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Housing Honchos

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Housing Honchos
Simon Ziff of Ackman-Ziff, New York Community Bank’s James Carpenter, The Witkoff Group’s Scott Alper, The Parkoff Org.’s Adam Parkoff, and Phipps Houses’ Adam Weinstein
What do the masters of multifamily have to say about the market? We joined YMBA yesterday at the Union League Club to find out from moderator Simon Ziff of Ackman-Ziff, New York Community Bank’s James Carpenter, The Witkoff Group’s Scott Alper, The Parkoff Org.’s Adam Parkoff, and Phipps Houses’ Adam Weinstein. Multifamily still has better lending terms, at 70-75% LTV, versus 65% for commercial, according to James, who says NYCB will look at development equity at 40-45%—the only risk it’s taking is market and completion risk. Cheap land from the City is no more for affordable housing builders, notes Adam W. from the non-profit side. There’s a significant benefit to acquire property with income restrictions, which gives tax credits for acquisition or construction.
YMBA board with Simon Ziff of Ackman-Ziff, New York Community Bank’s James Carpenter, The Witkoff Group’s Scott Alper, The Parkoff Org.’s Adam Parkoff, and Phipps Houses’ Adam Weinstein
YMBA’s new board members with the speakers. Scott told the crowd that his firm’s focus is on multifamily and hospitality properties in NYC and South Florida, and has been debt-driven over the past year. On the other hand, Parkoff is staying away from debt, Adam P. notes, and is looking for prime properties in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, which are difficult to find: “Our feeling is that too much debt can go wrong....Your future can’t be decided by a third party.” It recently closed on two properties in the Upper East Side and Gramercy Park, and has another in the works. How do you work with a lender? James says NYCB prefers broker-originated deals, which is more efficient than direct. It’s important to establish a relationship with lenders on the team and learn their likes/dislikes, he says.