Future Forward 2023

February 16, 2023

We would like to give a very special thank you to everyone who attended Anchin’s Future Forward 2023 event. Many thanks to our expert speakers and a special thanks to our keynote speakers Alex Witkoff, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Witkoff, and Don Peebles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Peebles Corporation.


Featured panels during the event included Real Estate and Construction Opportunities and Challenges in the Current Environment, moderated by Lori Ann LaRocco, Senior Editor of Guests, CNBCThe Evolution and Reinvention of The Modern Office Market, moderated by Phillip M. Ross, Partner and Leader of Anchin’s Architecture & Engineering and Construction Industry Groups. The event was facilitated by Robert S. Gilman, Partner, Co-Leader of Anchin’s Real Estate Group, and Konrad Putzier, Commercial Real Estate Journalist, The Wall Street Journal, who moderated the closing Keynote discussion.

May be an image of 2 people, people sitting and indoor

Keynote speaker and next-gen Alex Witkoff, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Witkoff, kicked off the conversation alongside Robert S. Gilman, Partner, Co-Leader of Anchin’s Real Estate Group. Alex gave valuable insight into the importance of being a pioneer and role model for next-generation developers. He has stepped into the world’s largest asset class, and what may arguably be the most volatile and unprecedented times in recent history, to take on the many responsibilities involving developing the future of cities. Alex also gave insight into the challenges of today and shared some valuable tips around his successes in financing, developing and the construction of new projects.

May be an image of 5 people, people sitting, people standing and indoor

The Real Estate and Construction Opportunities and Challenges in the Current Environment panel connected leaders in the real estate and engineering landscape to discuss ongoing challenges in development and construction including inflation, interest rate hikes and ongoing supply chain issues – all factors impacting new and existing projects. We heard from Sam Chandan, PhD FRICS FRSPH, Director, C.H. Chen Institute for Global Real Estate Finance Professor of Finance, NYU Stern, Cyrus J. Izzo, PE, Co-President, Syska Hennessy Group, Jared M. Green, PE, D.GE, F. ASCE, Principal, Langan Engineering, and Bob Knakal, Chairman, NY Investment Sales, New York Office Co-Head, JLL. Lori Ann LaRocco facilitated an in-depth discussion covering the overall impact within the economics and limitations faced by today’s leading development professionals. A concrete discussion ensued around supply chain disruptions, with a debate on the feasibility of office-to- residential conversions, as well as discussion on regulatory and financial requirements for creating additional commercial space and housing supply in the city.

May be an image of 4 people, people sitting and indoor

The Evolution and Reinvention of The Modern Office Market panel included Mariana Circiumaru, Leed AP, Managing Director – Head of U.S. Construction Value-Add Portfolio, BentallGreenOak, Michael T. Cohen, President Tri-State, Colliers International, Cecilia Kushner, AICP, Chief Strategy Officer, President Office, New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Wendi Shafran, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, FXCollaborative Architects LLP. Both Cecilia Kushner and Wendi Shafran are members of Mayor Adams’ Office Adaptive Reuse Task Force (OARTF), the city-led task force overseeing the study to strengthen the office market and create an opportunity for new housing. The panelists discussed the future of workplace culture and how to develop Manhattan’s office environment to meet the needs of future generations, while maintaining the city’s reputation as a commercial haven for the best talent in the world. Michael Cohen reminded attendees that, while New York is the greatest city in the world, we will need to deliver adaptive solutions for the hindrances that cannot be avoided.

May be an image of 2 people, people sitting, people standing, suit, wrist watch and indoor

Finally, Don Peebles and Konrad Putzier discussed a number of pressing issues, where Don shared his perspective on DE&I in the city, noting the need to see more female and those of color executing across leading developer roles within the AEC community. Don emphasized that the correct approach to DE&I was not giving away entitlements, but rather making a way for others to share in the same success and hard work involved. He also discussed near-term objectives in financing and the future of lender relationships as developers and owners sift through the changing role of the office and the future of work. Overall, Don exhorted that leaders today must take a position of being transformative in overcoming problems and developing solutions that will impact the future of our cities.

A resounding theme of action rang clear as New York City has drastically changed in the post-pandemic world. In a metro area of more than 20 million people and the world’s largest city economy, the business, public and residential needs of the city require professionals that relentlessly study the market and have the expertise to understand where that market is going in these challenging times.

Serving the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate industries is a priority for Anchin and has been for 100 years. We take great pride in our leadership in these industries.

To contact any of the Anchin partners involved in the event, please click here.

Please click here to view our event photo album.

And if you missed the QR code signage at the event linking to our DE&I Survey for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, please click here to view the survey results.

This event was sponsored by The Berman Group, as a Marketing Partner, The Real Deal, as the Media Partner, Colliers as the Platinum Sponsor, Republic Bank, as the Silver Sponsor, with Industry Support from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) New York, the New York Building Congress, and Subcontractors Trade Association (STA).

  • Services

  • Industries