Rudin Management Company Part 1
October 08, 2018
EisnerAmper Real Estate Services Group Chair Ken Weissenberg chats with CEO and vice chairman Bill Rudin and Samantha Rudin Earls of Rudin Management Company about how the condo market has changed since they started leasing The Greenwich Lane, the role of high-end amenities in marketing units, and designing unique family communities.
KW: It is absolutely stunning. I'm very impressed, and I wish I had the cash to buy a place like this. You were very much involved in Greenwich Lane, and its design, and it's at his construction. why don't you tell us how you got involved with the project.
SR: Well I actually went to NYU, and I graduated in 2006, and even before I started in real estate - my dad, who's amazing, he invited me to a meeting about St. Vincents. It was around 2006-2007 before we were even really involved. From the beginning learned about the project. We went through a long approvals process, and we partnered with St. Vincent's Hospital. We worked really hard to build a new hospital on the west side of Seventh Avenue. Then when they closed, they went into bankruptcy and closed. We were able to continue with the project and develop the condos on the East Side and so it's really been a long journey, and to be sitting here right now in our model apartment is almost like the cherry on top or the icing on top of the cake. It’s just been such an amazing process. I’m so happy that we're over 90 percent sold, and sort of at the end of the race. I'm actually probably going to be sad when it's all over because it's been one of the best experiences of my life.
KW: 90 percent sold is pretty amazing. Do you see any resistance in the condo market at this point, or is the markets still very strong do you think?
SR: So we opened our sales office, and we're now selling on the site now. But we opened our sales office in 2013, and it was really my dad who saw how hot the market was. We accelerated. We were like, we have to open our sales office and get going now because the appetite and the market was so strong. We did, and we started selling. We opened our sales office in October of 2013, and our momentum in the beginning was really strong. We’ve stayed pretty steady all the way through. With about 17 units left to sell. I should say I was thinking about this. We’re 90 percent sold but we still have a hundred percent good. You know, we still have a lot of great units left, and that's because Corcoran really released the in a strategic way. So we're in our model apartment right now which we had a party opening to open our model apartment on May 18th, and less than a month later this apartment’s in contract. So it's sold now, but we still have some great units left to sell. I think that the market the same as it was three years ago. It’s probably not a hundred percent the same, but we've stayed pretty much steady all the way through.
KW: That's terrific.
BR: We've had a very good steady showing of the apartments that we still have remaining. We’ve got four townhouses, we've got a few of these A-line apartments a couple of other little townhouses in the project and a few other apartments scattered about. So we're seeing very good activity, and I think what we learned very quickly was, and it was really I think part of our design philosophy- in working with Thomas O'Brien from Aero Studios and FX Val as our architects-that we designed this as a community, and really for families and individuals who wanted to be a part of a very unique environment. The fact that we were able to save all the buildings the facades on 12th Street; and then really everything was new from the exterior wall in. Then on 11th Street we saved one building, built the townhouses, and the building that we are in now we call the Tower. It’s 155 West 11th Street. Then knit them all together with the amenities that we have on the lower level. The first floor is very unique. we've got the gym we've got a pool, we've got health club like facilities, we've got a golf simulator, we've got the children's playroom that Samantha and Michael I think worked on in terms of making sure that it's totally kid-friendly.
SR: And eco-friendly.
BR: And eco-friendly. We’ve got a screening room, we've got a dining area with a chef's kitchen. So all of these amenities are really very important. I think it resonated with people who would want to live in New York City. 70 percent of our buyers are New Yorkers, 15 percent from Upper East Side, 15 percent from the West Side, 15 percent from the Village, and then the rest scattered out throughout the whole city. Then another 20 percent are domestic. Most of them from the tri-state area, some from California, some from the Midwest. The remaining 10 percent are foreigners. So the people who bought here predominantly are people going to live here. That to us is very gratifying because we're a family business, and we love families. We, in our rental business, we love taking somebody who's in a studio and then he or she, you know, finds a partner. That’s a one-bedroom, then has a kid takes a two-bedroom, has another kid and takes a three-bedroom and that's the way we've always run our business it's a very materialistic and paternalistic philosophy. We nurture our tenants and making sure that they're happy and they can grow with us. That was, I think, the philosophy behind the Greenwich Lane, and Samantha and Michael really brought a young sensibility to it. 10 years ago, when we started this project and they've evolved: they got married, they've had kids but their design sense and the things that they brought to the table, I think were very helpful. As were Corcoran Sunshine and James Lancel and his team, and the whole design team, and my cousin Eric, and the rest of the Rudin team. Really it was a great collaborative effort to create probably the most difficult time-consuming, but I think gratifying project, that we've worked on as a family together.
KW: Thank you.