All-Star Panel Discusses Emerging Real Estate Trends in the Borough
On July 25, the Yeshiva University Real Estate Executive Circle, a membership-based organization that brings together real estate professionals who share a common interest in supporting YU and its values, held a panel discussion on emerging real estate trends in the borough of Brooklyn.
The event was hosted by Yaakov Sheinfeld ’03SB at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, and moderated by Michael Stoler of Madison Realty Capital and president of New York Real Estate TV. The panel featured Ofer Cohen (TerraCRG), Jason Muss ’93YC (Muss Development LLC), Michael Ridloff (Vanke Holdings USA LLC) and Paul Travis (Washington Square Partners).
In his opening remarks, Ari Hirt ’84YUHS, ’88YC of Mission Capital Advisors and chair of the Executive Circle, noted how the Circle “connects successful, liked-minded real estate professionals through high-quality programming and networking events.
Under Stoler’s astute questioning, the four panelists shared their observations about the achievable profits for residential and commercial real estate in Brooklyn. On the residential side, as Ridloff noted, “we’re not 57th Street,” a reference to the mega-residential structures on that thoroughfare, “but we look to build more in line with the kind of lives Brooklyners lead.” To Muss, that life is not only defined by the younger generations living in Park Slope and Fort Greene but also by the groups that have made places like Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay their homes.
Panelists noted the shift away from Manhattan elitism and more enthusiasm for the outer borough, with new companies now establishing themselves in Brooklyn, rather than starting in Manhattan and migrating over the bridge, and even Manhattan-based companies moving to Brooklyn to be closer to their employees.
Still, presenters observed, there are challenges unique to Brooklyn, especially with the redevelopment of large sites such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which might not be quite right for commercial or residential development. Other topics covered during the discussion included new commercial development, like the Dekalb Market Hall, in the revitalized downtown area, and transportation concerns specific to Brooklyn.
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University, was in attendance for the discussion and called out the importance of organizations like the Executive Circle to YU’s long-term future. “One of the great reasons to go to Yeshiva University,” Dr. Berman said, “is that you will know throughout your life that there’s a network of people who are willing to help you and be there for you, to connect and network with you, and that you will be okay, you will be taken care of, and that there’s a family that surrounds you. This activity is of crucial importance, and we should use it as a model for all of our groups at the University.”
Executive Circle Chair Hirt added that networking is not only important for the Circle’s individual members but is also an “opportunity to support Yeshiva University, the premiere Modern Orthodox educational and communal service institution.” The four successful industry events held during the Circle’s first year “have brought together many big players in the industry while raising much-needed funds for YU,” he said.