Ziel Feldman - HFZ Capital Group Part 1
October 10, 2018
HFZ Capital Group Chairman and Founder Ziel Feldman sat down with EisnerAmper Real Estate Services Group Partner Lisa Knee to discuss the origins of HFZ, one of the most prolific condominium developers in New York City.
LK: Let's start with the simple question of HFZ. We know that it's named after you and your wife and how did you come up with that name for starting with Helene first?
ZF: Well behind every decent man is a great woman right? HFZ came about because my dad, who's alive, had a company called “ZHT”, which stands for Ziel, Hesseh, and Temal, my sister. So just following in his in his footsteps we decided to come up with a name that reflected, at the time, my wife and myself and the family name.
LK: You started off in the industry as a real estate attorney for six years and living through the height of ’87, how great everything was here and dipping in a little bit into the recession. What made you at that point, going through the cycles of being a real estate attorney here in New York, decide that you want to be a developer?
ZF: You know, so my family is in the textile business I spent one summer there lifting a piece goods, they’re jobbers. And I was so unhappy with running a forklift which was a great physical task but kind of kind of thoughtless and so that drove me to law school. I went to law school and my passion was always real estate. My father had bought a few daycare centers when I was growing and I practiced law in a very kinetic time, it was 1984 through 1990. So again, real estate is full of cycles and that was the first cycle and an experience coming out of the recession of an oil crisis of ‘78 through ’82. When I graduated law school, real estate was just dying to kick up after the financial crisis, well generated crisis from the late 70s, early 80s.