Not everyone sees a purely positive picture. WOODY HELLER, EXECUTIVE
MANAGING DIRECTOR AT SAVILLS
STUDLEY (New York City), sees an
oversupply in parts of the tri-state area.
However, he said, amenities-heavy
larger multifamily developments will
attract tenants—and put pressure on
managers to add value.
Heller said that Manhattan may suf-
fer from a combination of uncertainty
about the future and the availability of
luxe product at a lower rent in the outer
boroughs and New Jersey. Moreover,
the development and modernization of
those other markets have enhanced the
lifestyle available there, with recreational, retail and dining options proliferating.
“Many of the Long Island City projects are large in scale, and thus have the
luxury of these incredible amenities packages that you could not put into a 50-unit
building,” he said. “Link LIC has a 30,000 square foot grocery store that also has
prepared gourmet food, a gym, squash court, basketball court, roof deck, lounges,
movie rooms—amenities that were once strictly associated with condos. With all
that, luxury retail in the surrounding areas isn’t required.
“The outlook is positive for New York City as a whole for several reasons. First,
living in a safe city affords you so many opportunities. My kids walk down the
street today, with no worries about safety. They don’t have the instincts that I developed, growing up in the city when it was less safe. Today, you’ll consider letting
your kids grow up in certain neighborhoods that you wouldn’t have wanted to live
in years ago. Second, improved public transportation makes it easier and quicker
to get to these neighborhoods outside Manhattan. Third, the amenities in these
new developments provide ways to get around the interim shortcomings that these
neighborhoods still have as they mature and gentrify. Fourth, younger people now
find it preferable to live outside Manhattan, and some of them like the sense of
separation: living in an area that looks and feels different.
“From a New York perspective, this is all good. The more options and experi-
ences we offer, the more attractive we become.”
The market looks strong in the Deep
South, too, for now. CHIP WATTS,
CPM, CCIM, PRESIDENT AND EX-
ECUTIVE CPM FOR WATTS REALTY
CO., AMO, in Birmingham, Ala., pre-
dicts little change for 2018, although
he’s less sanguine about the long term.
“We’ll have a strong 2018 for mul-
tifamily,” he said. “We’re seeing new
projects being announced almost
monthly. Office is just a little soft and
will continue to be so. Relocations from suburban to urban buildings are on the
rise, and total space requirements are increasing because offices have already got-
ten as small as they can get.
“Retail is in a transitional time. Some of the major chains are closing units, but
single stores are coming back, which indicates to me that we have a strong economy.”
“Our multifamily market will remain strong, with lots of competition for staff
talent through favorable salaries and benefits,” he said. “Our commercial markets
will be flat because we see a lot of space in transition now. In Alabama, you need
a real estate license to lease space, but in some other states, you don’t, so management companies there might have a larger pool of personnel to choose from.
“The challenges for property managers, in the coming year, will continue to be
the ability to integrate technology into your marketplace, operate smart systems,
and communicate via social media. Alabama will see a strong market in 2018; it’s
what could happen after that, that concerns us.”
“Many of the Long Island City projects are large in scale,
and thus have the luxury of these incredible amenities
packages that you could not put into a 50-unit building.
“Retail is in a transitional time. Some of the major chains
are closing units, but single stores are coming back, which
indicates to me that we have a strong economy.