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A shift in real estate? Major firm Tishman Speyer moving into affordable housing

A press release this past week, Tishman Speyer Taps Gary Rodney to Establish Affordable Housing Platform:
Tishman Speyer President and CEO Rob Speyer today announced the firm has hired Gary Rodney to help establish and manage a new affordable housing platform that will initially focus on the New York City region.

Rodney will help Tishman Speyer source opportunities to acquire, redevelop and engage in ground-up construction of quality housing that is affordable to low- and middle-income New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs.

Rodney brings more than two decades of experience related to the development and financing of affordable housing to his newly-created Managing Director role at Tishman Speyer. For the past four years, Rodney served as Chairman of CREA, LLC, where he worked with the senior management team and its partners to help finance quality affordable housing in cities throughout the country.

Immediately prior to CREA, Rodney served as President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), one of the nation’s most active Housing Finance Agencies and the largest municipal issuer of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing....
“Now more than ever, our public and private sectors must work together to create a new generation of quality affordable housing for New Yorkers of all income levels,” Rob Speyer said. “We all must do our part in addressing an affordability gap that affects thousands of people, including those who perform vital tasks in our hospitals, schools, construction sites and other essential institutions.”
While plans are for now unclear, let's note that Tishman Speyer is not exactly known for a low-income clientele. It owns Rockefeller Center, has a project at Hudson Yards, and, notably, failed buying Stuyvesant Town, thinking it could move rent-stabilized housing to market-rate, ultimately losing it to lenders.

So the mention of "middle-income New Yorkers" and the people "who perform vital tasks" connotes to me "workforce housing," that popular term for people who may be paid reasonably well but still have trouble in the New York market.

The move suggests that Tishman Speyer recognizes that the luxury market, at least in the short-term, is risky, and it may be wiser to proceed with housing that gets various government subsidies and tax breaks. (And, as a reader reminded me, a Democratic administration may be pumping money into affordable housing.)

That said, keep an eye on the level of affordability.