Your New Year's Resolutions
We've had so much fun covering the market for another year and getting to know all of you through your deals and emails. Every time you read us, every news tip you send, every interview you grant us, and every joke you chuckle at is a gift to us. Our New Year's resolution is to keep it coming! (And join a gym, of course.) Here are yours:
Rockrose, famous for forming neighborhoods in NYC and DC and ramping up its office presence in both of late, had a good 2013 (it has 3.8M SF of residential and 3M SF in the pipeline). Heading into 2014, company prez Justin Elghanayan (whom we dramatically snapped above) wishes for a continuation of NYC's 421(a) tax benefits for 80/20 housing, which encourages rental development in general by keeping housing costs down, he says. He'd also like to see an end to the state's Scaffold Law, which places full liability for construction accidents on the owner (a vestige from a time before workers' comp). The resulting skyrocketing insurance is discouraging development and thus construction jobs, he says.
Justin would love NYC to upzone more, especially in low industrial-activity areas, which aligns with his plans to look for large, long-term development sites for residential in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In 2014, Rockrose will continue Phase 2 of one such site in Long Island City, the 2,500-unit Court Square development (above, the 709-unit Linc LIC, which launched leasing this summer). His personal New Year's resolution: 20 minutes of yoga a day (and to include a yoga room in Rockrose's next project), as well as finishing the final season of Dexter before someone spills the beans on the ending.
Midwest-based Village Green CEO Jonathan Holtzman wants the executive team to increase its influence on the company as it celebrates its 95th year in business. (It doesn't look a day over 83.) He's looking for better customer service from the government in 2014. He also hopes developers, lenders, and equity investors recognize there are other cities in the US that need rental housing, so the markets that are overexposed, oversupplied, and oversold receive fewer apartments than the cities that are underserved and underappreciated. Village Green will continue to focus on hospitality, improving service to renters, partners, and clients. During his time off in Mexico, Jonathan worked on turning off the cell phone, making zero commitments, waking up and sleeping by choice, reading, and relaxing.
Bozzuto Group CEO Tom Bozzuto (snapped with Hillary Rodham Clinton after interviewing the former Secretary at the NMHC conference in April) doesn't really have a resolution per se, but more of a prediction for 2014: Increased competition in the multifamily marketplace will force developers, owners, and managers to "make sure we're not resting on our laurels," with new and existing product. (Rest is for babies and kids in college who think they have it really tough.) Internally, Tom says execution is a big goal for Bozzuto in the new year, with tons of new units under construction or in the pipeline on the East Coast.