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Deals & Dealmakers Residential

Developers make hay during market upswing

By Dan Orlando

Developer Francis Greenburger is riding the market’s upswing while the going is good.

“You never know when the bell is gonna ring here,” said Greenburger of market timing during a panel at the Massey Knakal Multifamily Summit last week.

“However, in our business you have to make money while the sun shines. You have to have enough money to survive when it gets really dark outside. So it’s kind of dual strategy. You have to choose your timing.”


Greenburger was speaking on a panel — moderated by Holland & Knight’s Stuart Saft — that included Macklowe Properties chairman Harry Macklowe, John Cetra, founding principal of CetraRuddy Architecture, Ziel Feldman, founder of HFZ Capital Group, and Stephen Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing, and focused on the importance of viewing development through a long-term lens.

Currently developing the 63-story luxury apartment tower 50 West in the Financial District, Greenburger’s Time Equities, acquired $400 million in financing for the project last summer. That investment in the revitalization of the Financial District has been paying off since sales launched in July, and have included an $18 million penthouse deal.


Further uptown, apartments in Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park start at nearly $17 million. The developer believes luxury currently knows no bounds in New York. “What we’ve seen is over the past 36 months, perhaps even a little longer than that, what I will call locational barriers have been totally compromised,” said Macklowe, who began drawing up plans to develop 432 Park Avenue, the largest residential structure in the Western Hemisphere, during the recession.

“We’ve seen development in the periphery; we’ve seen it in the center,” he continued. “We’ve seen it on the Upper East Side, West Side, we’ve seen it on the Lower East Side. We’ve seen it in Long Island City, we’ve seen it in Queens.”

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