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Though his company is named Boston Properties, real estate and media baron Mort Zuckerman is an unabashed fan for the Big Apple. The developer’s publicly traded REIT controls more than 40 million square feet of office space, about a quarter of it in Manhattan. He’s building more too, an 850,000 square foot tower at 54th and 8th Ave. “New York remains one of the strongest real estate markets,” he says.
Zuckerman chalks that up to a pair of strong-willed mayors, one (or maybe both) of whom is running for president. “New York has been so transformed by Giuliani and Bloomberg,” Zuckerman says. “Giuliani eliminated the negatives. Bloomberg brought out all the positives. The city is now literally the safest city. People like me run around the park at night. We have a continued influx of people—one million in the last decade.”
But wait, what about the mortgage crisis and those billions in write-offs on Wall Street? Zuckerman admits he’s not sure how that story is going to end. “To quote what Adam said to Eve,” he says. “‘Stand back! I don’t know how big this is going to be.’”
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.