Friday, May 14, 2010

In third list of NY Observer's "most powerful people in New York real estate," Ratner drops down and Prokhorov debuts

The New York Observer has produced its third edition of the Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate. Notably, Bruce Ratner continues to drop down the list, from #8 in 2008 to #23 in 2009 to #53 this year.

And Mikhail Prokhorov debuts ahead of Ratner, at #43.

Sure, Ratner could not have moved Atlantic Yards without the deal to sell 80% of the Nets and 45% of the arena--actually, the arena operating company--to Prokhorov, but Ratner has the connections and pays for the lobbying. He's still more powerful, in my book.

Also notable is the debut appearance of New York Times real estate/development reporter Charles Bagli, who should have made all three lists, though not for his coverage of AY.

It's hard to believe that, in 2008, I was on the list. Not anymore. I write for posterity.

The summary

According to the Observer's summary:
This year, the list, like the industry it chronicles, is very much in motion. Pinning down who is up, if anybody, and who is down the most changes by the day. This represents our take on the most powerful people in New York real estate right now.

And yet about three-fourths of the people here are returnees, which says something about the closed club that is New York real estate.
Selected profiles

#3: Mort Zuckerman (3)
Chairman-CEO of Boston Properties
Not only does Mr. Zuckerman’s Boston Properties control 8.88 million square feet of office property in New York City, including the GM Building, but he’s on the prowl for more, one of three runners-up, along with Douglas Durst (No. 8) and Stephen Ross (No. 1), to buy an equity stake in the building formerly known as the Freedom Tower.
(He's also owner of the New York Daily News, a cheerleader for development projects like Atlantic Yards.)

#43: Mikhail Prokhorov
Would-be owner of the Brooklyn Nets
Assuming the NBA gives him the thumbs-up, Mr. Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire, is slated to become owner of New York City’s newest professional sports team, as well as a co-owner of the Barclays Center now under construction in downtown Brooklyn after seven years of planning.
(Note that this was published days before the ownership transfer went through.)

#53: Bruce Ratner (23)

Chairman of Forest City Ratner
For the past seven years, Mr. Ratner’s focus has been on Atlantic Yards, the planned home to a Brooklyn Nets arena and, eventually, thousands of units of housing. This spring, he finally emerged the winner of the fight with defiant landowners. He was clearly wounded by delays and the economic crash, but he is still standing, and construction is under way.
(Um, Ratner didn't emerge the winner without massive help from the government.)

#61: Charles Bagli
Staff writer for The New York Times
In a world of blogs, sometimes it takes the most influential news organization to call the end of an era. Mr. Bagli (an Observer alumnus!) did just that in October 2008, in a story titled “Failed Deals Replace Boom in New York Real Estate.” Since then, he’s documented every major development, successful or struggling, from Stuy Town to N.Y.U. to Atlantic Yards.
(Or, in the case of Atlantic Yards, documented it rather thinly.)

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