Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Observer's Power 100: Ratner drops down the list; Gehry, Oder, Lipsky drop out

Last year, according to the New York Observer's quite arbitrary list of the 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate, Bruce Ratner was #8, Frank Gehry was #51, and I was number #77.

Things sure change. Ratner has dropped to #23 in The Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate, indicating uncertainty about Atlantic Yards, and Gehry and I have been dropped from the list--as has lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who snarked at my selection.

Well, Gehry appears to be off Atlantic Yards. And I sure can't be too powerful if elected officials holding an oversight hearing don't bother to consult the questions I've publicly posed.

NYT missing

Interestingly enough, while New York Times real estate development reporter Charles Bagli, unaccountably absent from last year's list, was chosen by Observer readers as one of the two most powerful real estate journalists, he didn't make the editors' selection of the Top 100.

I think that's an error. The only two people involved in journalism to make the list were the publishers of Curbed and The Real Deal--powerful, sure, but not doing the kind of reporting Bagli can do.

Overview

According to the overview, headlined An Observer List! Who Runs This Town?, money men, firmly established families, and government officials rose in power in times of economic crisis.

The top 100 spots include 122, 62 of them new, with 39 from last year dropped. The numbers in parentheses indicate last year's ranking. The text is excerpted from the Observer.

Ratner drops down

No. 23: Bruce Ratner (8)
CEO of Forest City Ratner
He controls prime real estate in downtown Brooklyn and has two architecturally distinct new Manhattan towers, one unfinished. But his real test will be whether he can cobble together the money and political support to launch the project that has defined Forest City for the past half-decade: Atlantic Yards.

Government officials

No. 43: Robert Lieber and Seth Pinsky
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; President of the Economic Development Corporation
Even in strained times, the Bloomberg administration is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into economic development, dispersed between both big-ticket projects and smaller initiatives. For now, Messrs. Lieber and Pinsky are spending much time on Willets Point and Coney Island, though they’re fielding many calls from developers craving aid in tough times.

A federal boost for housing, including AY?

No. 60: Charles Rangel
U.S. Representative
As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Rangel holds tremendous sway over all things taxes in Congress. Case in point: tax-free bonds. Mr. Rangel has been lobbied heavily by everyone from landlords to the Yankees to local officials in various attempts to extend the availability of these low-cost bonds.

Publishers

No. 95: Lockhart Steele (91)
Publisher of Curbed Network
Mr. Steele’s Twitter feed recently said he’d gotten an email from “a production company interested in developing the TV version” of Curbed. Even if his site doesn’t become a show, Mr. Steele’s New York–centered Curbed, Eater and Racked sites are daily staples for the young and city-obsessed.

No. 96: Amir Korangy
Publisher of The Real Deal
The Real Deal may not have Curbed’s peppy flair, but it’s still a must-read for industry insiders—except for those, as Mr. Korangy wrote recently, who don’t like reading negative news and “would prefer if we wrote about how many Girl Scout cookies brokers are buying.”

Reader nominations

The reader-nominated lists include:
Real Estate Journalists : Lois Weiss, New York Post; Charles Bagli, The New York Times

Bloggers: Lauren Elkies, The Real Deal; Joey Arak, Curbed

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