Legendary developer Larry Silverstein, chairman of Silverstein Properties, shared his insights on current events and their impact on the real estate industry during an event hosted by the NYC chapter of Coenet Global at 3 World Trade Center.
Dino Fusco, COO at Silverstein Properties, discussed a range of topics with the developer, from the process of rebuilding New York City 20 years after September 11, to the City’s ongoing pandemic recovery.
Silverstein also provided his insights regarding the overall impact COVID has had on the real estate community, which has only recently begun to heal from a volatile and unpredictable two years.
Among his comments, Silverstein reflected on a time when many members of the industry advised him that companies would never want to work or lease space downtown following the attacks of 9/11. However, despite believing himself to be nearing retirement at the time, Silverstein said that he felt it was his obligation to rebuild the World Trade Center in spite of the complications that the project entailed.
In the face of mixed feelings from the public, City and government at the time, Silverstein announced his plans to rebuild soon thereafter. With the City’s real estate industry today facing another era of unprecedented changes, Silverstein remains decidedly faithful in its ability to recover.
Much of this faith was placed in the resilience of the Downtown area. Silverstein emphasized the area’s uniqueness and ability to adapt, remarking on the way it has changed with the times:
“Today’s Downtown is filled with many young families, apartments and new offices,” he said. “The work-live ratio is also particularly unique in that many who live downtown also work in the neighborhood. The environment is completely different and new, displaying how much hope there is to be had in New York City coming back from tragedies and challenges – and unfortunately, similar to today’s recovery from this historic health pandemic.”
“As an organization, we were beyond honored to host Mr. Silverstein at this event,” said Tommy O’Halloran, Vice President of Business Development at Structure Tone and CoreNet NYC Chapter President., “His name has become synonymous with New York City real estate and his work has quite literally shaped the City’s iconic skyline as well as the Downtown of Manhattan that we know today. It is impossible to imagine what New York would look like without his contributions, and the insights he shared with us provided a broad overview of what we can expect from the real estate industry as we enter the post-pandemic world and bring employees back to the office.”