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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It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm.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.


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

Possible Government Plan to Rescue Troubled Real Estate With Preferred Equity

Jul 5, 2020

No, we at Duval & Stachenfeld haven’t lost our minds. Apparently a proposal of this nature is being discussed in Congress right now and a bill could be introduced by Congressman Van Taylor (R. Texas), as soon as this coming week. The bill he would introduce would be called the “Helping Open Properties Endeavor Act of 2020,” and it would establish a “HOPE Preferred Equity Facility.” It is not finalized yet, but this is what we think “might” happen.

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Big V Recovery: Nine Predictions for the Real Estate Industry

Jun 6, 2020

About a month ago I wrote that there will be a Big V Recovery. So far I have not been getting positive reinforcement for that article. Indeed one response I got – from a fellow who has his own crystal ball – called me “clueless.” However, yesterday the employment news surprised the economists but not The Real Estate Philosopher, as so far this is exactly what I thought would happen, and I will stick to my belief that this is only the beginning of the Big V Recovery. Sorry I can’t resist a bit of humbug here.

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Distressed Debt Acquisitions? Not So Fast…

May 24, 2020

My point was that anyone could "find" a deal, and it hardly leverages your skills or talents to look at the same stuff everyone else is looking at – and do you really think you can outperform on a long-term basis when you are looking at the same screen that everyone else is seeing at the same time.

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Rescue Capital That Does NOT Cost an Arm or a Leg - Seven Ideas

May 14, 2020

We at D&S are, as always, in the thick of things in the real estate industry, and it seems like something many parties want is inexpensive "rescue capital." In that regard, we have thought of the following ideas for consideration. I note that these ideas are "other than" rescue capital provided by the government or governmental agencies:

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Why This Will be a “Big V Recovery”

Apr 19, 2020

I am old enough to have been in a relatively senior position in the real estate world during the Global Financing Crisis (the “GFC”) and the pandemic today (the “COVID Pandemic”). In my position – then as Managing Partner of Duval & Stachenfeld – and now as Chairman -- I have friends, clients, contacts, and relationships with many of the highest level players throughout every corner of the real estate world. This extremely wide lens allows me a unique composite view into what everyone is doing, thinking, wondering about, planning, etc.

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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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