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November 5, 2008



Maybe the excitement of change was already creeping in. But the joint AREW and Appraisal Institute’s Election Day luncheon panel was not all gloom and doom. Even though the rest of the U.S. is in a downturn, it seemed to say New York City is better off and the job market won’t feel the pain of past recessions. Maybe those red, white, and blue balloons are a subliminal spirit-lifter.


Leitner Group principal (and Appraisal Institute Metro NY prez) Joel Leitner, Terra Holdings Chief Economist Gregory Heym, New York Post maven (and moderator) Lois Weiss, Goldman Sachs co-head for commercial real estate lending Jeffrey Fastov, Robert K. Futterman SVP Ariel Schuster, Warnick+Company director of development management services Ted Brumleve, and Moynihan Station Venture development VP (and AREW prez) Jennifer McCool. Panelists said: The presidential campaign’s impact will likely be felt across the country more than in NYC, which tends to be a bit sheltered, but any major change in the tax code will affect behavior and decision-making time. The city should only lose 160k jobs over the next two years versus 350k in the early 90s and 200k in 2001. Hotel operators do not have to move rates down too much, and financing for projects should return by 2Q or 3Q. The 70% co-op concentration is keeping residential afloat, while condo rules discourage flipping. Healthcare and education are booming. National retailers want to be in urban areas. And the financial market is returning to more moderate movements of the Dow.


Obama’s not the only one celebrating. Congratulations to Strook & Strook & Lavan’s Diana Brummer (center, with Interior Design Solutions’ Susan Aiello and Phillips Lytle’s Michelle Speyer), who was recently promoted to partner in the law firm. Take it from Susan—“you’ve gotta be good” in a market like this. She just returned from NeoCon East in Baltimore, where she gave a presentation on sustainable tenant design.


Trump Sales and Leasing’s Bonnie Kirschenbaum, Leitner Group’s Melissa Sohn and Zetlin & De Chiara’s Lina Telese. Bonnie was busy manning the raffle for a snazzy $600 Haworth Brazo task light desk lamp. Lina could probably use one—the construction attorney’s been hunkering down on overseas deals, particularly in Dubai, as well as international hotels in New York. She was appropriately tight-lipped when asked for details (those pesky non-disclosure agreements).


If you need an interior designer, In-Site Interior Design’s Elizabeth Vaughan (center, with Cornerstone Accounting’s Mei Dai and Real Estate Weekly’s Julie Best) is your “Jill of All Trades,” recently designing space for a retail store, photo store, residential condominium and medical center.


Jones Lang LaSalle’s Mercedes Fernandez (center) was undoubtedly enjoying a break from packing boxes and moving apartments. No word on whether TPG Architecture’s Elyse Schindler-Candella and Diana Revkin were assisting with bubble wrap.


And what would Election Day be without words of advice for our future president? First American’s Wayne Baird and John Kelley want Obama to bring our guys and gals home from overseas and focus on the economy (apparently, 60% of those interviewed in exit polls agree).


Floorworks’ Dana Endicott and Benchmark Title’s Susan Lampert and Melissa Colavito. Susan wants Mr. President-Elect to make the real estate market better, to which Melissa added, “Touché.”

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