One-On-One with RXR Realty CEO and Chairman Scott Rechler

EisnerAmper Real Estate Services Group Chair Ken Weissenberg speaks with RXR Realty CEO and Chairman Scott Rechler in the inaugural video in the series. Rechler, referred to by Crain's New York as "the smartest guy in the real estate boom," shares his take on making a project re-imagining an important building work in the most famous part of New York, how doing business in New York appeals to office tenants, and the future of development in downtown Manhattan.


Ken Weissenberg: Scott, we’re on top of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, one of your latest projects. Can you tell us a little about some of the iconic projects that you're involved with right now?

Scott Rechler: Our view is around New York City and around Manhattan, there is more demand for 21st century office space than there is supply and today we have the same amount of office spaces we had 20 years ago. The average age of office space is 80 years old and if you can find gems like a 75 Rock, like a 230 Park, a 237 Park, Starrett Lehigh, Pier 57, that are these great buildings and repurpose and respect their past , accentuate their past , but at the same time bring them to the point where they work for the 21st century that I think is something that is going to be an extraordinary addition to the market for the tenants and for the community in terms of what New York is all about and the essence of New York.

The most important ingredient is talent and New York City is a magnet for talent from people around the world and the numbers prove that out. If you look at our work stats at the highest level record levels, population growth record levels, tourism growth record levels. As people come in, that attracts companies that want to take advantage of that talent. We've seen that with Google, we've seen that with the YouTube, with the Facebook. We've seen that with the Cadillacs and the Johnson and Johnson and the more traditional companies that want to capture that talent to help build their businesses. You know, capture their innovation and build their brand to sell their products throughout the world.

We purchased the Starrett Lehigh in 2010 for just under a billion dollars. Tenants like Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hugo Boss still came to that building even though we didn't have good public transportation. Even though it was more treated like a Class B office building. Our premise was to re-energize the creativity that was taking place behind the doors of those tenants and bring it into the common area and make that building a magnet for more creative tenants that we want to go there.

Kenneth Weissenberg CPA, Tax Partner in Real Estate Services, is experienced in tax saving strategies and negotiating sales and acquisitions. He represents owners of some of the most well-known real estate properties in New York City.

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