In Person - The Forefront of the Evolution of Real Estate: Dinner w. Scott Rechler, Chairman & CEO of RXR Realty
Scott Rechler is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR, one of the largest owners, managers, and developers of real estate and infrastructure in the New York metropolitan region.
With an aggregate gross asset value of approximately $20.5 billion, comprising approximately 25.5 million square feet of commercial properties, a multi-family portfolio of approximately 6,000 units, RXR seeks to build and create stronger communities within its buildings and within the areas where it operates. As Chairman and CEO, Scott believes that RXR’s success is inextricably linked to the health and vitality of the broader community.
As an appointee of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, from 2011 to 2016, Scott served on the Board of Commissioners as Vice Chairman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He later served at the request of Governor Cuomo on the Board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from 2017 to 2019.
In addition to his role at RXR, Scott currently serves as chair of the Regional Plan Association, trustee and Vice Chair of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), a Board member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and a member of the NYU Real Estate Institute Advisory Committee. Scott also serves on the Board of the Tribeca Film Institute, where he serves as its co-Chair, the board of directors for the Drum Major Institute, and the board of directors for Convene.
Scott is a graduate of Clark University and the New York University Schack Institute.
Simon Ziff serves as president of Ackman-Ziff, a position he assumed in 1995. Since joining the firm as an analyst in 1989, Simon has overseen the arrangement of $80+ billion of debt, mezzanine, and equity financings for some of the nation’s foremost real estate developers and owners while simultaneously solidifying the firm’s relationships with key capital sources. He engineered the firm’s collaborative culture – a magnet for financial talent – and directed Ackman-Ziff’s evolution as an industry thought leader with over 60 professionals on the team.
Simon received a B.S. in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University. He has been recognized on multiple occasions by Penn State, NYU, and the Real Estate Board of New York, including being awarded REBNY’s first “Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year” Award”, receiving the “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year” award six times, and winning the prestigious Louis Smadbeck award.
Simon has also been active in leadership roles of many not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Farkas was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Insignia Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:IFS), a global real estate services company that he founded in 1990 and was merged with CB Richard Ellis in July 2003 to form the world’s largest commercial real estate services company. At its peak, Insignia was the largest owner and operator of multifamily residential housing and among the largest owners and operators of commercial space in the United States, owning, controlling or managing approximately 275,000 apartments and over 200 million square feet of commercial space.
Immediately subsequent to Mr. Farkas’ merging of Insignia with CBRE in 2003, he founded Island Capital Group, an international merchant banking firm specializing in real estate investing, real estate operating businesses, and real estate securities. Island Capital presently owns controlling interests in a number of businesses which manage, in the aggregate, approximately $5 billion assets and since inception has been a named servicer for over $240 billion of mortgage capital. Among these are C-III Capital Partners, a leading commercial real estate investment management and services company engaged in a broad range of activities, and Island Global Yachting, the leading owner and operator of yachting oriented resorts in the western hemisphere.
Mr. Farkas is an avid philanthropist, sailor and cook. He is a founding board member of More Than a Vote (www.morethanavote.org), and supports and is involved in The Fresh Air Fund, Playwrights of New York (PONY), The Arthur Miller Foundation, NARAL, the ASPCA, AMFAR, The Doe Fund, The Young Women’s Leadership Network, Trinity School, Harvard University, and various other health, education, and welfare oriented charities. He serves as Graduate Chairman of the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 (www.hastypudding.org). The Hasty Pudding Institute resides at Farkas Hall, one of the primary performing arts centers at Harvard University, so named in connection with a major gift given to the University by Mr. Farkas.
Mr. Farkas received a B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1982, where he majored in economics.
Mr. Bendit is co-founder/co-chief executive officer of Taconic Investment Partners. He and Paul Pariser seek out investment, repositioning and workout opportunities and lead all capital market relationships. The pair are directly involved in all aspects of the five million-square-foot commercial and 3,000 unit residential portfolio. They have successfully directed the sponsorship, acquisition, repositioning and/or redevelopment of key properties in both established and emerging markets.
Prior to forming Taconic, Mr. Bendit founded CBC Properties, where he acquired, repositioned and managed more than one million square feet of office properties in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as several hundred apartment units in the New York metropolitan area. Earlier in his career he was a managing director at Jones Lang Wootton, where he was responsible for property acquisitions, sales and financing for the firm's international clientele, with a focus on New York, Washington, D.C., and Toronto. In these latter two cities he established JLW's regional offices and business platforms.
A graduate of George Washington University, Mr. Bendit is actively involved in the educational community serving as a Regent of the New York State Board of Education and as a board member of PENCIL, including participation in its annual Principal for a Day program
Mr. Schlank is a Founder and Managing Partner of Savanna. At Savanna, Mr.
Schlank sits on the Investment Committee and is responsible for overseeing
sourcing, acquisitions, asset management, sales, marketing and construction/
development. Mr. Schlank has overseen the acquisition and redevelopment of
more than 75 real estate assets, comprising over 20 million square feet of space
and over $4 billion of total invested capital, including apartments, office
buildings, industrial to residential conversions, retail and warehouse/distribution
properties, and raw land development sites. Prior to founding Savanna, Mr.
Schlank was a project manager for the Westside Federation for Senior Housing,
a New York-based developer of low-income housing. Mr. Schlank received an MS
in Real Estate Development from the Columbia School of Architecture and a BA
in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Schlank has served as
an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he has taught a
seminar in Real Estate Finance to graduate students in the Columbia
Architecture School’s Real Estate Master’s Degree Program.
Eran Polack is CEO and Co-Founder of HAP Investments, an international, full-service real estate investment and development company with a focus on projects in emerging and prime neighborhoods throughout the New York metropolitan area. HAP Investments has acquired, designed and developed a diverse portfolio of residential and commercial real estate that is renowned for its location, proximity to mass transit, and innovative construction and design. Today, HAP Investments has more than 1.8 million square feet of projects in various stages of development, completion or operation in the New York metropolitan area.
Mr. Polack is an established entrepreneur with a long history of successful real estate ventures in Eastern Europe, Israel, and the United States. Mr. Polack’s strengths are the early identification of emerging regions and the development of projects tailored for those markets. Mr. Polack was one of the first developers to identify East Harlem as well as the Journal Square neighborhood of Jersey City as areas in preliminary stages of urban revitalization. He was also an early leader in the revival of Neve Tzedek, a highly coveted neighborhood in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Joseph Farkas is Founder and CEO of Metropolitan Realty Associates “MRA” a privately held real estate investment and development firm established over 17 years ago specializing in value investment real estate strategies throughout New York City and the outer boroughs . Special attention is focused on commercial, retail, residential and industrial property types. With over 30 years of hands on real estate investment and operating expertise including ground up development, Farkas has successfully guided MRA’s investment in over $1 Billion of assets on behalf of its institutional investors delivering outsized returns year over year.
Most recently MRA purchased its first asset in Long Island City with its August 2016 acquisition of HUB LIC, located at 47-25 34th St, LIC, NY, a 330,000 square foot , 4 story loft industrial building situated on a full city block bounded between 47th and 48th Avenues and 34th and 35th streets. MRA intends to re-position the asset into a mixed use property containing office and retail uses.
Joseph Farkas resides in Garden City, New York with his wife Michelle and two daughters, Stefanie 15 and Kimberly 14.
Joe is the CEO and Co-Manager of American Landmark. An expert in value-added and distressed real estate repositioning, and multifamily acquisitions, operations and disposals, Joe has overseen four successful multifamily portfolio builds totaling 100,000 units, with a value in excess of $7 billion, over the last 15 years. He was the original founder of Landmark Apartment Trust, which sold its portfolio in 2015 for $1.9 billion.
Joe and his partners returned to the private sector in 2015 to begin a new portfolio build under the Electra America brand. As CEO of Electra America, Joe oversees all aspects of the company’s operations, from finance to property management. An honors graduate of Cornell University, Joe holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Delaware Law School. He is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including AIPAC, Hillel, and The Cornell University Tower Club.
Metro Loft Management, LLC is a vertically integrated real estate development and management company founded in 1997 by Nathan Berman, who continues to serve as the managing principal. Metro Loft specializes in the acquisition, development and management of real estate in New York City, with a focus on Lower Manhattan. Metro Loft’s Development, Management and Leasing divisions are fully integrated to transition seamlessly from the acquisition and development process into an ongoing management and leasing operation. A pioneer in the residential development of Lower Manhattan, Metro Loft has spent the past two decades redeveloping some of the most iconic buildings in downtown New York City, including landmarks such as 443 Greenwich Street, 20 Exchange Place and 63 Wall Street. The company’s attention to detail and dedication to preserving each building’s historic integrity, all while creating modern residences with state-of-the-art amenities, has helped Metro Loft garner a reputation as one of the leading companies specializing in commercial to residential conversions
Richard Wagman is a Canadian-born real estate investor, and managing partner of Madison Capital, a real estate investment firm in New York. Wagman co-founded Madison Capital in 2002 with business partner J. Joseph Jacobson.
Wagman started his first real estate investment firm in 1994 with the Principal Property Group LLC, a company for which Wagner acquired and sold over 1,000,000 square feet of commercial office space. Prior to creating Principal, Wagman worked on two continents for Lend Lease International, advising public and private pension funds based on real estate investments in London, Paris and New York.
Wagman has appeared on television as apart of Michael Stolers The Stoler Report-New Yorks Business Report. He holds a degree from University of Pennsylvanias renowned Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, where he currently serves as a board member for the Zell/Laurie Real Estate Center.
Robert T. Lapidus, President and Chief Investment Officer, co-founded L&L Holding Company in June 2000. Mr. Lapidus’ primary areas of expertise include formulating real estate strategy, structuring joint ventures, acquisitions, dispositions, capital formation and financing. Since its inception, Lapidus has led L&L to distribute over $1.8 billion in profits to its investors. Lapidus has arranged joint venture transactions with some of the most respected names in the industry including Allianz Global Investors, CalSTRS, The Florida State Board of Administration, Carlyle Realty Partners, BentallGreenOak, Tokyu Land US Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Samsung SRA Asset Management Co, State Street Global Advisors, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, UBS Wealth Management, Prudential Real Estate Investors, Morgan Stanley, Fortress Investment Group, Zurich Insurance Group, Investcorp, RREEF, and Blackrock. L&L’s current portfolio consists of approximately 8 million square feet, exclusively in Manhattan with a market value in excess of $8 billion.
Mr. Lapidus graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and received a Juris Doctor degree from Cardozo Law School (New York, New York), Cum Laude, in 1986.
Mr. Lapidus is a member of the Big Apple Metro Division of the Worldwide Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and a member of the board of directors of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. He also served as a member of the Advisory Board to the Lehigh University College of Business and Economics as well as a member of Board of Directors of SparKYouth of New York City. Mr. Lapidus is actively involved in philanthropic endeavors focusing on disadvantaged youth, health and education.
Ziel Feldman is the Chairman and Founder of HFZ Capital Group, a Manhattan-based real estate investment and development company formed in 2005.
With an expertise in a broad range of real estate disciplines, including underwriting, analytics, structured finance, investment, development, construction and asset management, HFZ capitalizes on development and investment opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad and has acquired, owned, developed and operated properties across many asset classes, including residential, hotel, retail, sports and entertainment.
Under Mr. Feldman’s leadership, HFZ has become one of New York City’s most active and successful real estate development companies, with more than 5 million square feet of residential assets under development and management. His long range perspective and fundamental respect for the cyclical nature of the real estate industry continues to provide HFZ with the fiscal discipline to manage its assets and conduct its activities in ways that help the company derive the most value and opportunity out of each cycle.
Some of Mr. Feldman’s recent projects under HFZ include the acquisition, development and construction of mixed-use residential condominiums located at 505 West 19th Street, One Madison Avenue, Halcyon at 305 East 51st Street, The Marquand located at 11 East 68th Street, 11 Beach Street, 215 Chrystie Street, The Chatsworth located at 340-344 West 72nd Street, 20 West 40th Street, The Astor located at 235 West 75th Street, The Metro located at 301 West 53rd Street, and 88 and 90 Lexington Avenue, as well as the note securing The Setai at Wall Street (40 Broad Street), all located in New York City, as well as the Shore Club in Miami Beach.
Mr. Feldman began his career as a real estate attorney in 1984 and concurrently, began investing in multi-family properties in New York City. Based in part on his legal background, Mr. Feldman takes a creative approach to deal structuring and has a unique understanding and ability to manage risk. Prior to forming HFZ, Mr. Feldman co-founded Property Markets Group in 1991. With Ziel Feldman at the helm, PMG grew into a national real estate development company, with diverse holdings in hotel, resort, residential, commercial, and golf course community developments.
Over his more than 25 years of experience in the real estate industry, Mr. Feldman has
championed the development of mixed-use properties across a broad range of Manhattan neighborhoods with over 12,000 residential units bought, sold and developed, with an aggregate value in excess of $7.5 billion.
Mr. Feldman graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Economics and Accounting, and holds a Law degree from Cardozo Law School. Mr. Feldman together with his wife, Helene, are involved in many charitable organizations and sit on several charitable boards. Mr. and Mrs. Feldman reside in Manhattan, and have 3 children, Jordan, Adam and Leila.
• Andrea grew up in NYC and attended Horace Mann from ages 3-18, graduating within the top 5% of her class.
• A nationally-top-ranked junior competitive tennis player, she decided to attend The University of Pennsylvania instead of pursuing a professional tennis career.
• Andrea studied real estate within the Joseph Wharton Scholars program, Wharton’s undergraduate honors program for the top 5% of its student body. She served on WAB, the Wharton Advisory Board, a small group of students selected by Wharton’s administration to advise on co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
• Passions: philanthropy, chess, theater, mindfulness, meditation, Central Park, the outdoors, her two dogs, yoga, tennis, and triathlons (she has competed in several, including a half-Ironman and a full Ironman).
• Brookfield: Andrea worked for 2 years out of college at Brookfield Properties in leasing and development.
• Sanders Capital: From 2009-2016, she was part of the founding team and 1 of 7 investment professionals who worked for Lew Sanders at long-only value-oriented hedge fund Sanders Capital. Lew was the co-founder of Sanford Bernstein in 1968 and CEO of Alliance Bernstein (asset manager with $1 trillion of AUM under Lew’s leadership) through 2008. Andrea was responsible for managing $3 billion of their $60 billion of AUM within the oil and gas energy sector.
2016-2018: FOUNDER OF AN OIL & GAS PRIVATE EQUITY FUND
• In 2016, Andrea launched a private equity company in Texas, Tierra Resource Partners, which acquired royalties on oil/gas revenue.
• Two years later, she launched a successor fund to invest in oil and gas royalties in South Texas called Revere Resources. She built a team of former Bain and Apollo energy executives, raised $6 million, and sold the fund less than one year later for $18 million.
• Off the success of Fund I’s 3x multiple, Andrea built Revere into a 25-person company based in Houston, having raised $300 million from $30 BN AUM hedge fund Elliott Management.
• In 2018, she resigned from daily operations to re-enter real estate; Andrea continues to serve as an advisor to, owner of, and investor in Revere Resources.
2018-TODAY: CURRENT LEADERSHIP IN REAL ESTATE
• In 2018, Andrea joined the firm that her mother cofounded in 1979, Himmel & Meringoff Properties (“HMP”), a long-term oriented, vertically integrated real estate owner/operator that owns a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of office buildings in Manhattan and industrial warehouses in the boroughs of NYC. HMP is committed to the long-term ownership and hands-on operation of office buildings in Manhattan and industrial warehouses in the boroughs.
• As the Chief Investment Officer, Andrea manages all HMP investments, ranging canvassing to deal negotiation. In addition, she is leading the redevelopment of HMP’s 8-acre site in Parkchester into 2 million residential square feet.
• Andrea is recognized as a thought leader in the New York real estate community, speaking regularly on panels and at conferences fororganizations including NYU, PWC, The Commercial Observer, CUNY TV, REFI, The Real Deal, The Stoler Report, The Opal Group, and Bisnow. She also founded and moderates a Commercial Real Estate Investing club on social audio app Clubhouse that has 3,000 members.
• Andrea serves on the Board of the Diversity Committee for the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry.
• Andrea serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity New York City, marrying her passion for real estate with Habitat’s mission of building affordable, safe, equitable housing for all. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Real Estate Council for Habitat for Humanity New York City.
• Andrea serves on the Board of Directors of The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, advocating for the success of Manhattan’s small businesses, which comprise 99% of companies.
• Andrea has been a “Big Sister” through non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters for over seventeen years to her “little” Samantha Flamer.
• She is active with several other non-profitsincluding ChildFund, in which she sponsors ten adolescent females in Sierra Leone and Uganda and intends to build a village savings and loan microfinance organization, and The Gay Center.
Gaby Rosen is a key member of RFR where he is involved in all facets of RFR’s vertically integrated businesses. His focus at RFR is primarily sourcing, evaluating, analyzing and executing potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and financing commercial real estate investments, including direct property acquisitions, loan investments and note acquisitions.
Most recently, Mr. Rosen actively participated in the acquisition of the iconic Chrysler Building, 477 Madison Avenue, and 522 Fifth Avenue, as well as 301 Battery Street in San Francisco, CA and 1551 Wewatta Street in Denver, CO.
Mr. Rosen attended The George Washington University from 2012 until 2016 before earning his Bachelor of Science degree from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. Mr. Rosen graduated from the Schack Institute of Real Estate cum laude while simultaneously kick starting his career working in construction management as an assistant project manager at Tristar Construction. During his two years at Tristar, Mr. Rosen worked directly with owners, architects, contractors and subcontractors to oversee and facilitate the successful construction of several brand new luxury office interior build outs in Manhattan.
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Join us for an exciting evening with gourmet bites, signature cocktails, and strategic networking as we convene the New York's top movers and shakers in the real estate industry. Our signature fireside chat format was specifically designed to foster organic discussions about the future of real estate investing, develop new long-term professional relationships, and allow our members to explore potential partnerships and professional opportunities.
The fireside chat will be comprised of speakers' insights on current trends/opportunities in the real estate market and tried-and-true advice on how to operate a successful real estate firm.
YJP is an exclusive community dedicated to connecting young professionals; active real estate developers, owners, investors and deal-makers with the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
*6:30pm: Dinner, Cocktails, & Networking
*7:30m: Fireside chat with Scott, Q&A from young professionals
*8:30pm: Dessert, Cocktails & Mingling
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