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The 2012 Owners Magazine

The 2012 Owners Magazine

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Published by NewYorkObserver

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Published by: NewYorkObserver on Sep 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 magazine 2012 |
“Rommel, you magnifcent bastard, I read your book!” —General George S. Patton
hether the story is true remains unclear, butlegend has it that in a gambit that changed thecourse o history, General George S. Patton was able to get the better o his adversary 
Erwin Rommel during the North Arica campaign o World War II because he had read a tactical manual the German military strategist had written. In his book
Infanterie Greift 
(“Inantry Attacks”) Rommel describes hisdesert warare tactics in painstaking detail, and General Patton,having read it, was able to predict the movements o the Germantroops and gain a decisive upper hand.While we make no claim to authoring the real estate industry’sversion o 
Infanterie Greift 
, we at
The Commercial Observer 
strongly  believe that knowing what makes the competition tick is hal the battle. And while it’s a stretch to compare a ve-star general to real-estate icons like Stephen Ross, the similarities are worth noting.Between them, Manhattan’s raternity o commercial real estatelandlords control a purported 400 million square eet o property,employ an arsenal o thousands o employees and pay literally  billions in property taxes. It’s or those reasons and more that titanslike Mr. Ross, Marc Holliday and Donald Trump command outsizeattention rom elected ocials, who look to them to eed city andstate coers. Meanwhile, the industry’s periphery o architects, dirtlawyers, accountants and engineers seek their business, and agencieslike the city Landmarks Preservation Commission curtail them atevery stop.In short, anyone who crosses their path seems to want a piece o the modern-day landlord.It was with such large stakes in mind that
The Commercial Observer 
 set o to chronicle the lie and times, struggles and substantive issueso Manhattan’s hundreds o commercial real estate owners, rom theproperty tax increases that continue to impact the bottom line tothe ballooning list o city measures proposed or enacted that makesoperating a building more challenging and costly than ever beore.Indeed, with the help o real estate services rm Cassidy Turley, we crunched the numbers to determine just how quickly thoseoperating costs add up in Midtown Manhattan, while
sta writer Daniel Geiger took a closer look at the city’smysterious tax assessment ormula and how, despite no property tax hikes in more than a decade, real estate collections continue toskyrocket—nearly double what they were in the salad days beore the21
century arrived.Meanwhile,
Mortgage Observer 
editor Carl Gaines sat down withthe scions o some o Manhattan’s oldest real estate dynasties tolearn whether their empires were continuing to fourish or, rather,struggling under the weight o competing real estate investmenttrusts and other young upstarts. And
Commercial Observer 
sta writerDaniel Edward Rosen rounds out the mix with a prole o LeslieWohlman Himmel, a principal o Himmel + Meringo Propertiesand one o the city’s very ew emale landlords. Read his story tounderstand why so ew women compete in such a male-dominatedindustry, but also see psychologist Mark Banschick’s column on whatdrives men to build.Freelance writer Ian Thomas aimed a wide lens at the real estatelandscape in general and ound that, while the economy is improving,many owners still aren’t willing to break out the champagne futes justyet. However, in a separate eature on the city’s smaller owners—those who own less than 1 million square eet, or example—the subjectsvoice a sense o hope and promise, i also continued uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential elections. And speaking o those elections, the heart o this year’s
is a eature we’ve dubbed The Owners Inquisition, a Proust-like questionnaire submitted to the city’s biggest and boldestcommercial real estate owners covering everything rom avoritevacation getaway to election predictions.Those questionnaires, roughly 50 accumulated over the past twosummer months, act as a who’s who o the commercial real estateindustry and, as such, a roster o Manhattan’s power elite and a veritable eld guide or battle coming into 3Q12.
 Jotham Sederstrom,, Editor-in-Chief 

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