO of Convene; and Ed Minskoff, Founder & Developer of Edward J. Minskoff Equities.  Keith Turco, President of Gyro Advertising, will moderate.  The event will be free for REBNY Members, but registration is required as seating is limited.  To register please visit the events calendar on REBNY’s website.  For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

The Commercial Division Holiday Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in the Vanderbilt Room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel from 12:00pm-2:00pm.  Jonathan D. Gray, Global Head of Real Estate of the Blackstone Group, will be the guest speaker.  Tickets are $95 per person, to register please visit the events calendar on REBNY’s website.  Seats are limited; act now to reserve your spot!  For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

REBNY will host its 118th Annual Banquet on Thursday, January 16th at 7pm at the New York Hilton.  Join us for the event of the year as we honor six great New Yorkers: Stephen L. Green, Chairman of SL Green Properties, Kenneth Fisher, Senior Partner of Fisher Brothers, Joel I. Picket, Chairman and CEO of Gotham Organization, Robin Abrams, EVP of The Lansco Corporation, Thomas L. Hill, SVP at Boston Properties, and Robert C. Fink, Director of Leasing for the Winter Organization.  For tickets or advertising information, contact Maryann Aviles at