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Yesterday at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn bigwigs gathered to talk about what’s next in their borough. On everyone’s mind, it seems, were apples—from edible ones to the Steve Jobs variety. (Fiona Apple and "One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds were not discussed.)
Lynne Brown and Joshua Muss at Brooklyn Historical Society on Feb. 7, 2012
At the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable event, we snapped NYU’s Lynne Brown and Muss Development’s Joshua Muss, who says his firm’s 345 Adams St is looking like it could be all food tenants with the likes of Sugar and Plumm, Panera, and American BBQ and Beer Co. He says Muss did talk to Apple once upon a time. The property's destiny, though, has become a foodie haven. Lynne explains that universities aren’t like other real estate developers. NYU, for instance, doesn’t have a compulsion to fill its land and air rights until there’s an educational need. At the same time, capacity shouldn't limit growth—all of which adds up to banking space.
Bob Sanna and Michael Pintchik at Brooklyn Historical Society on Feb. 7, 2012
Forest City Ratner’s Bob Sanna (with Pintchik prez Michael Pintchik, whose attention we just couldn’t grab no matter how hard we tried) says the prefab container housing going up around Barclays Center is the first of its kind to go so high (32 stories). He calls it “our iPhone moment” (there's that Apple again)—new technology that changes the way things have always been done. Michael says retail rents along Flatbush Avenue are already pushing $100/SF, and offers are far exceeding that directly across from Barclays Center. For his firm’s holdings stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Atlantic Avenue, the company is “not big on chains” and wants to maintain the area’s local, quirky, edgy flavor.
We also snapped Brooklyn Borough prez Marty Markowitz, who heralded NYU’s entrance into Brooklyn through a merger with Polytechnic as of the times. As for NYU’s other campuses: “Greenwich Village is soooo ’60s” ('well that's true,' we say as we play bongos and read free form poetry in berets and turtlenecks), and Abu Dhabi is “way outer borough.” He can’t fathom why Brooklyn and its creative denizens don’t merit an Apple store, but barring that, how about an Apple manufacturing facility, he wonders. What he wants from BK developers: housing for active adults, the Empty Nesters who want the urban lifestyle.
Paul Tocci, Stephen Palmese, and Ross Spitalnick at Brooklyn Historical Society on Feb. 7, 2012
The Constellation Group CEO Paul Tocci (flanked by Massey Knakal's Stephen Palmese and Muss Development's Ross Spitalnick) hit the Van Gogh exhibit and some great restaurants in Philly last weekend. He also recently met a colleague at the Brooklyn Morton's, where he has a wine locker. (That's a place where wine goes to change, throw on a towel, and catch some time in the sauna.) Good thing that he satisfied the steak urge while he could, he says, since Morton's (in a Muss property) was one of several locations nationwide that closed a few days later.