Anchin Future Forward 2021: How the Real Estate, Design and Construction Industries Have Adapted Through COVID And Beyond
Anchin hosted the 7th annual Real Estate and Construction forum, Future Forward 2021: How the Real Estate, Design and Construction Industries Have Adapted Through COVID and Beyond, on February 10th. The first virtual conference of its kind brought together leading real estate owners and developers, construction executives and other key industry decision makers to discuss the new post-pandemic New York City market. We’d like to thank all of our expert speakers, and a special thank you to our keynote speaker Ralph Esposito, President of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region, Suffolk Construction.
Featured panels during the event included Post-Pandemic Predictions – A look into the Future of New York Real Estate, moderated by Jonathan Mechanic, Partner and Chairman of Fried Frank’s Real Estate Department; The Future of Office Design: Post-Pandemic Workplace Strategies, moderated by David Pfeffer, Partner and Chair of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s Construction Group; The Short and Long Term Effects of COVID on Funding for NYC Real Estate Deals, moderated by Robert Gilman, Partner and Co-Leader of Anchin’s Real Estate Group; and The Construction Industry Looks Ahead – the Future Outlook for Key Construction and Design Sectors, moderated by Phillip M. Ross, Partner and Leader of Anchin’s Architecture and Engineering and Construction Industry Groups.
The Post-Pandemic Predictions – A look into the Future of New York Real Estate panel brought together leaders in the Real Estate landscape to discuss topics such as the leasing side of the current supply and demand in the market, the future of the rental market and key amenities tenants are currently seeking. Remote working played a huge role in this discussion as panelists agreed on the importance of returning to the office with flexibility, the need for a clear plan from management and the need for landlords to be more flexible. Ultimately, the group looked towards the future as one that will be a major “comeback” with greater diversity, a more balanced political environment, an increase in entrepreneurship, specifically in the tech sector, and overall affordability.
Discussion during The Future of Office Design: Post-Pandemic Workplace Strategies panel centered on the actions owners, architects and contractors are taking to redesign the workplace. Companies are looking for spaces that will attract their employees back to the office while also aligning with their business plans moving forward. Panelists agreed that there are many valuable aspects of the workplace environment that cannot be replaced remotely, including company culture, onboarding, and mentorship.
The Short and Long Term Effects of COVID on Funding for NYC Real Estate Deals panel explored several pressing topics regarding the financial side of the post-COVID marketplace and how alternative financing, debt, equity and capital raises will impact the future of lender deals. Panelists discussed that relationships with lenders have never been more important. The banks are still lending for new developments, and foreign money is still coming into New York City. All panelists seem to have agreed that determining current values of existing properties is difficult and makes refinancing a bit of a challenge.
A resounding theme of optimism rang clear in The Construction Industry Looks Ahead – the Future Outlook for Key Construction and Design Sectors panel. This is due in part to factors such as an increase in leasing for the first time since March, new opportunities for infrastructure and transportation, and a demand for underutilized office space to be converted. Another area of optimism discussed was life sciences, as it will provide a tremendous opportunity in both design and construction going forward. In addition, many projects such as Gateway and Moynihan Station will continue to propel our future and create sustainability.