Himmel + Meringoff's Andrea Himmel On How To Buy Low In New York City
Bisnow's podcast, Make Yourself At Home, hears from members of the commercial real estate industry about how they are managing this new reality and gaining insight into their day-to-day approaches. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.
On this episode, we speak to Andrea Himmel, the director of acquisitions at Himmel + Meringoff Properties. The company, which her mother, Leslie Himmel, co-founded in 1985, has acquired and repositioned more than 50 commercial properties over the years.
Andrea joined the firm in 2018 — after her mother initially insisted she work elsewhere. She said on the podcast the company still believes in the strength of the New York City office market, even as availability levels reach record highs.
“The availability right now of office space in New York City is 16% — historically it's been about 11%,” she said. “The urban exodus is real, but we think a fair amount of it will return."
The firm has been trying to work with its tenants, including coworking firms that are in trouble, but it also has its eye out for buying opportunities. She admits vast numbers of New Yorkers have left the city, but expects that to be a trend that will reverse itself.
“We’ve lost at least 100,000 New Yorkers to the suburban exodus. If you track the social media data, then you can see a lot of them are staying within families. That is not a sustainable pattern,” she said. "We haven’t returned to normalcy in New York … We are starting to see moments of inspiration. We’ve been through lots of cycles before. We’re willing and able to sustain the downturn.”