The 4th New Development Forum held by The Real Deal magazine, led by publisher Amir Korangy packed the house yet again, the second consecutive year the event was hosted at this venue.

Larry Silverstein, the storied developer and owner of the World Trade site, shared insight and his vision for the downtown market. After all, tomorrow is 9/11.

I was initially concerned because most of the panelists have commercial rather than residential real estate backgrounds. But they spoke in the context of both and it was very informative. I did miss Mark Zandi, founder of whom I greatly admire for his analytical insights, who had to cancel at the last minute.

Stream of consciousness:

* Amir, you are unable to think small. Congratulations once again for pulling off another one.
* Stuart – I met your parents – don’t worry, I put in a good word.
* Lauren – keep the web site going, but still call.
* Brian – You’ve got the richest voice in business news television and can moderate with the best of them.
* Cathy – the plum color worked – thanks for keeping me in my place.
* Lock & Josh – Offering a great vehicle for listing advertising, better yet, Josh with a tie on (if Lock wore one = end of the world).
* 30 second advertisement onstage before the event showed Bruce at C&W and me 120 times (at last count) on the big screen.
* The best Real Deal bag yet – to replace last year’s model.
* Happy that the audience was very supportive of the opening sponsors.
* 3,000 attendees suggests real estate is not dead in New York, no?
* I ran into my attorney at the show.
* Larry taught us all the importance of cycles and taking the long view – and we knew he was right.
* Larry thinks that luxury development prices, on an average sales price basis, will be higher next year than this year.
* Bob emphasized segmentation and shared a 1% cap rate story. He knows his craft.
* Steven was particularly articulate, being the first to be open about looming problems and answering my question about the new development pipeline.
* Charles recently learned how to calculated IRR but probably has a higher IRR than hedge funds that live and die by formulas like cap rates.
* Barbara continues to radiate – her marketing contrarianism can intrigue.
* Don is looking at a $13M penthouse and was by far the most bullish on Manhattan – it’ll be back in a year?
* Michael Shvo was at the event – he was the main draw card at the 2nd forum held at Cooper Square two years ago. That one sold out too.
* Ran into a former dotcom era real estate development guy who lost millions (of other peoples money) but is doing very well now.
* Paul, with beard, is itching to be a major player again in the brokerage business.
* After asking my question to the panel, 2 people in line behind me told me I asked their question.
* It is apparent that the audience has come to terms with the new market reality.
* Don’t hold your breath, real estate is still first in the New York conversation.

And that’s the real deal.

One Comment

  1. Jeff Bernheisel September 11, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Glad to hear Real Estate is not dead in NY… Planning the Inman News Global Connect for January, and expect to see many of you there!


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