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Family Business, Hard Work, Imagination, and Real Estate

As Mark Meinberg interviewed the Beechwood Organization’s Steven Dubb at EisnerAmper’s 2018 Long Island Business Summit, he began by noting the difficulties of succession planning as family businesses transition to the next generation, and congratulated Steven on Beechwood’s success. Steven deadpanned “we haven’t fully transitioned yet,” setting the tone for a fast-moving, insightful, and often humorous conversation focused on the challenges of succession as well as doing business on Long Island.

Steven credited his father’s encouragement and the close proximity of their desks to have allowed him to “drink from the fire hose,” absorbing as much of his father’s business practices as he could. He stressed the importance of the “family relationship stay[ing] at home” in order to keep things as professional as possible when working with family.

In an effort to overcome pre-judged notions of entitlement, Steven resolved to be the first-in last-out at the office and sought to earn the respect of his colleagues. Steven began by utilizing his previous work experience in finance and ramped up his involvement in Beechwood’s business until he ultimately took ownership of projects. Perhaps most importantly, he takes pride in being a part of the Beechwood Organization’s continued success.

Doing business on Long Island presents its challenges, he noted. Bureaucracy and local regulations have either stymied or added costs to projects, and our high real estate taxes serve as a headwind. “So why so much success? What is your secret?” asked Mark. Steven credited Beechwood’s ability to reimagine and redevelop properties that are past their use, while simultaneously figuring out how to grow and scale without losing quality. He discussed their recent foray into the high-end rental market, despite the stigma previously associated with rental housing. That, and “we build the best house.”

As Beechwood looks to the future of Long Island, Steven believes they will look to downtowns that need revitalization and seek to create denser housing in a continued effort to reimagine those areas. In the short term, though, “selling houses” is Steven’s goal. However, with an eye to the future: Steven noted that while recent changes in tax law have not made much of an impact on Beechwood’s business as of yet, he looked forward to the opportunity to come back to next year’s Summit to give us an update.  

Mr. Rackman is a Tax Senior in the Real Estate Private Equity Group with 5+ years of experience in the tax aspects of partnerships. He also provides tax compliance, planning, and advisory services to high net worth individuals and families.

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