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December 23, 2010 
 
 
 
Monday Properties Holiday
 
RE-SCHMOOZE

2010 was a big year for Bisnow: we grew into the most widely read commercial real estate pub in the country, expanded our footprint into 10 markets, and doubled the size of our staff (in a down economy, no less). And we owe it all to our sponsors, readers, and friends. After a week off, we'll be back in action Jan. 3. Happy Holidays!

 
Did you know that Bisnow holds over 140 events annually in the 10 markets we cover? New York was home to seven of them in 2010, where we gathered top names in the industry to discuss major topics impacting our market (audiences ranged from 250 to 650 attendees each). Miss anything? Here's a recap.
 
Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman co-founder Arthur Sonnenblick speaks at Bisnow event
We kicked off the year with Bisnow’s Capital Market Schmooze on Jan. 26 at the Bar Association, where Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman co-founder Arthur Sonnenblick told us that “debt got us into this problem, and debt will get us out of this.” We’ll be on the other side of the problem in three to five years, he said, and in the meantime, “buyers are all over the place and if you’ve got a strong property, it can sell.” Joining him were Studley’s Woody Heller, Shorenstein’s Mark Portner, CBRE Investors’ Ethan Penner, Reznick Group’s Rob Sternthal, and Arent Fox’s David Dubrow whose presence at Bisnow events has become somewhat of a recurring—and comforting—theme (coverage).
Stonehenge Partners’ Ofer Yardeni, Meridian Capital Group’s Ralph Herzka, Tahl Propp Equities’ Joe Tahl, Vantage Properties’ Neil Rubler, Massey Knakal’s Bob Knakal, and WeiserMazars’ Ron Lagnado
On April 22, we dropped by the Bar Association for our first-ever Multifamily Summit & Schmooze, where we heard a New York outlook from Stonehenge Partners’ Ofer Yardeni, Meridian Capital Group’s Ralph Herzka, Tahl Propp Equities’ Joe Tahl, Vantage Properties’ Neil Rubler, Massey Knakal’s Bob Knakal, and WeiserMazars’ Ron Lagnado. We learned that post-Lehman, luxury rental market rents declined up to 30%, but we’ve since seen a turnaround, and more people are moving to NYC than leaving. The rent declines only hit marked-to-market units, and rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units continue to perform well. The event included a national panel with Arent Fox’s David Dubrow, Ackman-Ziff’s Pat Hanlon, Stellar Management’s Robert Rosania, Eastdil Secured’s Adam Spies, and Westbrook Partners’ Avi Banyasz (coverage).
Cohen Brothers Realty's Charles Cohen and Cushman & Wakefield's Bruce Mosler
Cohen Brothers Realty’s Charles Cohen and Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler led our hot (literally) Real Estate, Construction & Development Schmooze on July 7 at The Lighthouse Executive Conference Center. Charles called on the audience to join together and change the perspective of real estate, which has become two dirty words; there’s too much up and down in the stock market, and our industry can offer stability. The event also included perspectives from Halcrow North America’s Michael Della Rocca, LePatner & Associates’ Barry LePatner, World Trade Center Properties’ Janno Lieber, FTI Schonbraun McCann Group’s Joseph Castellano, RMJM's Richard Bailes, and Skanska USA’s Beth Heider (coverage).
Schmoozarama at Touch Lounge
On July 28, we held our first ever Schmoozarama at Touch Lounge, where 350 professionals gathered to eat, drink, be merry, and make top-secret deals (coverage).
GSA chief greening officer Eleni Reed, Grubb & Ellis’Michael Groppi, Related Cos’ Charlotte Matthews, and Code Green Solutions’ Christopher Cayten
With the BP oil crisis, stalled climate change initiatives, and green legislation, it’s been an interesting year, so we held a Sustainability Summit on Aug. 12 at the Bar Association. Among our speakers: GSA chief greening officer Eleni Reed, Grubb & Ellis’ Michael Groppi, Related Cos’ Charlotte Matthews, and Code Green Solutions’ Christopher Cayten, who joined Israel Berger & Associates’ John Hannum, Tishman Speyer’s Riggs Kubiak, US Energy Group’s David Unger, Arent Fox’s Stephen Del Percio, and FTI Schonbraun McCann Group’s Elizabeth Kulik to talk about new sustainability ideas, payback periods, IRRs, cost benefits, benchmarking, and technology (coverage).
 
Eastern Consolidated’s Peter Hauspurg, Fried Frank’s Jon Mechanic, SL Green’s Steve Durels, Vornado’s David Greenbaum, and FTI Schonbraun McCann Group’s Jahn Brodwin
Our biggest event was Sept. 15’s NYC Summit at Cooper Union where 650 of you joined us to hear from the NY-centric panel of Eastern Consolidated’s Peter Hauspurg, Fried Frank’s Jon Mechanic, SL Green’s Steve Durels, Vornado’s David Greenbaum, and FTI Schonbraun McCann Group’s Jahn Brodwin, who said the panel should have been named "Much Ado About Nothing.” After seeing sales transactions drop as much as 90% last year, the first half of '10 had eclipsed all of '09, and building values and transactions started bouncing back. The event also included a national panel of Westport Capital’s Matthew Landau, Brookfield Properties’ Dennis Friedrich, Cole Schotz’s Leo Leyva, and Cantor Fitzgerald’s Michael Lehrman (coverage).
 
Greenfield Partners’ Gene Gorab, Blackstone Group’s Michael Nash, and Arent Fox’s David Dubrow
We finished off the year with Oct. 27’s Distress Breakfast & Schmooze at The Cornell Club where we learned about the success that comes from distress from Greenfield Partners’ Gene Gorab, Blackstone Group’s Michael Nash, and Arent Fox’s David Dubrow, who spoke alongside Brookfield Asset Management’s Andrea Balkan, Dune Real Estate Partners’ Dan Neidich, and Eastdil Secured’s Nicholas Seidenberg. We’re seeing an evolution from pretend and extend, Andrea said—but if you’re willing to pay market rates and meet differentials, you can refinance. There’s been a sea change, and special servicers are now more likely to take back properties and put the burden on the owner. It’s going to take time to unwind these securitizations, says Gene, who expects a lot of law firms to do well (coverage).
 
An image of holiday merriment, we snapped Junior Achievement’s Jason Cooke and Bill Riley of Reznick (a Bisnow sponsor) at Reznick’s recent Baltimore office holiday party. Bill shared a bottle of his favorite 23-year-old Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle. (One bottle, aged 20 years, costs $230).
 
Emerge's Keither Fearon, Bisnow's Connie Allen, and Greiner Maltz's Ira Press
Want to learn more about getting involved with sponsorships or events? Meet Connie Allen (center, with Emerge's Keith Fearon and Greiner-Maltz's Ira Press), whom we recently hired to spearhead our New York, Boston, and Chicago circuits—e-mail her or call her at (212) 520-1853 to learn more. Our next event—our second annual Multifamily Summit—will be held on Jan. 28 at the Bar Association where we’ll hear from Related’s Bruce Beal, Jonathan Rose Cos’ Jonathan Rose, AvalonBay’s Fred Harris, Meridian Capital Group’s Ralph Herzka, Freddie Mac’s Mike Edelman, The Brodsky Organization's Dan Brodsky, and WeiserMazars’ Ron Lagnado. Don’t miss out on the early bird pricing of $49 (especially after all the money you spent this holiday!) Register here.
 
Help us ring in the New Year with great story ideas. E-mail amanda@bisnow.com
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