Speakers

Carl Weisbrod

Carl Weisbrod

Chairman
NYC Department of City Planning
“Tall Building Policy in New York”
Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett

President
Extell Development Corporation
 
Ric Clark

Ric Clark

CEO
Brookfield Properties
 
Joseph Moinian

Joseph Moinian

Founder and CEO
Moinian Group
 
Larry Silverstein

Larry Silverstein

Chairman
Silverstein Properties
 

Session Summary

The Opening Plenary commenced with warm words of welcome from CTBUH Chairman David Malott, who reflected on the true meaning of the words Global Interchanges. “It means the flow of capital, of materials, of ideas, and technologies across the world – so that a project in New York is not just a New York project anymore, but it represents part of the greater world,” Malott explained.

Next, a spirited opening keynote speech was given by Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the City of New York Department of City Planning. With a candid fervor and clear passion for the urban future of The Big Apple and cities abroad, Weisbrod emphasized the critical role played by the numerous industry professionals present in the room, noting, “All of you here today have a hand in shaping the skylines of the great and growing cities throughout the world; you create dynamic feats of architecture and engineering, and you develop innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships with government. These buildings twist, turn, shine, glimmer, and shoot skyward and inspire people with talent and energy to come to cities with the promise of opportunity and intellectual excitement.” Brief and to the point, Weisbrod’s presentation set the scene for the following panel discussion chaired by Executive Director Antony Wood, which featured four of the most active and influential developers in New York: Gary Barnett, President, Extell; Ric Clark, CEO, Brookfield Properties; Joseph Moinian, Founder & CEO, Moinian Group; and Larry Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties. Having these four individuals on stage at the same time was in itself a landmark moment. Panelists provided a rare glimpse of the oft-shrouded thought processes behind some of the city’s preeminent skyscraper projects.

The global theme of the conference was clearly illustrated when Wood asked the panelists to name some of the biggest changes in skyscraper development since the recent economic recovery. Barnett asserted, “The whole world really wants to come to New York City and in the past five years we’ve seen a resurgence of investment…everybody is realizing that the United States is very stable politically and economically, so we’re seeing a tremendous inflow of capital in both debt and equity.” Ric Clark echoed this point, but added that New York City remains competitive with other major global cities in terms of property value. “In addition to being a safe haven it’s actually a pretty good value proposition,” he surmised.

Touching on the treatment of debt since the recession, Moinian mentioned, “The credit market came back with much better discipline…and came back with funding for making sure that a project is more financially viable.” Finally Silverstein concluded to the panel, “One of the things we’ve seen is that the degree of turmoil that exists in certain parts of the world has, if anything, increased the flight to safety for capital – global capital. And certainly, as has been stated by my colleagues, New York and the United States is the desirable location for this capital.”

Session Photo Gallery