Ziel Feldman - HFZ Capital Group Part 3

October 10, 2018

HFZ Capital Group Chairman and Founder Ziel Feldman discusses his current projects in Detroit with EisnerAmper Real Estate Services Group Partner Lisa Knee in Part 3 of this series.


Lisa Knee: A lot of your projects are in New York and they seem to be in clusters of areas. Whether it's Upper West Side, you know, a couple projects on the High Line, and Upper East Side but I think what people don't know so much is that you're willing to take a chance and go off of Manhattan and go outside of New York. And for a Michigan girl and seeing a New York developer partnering up with a group in Detroit and taking on a building which is so iconic like the Fisher building and the Con building, even though they were both designed by Icon. But those two buildings for someone who grew up there are so iconic and such a great skyline of Michigan so it was exciting to see that you guys are making this investment in Detroit and seeing some excitement in Detroit. So if you could talk about that project and what your expectations are and what you hope and maybe we'll have like a big Detroit revitalization going on.

Ziel Feldman: Well the Detroit revitalization is going on and…


LK: It is going on, it’s happening. You didn’t hear it here first, but it is happening.

ZF: And Dan Gilbert has single handedly, it’s definitely happening. I mean my son went to University of Michigan and a professor showed him these buildings a few years ago and he thought they would be coming up for sale because they would somewhat distress and four years ago I was afraid to get in the car to look at the baby frankly. Fast forward a couple years, it's changed dramatically. But what really attracted us was doing the buildings themselves. Again, we're all about architecture mixing old with new. Fisher Con buildings are recognized as one of the few leading national landmarks in the country. It's a building that has actually won all kinds of architecture awards. It's a home of Art Deco and Motown. So it really fits into our brand where we want to be the best in kind and in locations, but primarily the architecture and the herriman light. So taking a building and we, we were very lucky in which it sold on Auction.com and we got it for think a lot less than we anticipated. But our plan is essentially we've been renovating the building and renting up the Fisher building and now we're entertaining converting the Con building to residential. We have interest from many retailers. We have interests, we have one of the nicest theaters in the country. A lot of good things are happening there but it's part of the same program of identifying assets that are undervalued but have something very special about them.

About Lisa Knee

Lisa Knee is a Tax Partner and National leader of the firm's Real Estate practice and the National Real Estate Private Equity Group with expertise in the hotel, real estate, financial services, aviation and restaurant sectors and is a member of AICPA, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Bar Association.

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