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As the Chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld – a law firm in mid-town NYC known as The Pure Play in Real Estate Law – I am inviting you to join The Real Estate Philosopher®. This will consist of my thoughts and also thoughts of friends and colleagues.

It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm. The purpose here is very simple – to put forth thoughts in the real estate world that are different, provocative, and challenging of accepted wisdom. Hopefully, nothing said here will be mainstream thinking.

You may be wondering how I am qualified to write on these topics since I am “just” a lawyer. However, I have an unusual place in the real estate world. As the Chairman of The Pure Play in Real Estate Law (one of the largest real estate law practices in NYC), I interact with an incredible number of real estate players. This ranges from small real estate shops with nothing but a gleam in their eyes, to some of the largest real estate institutions in the world, and everything in between. This gives me a unique and global perspective and allows me to act as an amateur philosopher in the real estate world. This has always been my hobby and it is what I love doing.

Regards,

Bruce Stachenfeld
a.k.a The Real Estate Philosopher®

The Real Estate Philosopher: Is New York City Over With - Finally?

Apr 14, 2020

Eleven years ago – at the depths of the Global Financial Crisis – when I was scared to get out of bed in the morning – somewhere near the end of 2008 – there were many who thought it was lights out for New York. The thinking was that the banks and investment banks and funds were falling apart, there were no bonuses for the people who worked at them, people would give up, the financial center would shrink down and die and possibly the center of the US world would move to DC or another location.

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Some Inspiration From The Real Estate Philosopher - The Second Mouse

Mar 25, 2020

Okay here is some good old-fashioned inspiration. I’ll bet we could all use it, considering the incessant drumbeat from everything and everyone about how awful things are and how they are getting worse, etc. So here goes….. Who doesn’t like a good movie quote? Let’s start with that, from the movie Catch Me If You Can:

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The Real Estate Philosopher Has a Thought About the Coronavirus

Mar 16, 2020

This is a very short article. This is advice from someone who has been around the real estate world for getting on close to forty years now. During that time I have seen booms and busts. The tech bubble bursting. The Russian debt crisis. 9/11. Hurricanes. The Global Financial Crisis. And so much more.

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Ten Real Estate Industry Predictions for 2020

Jan 6, 2020

New York is not dead yet for real estate. There are a lot of negatives for real estate in NYC – as per my prior article – but people will be surprised how well real estate continues to do in The Big Apple. This is for the simple reason that (talented) people want to be here more than anything because other talented people are here. English is the spoken language, and NYC is still the world center of commerce and becoming the world center for many different things (including technology, education, and maybe soon life sciences). Even if NYC has some troubles for the real estate industry taking it on the chin, it is still a much better place for people and capital than anywhere else.

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Commercial Rent Control in NYC? The Great Sucking Sound of Capital Fleeing NYC – We Can’t Let This Happen

Nov 12, 2019

Last November, I wrote this article begging, pleading, importuning the New York City Council to not proceed with commercial rent regulation, but apparently at least some of them are not listening. After the actions from Albany concerning multifamily rent control a few months ago prices of multifamily in NYC have fallen at least 30% and possibly as much as 40%. The great sucking sound everyone heard was the sound of capital fleeing NYC multifamily; hence the price drop. And as many persons have pointed out, who now is going to put capital into NYC multifamily? And the answer is – eventually – the government. Indeed, it is not farfetched to conceive of the housing stock falling into disrepair due to the lack of capital, and as a result, the government being forced to take over a large portion of NYC’s housing stock in coming years.

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