For the past month, I’ve been starting my days with The Closing : Interviews with New York City’s Titans of Real Estate. Thanks to The Real Deal who recently noticed our coverage of Canada’s luxury real estate and sent us a copy. Every morning, I read 3 or 4 interviews to kickstart my day with these tales of power and money.

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The book is a compilation of 100 interviews called The Closing, conducted over many years and featured each month on the back page of The Real Deal printed magazine issue.

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As Editor-in-chief Stuart Elliott mentions in his introduction:

“Putting up big buildings typically requires tremendous confidence and ego. Castles, churches, grand arches and spires have all served throughout the ages as testaments to a human desire to flaunt wealth and power while reaching toward the heavens.”

Yes, this book is filled with larger than life personalities: from eccentric visionaries like Ian Schrager, who pioneered the hotel-boutique concept and brought the urban resort to Miami with The Delano, to more enduring characters like Jonathan Tisch who runs the Loews Corporation started by his grandfather in the 1940’s.

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The most interesting parts of this book were when one or two very personal questions get squeezed inside each of the interviews. That’s when everything is on the table: lawsuits, jail time, feuding partners, young wives and personal pet peeves.

When asked about his penthouse in Manhattan, Kevin Maloney of Property Markets Group simply answers:

“We have a large terrace where we keep a lot of chickens. We get fresh eggs every day. We have to watch them because the hawks have taken a couple of them.” Funny stuff.

 

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Other interviews depict some of the titans as borderline Royalty:

“I invited President Nixon to my bar mitzvah because I started getting interested in politics,” tells Hal Fetner, CEO of Durst Fetner Residential.

All in all, this book is probably the closest we’ll ever come to meet these individuals. But it didn’t made me feel small for one second. I rather felt uplifted, like I’m standing on the shoulders of these giants, ready to conquer the day.

The Closing is available for order on Amazon.

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BONUS:

Netflix has a very complete documentary called 16 Acres about the process, bidding war and construction of One World Trade Center featuring developer Larry Silverstein, also interviewed in this book.

Jeff Lee
Editor-in-chief & Broker

Jeff loves to discover and explore the best real estate with those who dream big and make it happen. He hopes to bring his marketing and content production expertise to the real estate world. He is also a Real Estate Broker operating in Montréal.