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New York
There was a bounce in the steps of the 500 members at REBNY' s quarterly luncheon yesterday at the Hilton, according to Vornado's Glenn Weiss who moderated a panel of top execs, and we saw that bounce at the end, thanks to increasingly positive market views.
Kevin Wang and Vornado's Glen Weiss (standing) with RCG Longview’s Christopher LaBianca, Eastern Consolidated’s David Schectman
Luncheon chairman Kevin Wang and Glenn (standing) with the panel: RCG Longview's Christopher LaBianca, Eastern Consolidated's David Schectman, and The Durst Org.'s Jody Durst. David, who just closed on Brooklyn's 20 Henry St., a 60k residential conversion, gave us a case study of the building to describe the changing market. Two years ago, he was looking for equity to replace AIG's position, and had a lot of conversations with equity players that led nowhere. Interest finally piqued recently, and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds inked a $15M deal, now construction has finally commenced on the 39-unit project. Fervor has returned, and people are looking for opportunities, he said. Chris notes his firm has a $600M debt fund it's currently investing, and also plans to participate in the deleveraging of the capital stack.
REBNY Quarterly Luncheon at the Hilton, 10/05/10
In the office market, Jody sees reduced concessions and prices increasing slightly. Residential was painfully competitive for a while, he says, but now most of its projects are achieving good rates, which have increased over the past four or five months. People are renting, he adds, especially the legal industry, Wall Street execs, and empty nesters. Overall, New York's barrier to entry has been diminutive, said David, who noted well-capitalized foreign entities are interested in our product's he recently helped an Austrian national purchase five parking garages. But we're still provincial in NY, and people can't break in here as easily as a market like Dallas.