June 19, 2024

Square Feet : Evan Stein

J.D. Carlisle manages about 600,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 2,000 apartments citywide. Its developments include Morton Square, the Cielo, Gramercy Green, and the Beatrice.

Q Are you the de facto C.E.O.?

A Yes, absolutely. There’s no C.E.O. The chairman is my partner, Jules Demchick. Our chairman is responsible for assemblage of the property, financing, and usually the initial plan. Once the acquisition is done, he moves on to the marketing and we move to the development. M.D. Carlisle Construction is the vehicle that physically builds the projects. With buildings like the Beatrice you almost need to know the end of the movie before you begin.

Q Will the Beatrice, your newest and biggest project, have a happy ending?

A I hope so. I put my grandmother’s name on the building.

Q Was this your most difficult development?

A It’s by far the most expensive, and this was the most complicated. We have several uses in this building, so that takes a tremendous amount of management to understand how all the pieces work together: how the restaurant is working with our hotel, how the residential building complements the hotel. And we have a garage.

We’re certainly not in the black yet, because the building is in its infancy, but from an economic view we’re pleased with the results.

Q What is the occupancy?

A We are 99 percent. Of 300 rental apartments, we have left four penthouses that we are just allowing for occupancy May 1. All the penthouses start at $20,000, up to $23,500 monthly. We’re already getting a lot of activity on them. And the hotel’s doing well; it’s exceeding our expectations.

Q Why rentals and not condos?

A We cut our teeth on rentals. In the ’60s and the ’70s, we built probably 60- or 70-plus rental projects. The rentals are scattered all over Manhattan. Our recent history was condominiums — we had three or four projects that were a function of the times.

It’s hard to put your heart and soul into something where at the end of the day you don’t have a tangible asset anymore.

Q Would you ever consider converting the Beatrice, if, say the market soared again?

A I hope not. I’d be lying to you if I told you I haven’t been asked that before. We have several rental buildings that have gone through four or five real estate booms, but we like rentals.

Q What’s your assessment of the New York market now?

A In the long-term perspective we’re very bullish, but you’re going to have short-term challenges — whether they be economic, political or availability. There are still tremendous opportunities here, and we’re seeking them out.

Q Do you have any other projects in the works?

A We do have three or four projects that we’re excited about. Unfortunately, we can’t talk about them because we’re under confidentiality agreements.

They’re going to be some rental, some condo; three are ground-up and one is a gut renovation. We’re looking at a couple in the outer boroughs at this point in time, and certainly in Manhattan.

Q So why doesn’t J.D. Carlisle have a Web site?

A We get asked that a lot. We’re low-profile people; we don’t usually have to advertise who we are.

Q You knew at an early age that you wanted to be involved in real estate, didn’t you?

A Yes, because my hero was my grandfather, who founded this business — my maternal grandfather, Beatrice’s husband.

He has been my hero since the minute I could understand who he was, and I would have done anything to be with him — to be him. When I was graduating from college, he asked if I would consider coming to work with him. I jumped at the opportunity and 17, 18 years later, here’s where we are. He’s since retired.

Q What was your first job there?

A I went to school for accounting so I started off computerizing their accounting systems, and I got bored very, very quickly. I made the request for an assistant superintendent’s job. I went to work with a hard hat climbing into the demolition. Just being on a construction site every single day helps me to understand how things wind up working, all the nuances that you need to understand.

Q Do you live in any of your buildings?

A I live in Morton Square. One of the advantages of developing is you get a good price.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=25b460d9e30998e61860fa0d399643f6

Speak Your Mind