Recently, my family’s company, The Swig Company, in conjunction with our partner Himmel + Meringoff Properties, signed a new 180,000 square foot lease at one of our New York City properties at 1460 Broadway with the tenant WeWork. This lease spans for 19 years and the tenant will occupy the entire building except for 35,000 square feet which includes the ground, second and third floors which will be occupied by a major retail tenant. I wish my heartfelt congratulations to Leslie Himmel and Steve Meringoff for their incredible efforts and hard work to make this wonderful deal happen!
This Saturday April 4th, I visited Dia Beacon, a contemporary art museum that opened in May 2003 that occupies 300,000 square feet within a former industrial building situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York. Dia presents a vast range of artworks by an array of some of the most significant artists from the last half century in an incredible venue comprised uniquely and largely of all natural and indirect lighting. Dia’s space allows the works of art to be curated within a large and open setting and affords the museum the opportunity to show a depth of works from each artist that is rarely seen in other museums; the result is spectacular!
On March 16th, Brown Harris Stevens held its annual meeting for our Palm Beach office. The meeting was held in the Gold Room in the Breaker’s Hotel and was attended by all of our agents in the Palm Beach area led by Ava Van de Water (Executive Vice President) along with our New York executives Will Zeckendorf (Co-Chairman), Bess Freedman (EVP/Managing Director of Sales & Business Development), and Gerry Makowski (Executive Director of Marketing). Also in attendance was Dan Conn (CEO of Christie’s Great Estates) who spoke about the wonderful relationship that Brown Harris Stevens has with Christie’s and congratulated us on being the number one affiliate in terms of gross revenue production in the entire network of over 1300 affiliated companies and 33 000 agents. As we celebrated our 17th year of operation in the Palm Beach market, we acknowledged the great year that we had in 2014 which was partly made possible by the four-fold expansion of our Worth Avenue offices. We look forward to another great year in 2015!
On January 28th, I attended the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Alliance for Downtown New York, one of the first Building Improvements Districts (BIDs) in New York City and on whose board of directors I participate. I cannot believe that this BID is now 20 years old and looking back over these 20 years, it is amazing how many wonderful achievements have been accomplished! The evening was a great success and I was so thrilled to participate in the gala and see my good friend, Robert Douglas, be honored as he has been the Chairman of the Downtown Alliance since its founding. Congratulations to the Downtown Alliance and a special congratulations and thank you to Bob Douglas for his insights, efforts, strong leadership, and immense caring!!
The recent article in the February 2015 issue of Vogue magazine follows on the heels of the recent move of Conde Naste into One World Trade Center, all of which high lights the incredible transformation of the Lower Manhattan and FiDi, the acronym that I coined for the Financial District. I have been actively working in this area since 1998 when I first purchased 48 Wall Street and have eagerly been waiting for over a decade for an article like this to be written! It is such wonderful news for FiDi, Lower Manhattan and all of New York City!
We certainly live in a dangerous world and fortunately, New York City ranks among the safest large cities in the United States, if not the world. This is because of the public and political support that has been given to the NYPD combined with the dedication and diligence of the NYPD officers who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our city and its citizens. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the middle of a great deal of tension between Mayor de Blassio and the NYPD, which is causing significant problems for NYC and the safety and protection of our citizens. It is certainly time to put aside these tensions and for the Mayor to fully and openly recognize the heroic efforts of the NYPD and say so publically. This does not mean that mistakes have been and will be made by the NYPD, but these mistake need to be put into perspective in terms of the overall performance of the entire NYPD and of all of their good work and efforts on the whole.
So, I share with you the lined article written by former Police Commissioner Howard Safir who, once again, has a wonderful viewpoint on this subject.
Recently I witnessed a spectacular hour long sunset in the Hamptons which literally comprised a 360 degree sunset with magnificent coloration in all directions.