Yesterday in New York we held our Bisnow Multifamily Summit— for a packed audience of 425 at the NY Bar Association ballroom.
We felt bad for all the people who had to stand, but, heck, it added to the dramatic effect. Also, we thought about renting out Cooper Union's Great Hall, as we did last October 15 for an even bigger event. But you know what? President Obama had it reserved yesterday for his Wall Street reform speech, so what could we do?
Our national panel consisted of Stellar Management CEO Robert Rosania (largest apartment renovator in America and owner of 20k apartments and 30M SF), Ackman-Ziff principal Pat Hanlon, Eastdil Secured's Adam Spies, Westbrook Partners managing principal Avi Banyasz, and Arent Fox business practice chairman David Dubrow. Demand for rental product has increased nationally, Rob said, noting that the number of institutionally owned units have decreased from 19M to 17M in a decade. Adam sees a host of capital dedicated to the sector, but a shift from debt to equity. Avi said that for opportunistic investors, this is the most difficult asset class because it trades like bonds, and that despite unique opportunities that have popped up over the past year, product will be harder to find as both equity and investors return to the sector.
Now what, you ask, does this have to do with us? This is the base of 54-story 1515 Broadway, also known as 1 Astor Plaza, in the middle of Times Square. Here's a quiz. Is it: (1) the headquarters of MTV? (2) the headquarters of Viacom? (3) The NYC headquarters of Bisnow Media? The answer is ALL THREE! We moved here a couple weeks ago to great fanfare—we don't believe there were previously crowds in Times Square, although those windows on the second floor above are where Total Request Live used to be broadcast and sometimes fans would gather below for visiting stars. With Willis Group as inspiration, we believe our two desks on the 11th floor are enough to ask for large signage rights, so we're planning to replace that Britney Spears poster with pictures of our staff in similar attire.