Crain's New York Business

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ASKED & ANSWERED How telemedicine expands access to care PAGE 10

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POLITICAL RODEO An open seat in the Bronx pits the old guard against a newcomer PAGE 3

JUNE 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS ALERT

Open Restaurants plan paves way for outdoor dining Initiative applauded as a “huge win” that will help the city reimagine itself BY BRIAN PASCUS

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all it a lifeline from the mayor. Last week Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Open Restaurants initiative, one that will allow for outdoor dining on sidewalks, streets and plazas in previously

restricted areas of the streetscape, starting June 22. The executive order is part of the phase two reopening plan set forth by the city and the state. De Blasio expects the move will help more than 5,000 restaurants and 45,000 of their employees as up to 300,000 New Yorkers

begin returning to work. “This is a huge win for the city of New York,” said Henry Reinhardt, who has owned Henry’s restaurant on the Upper West Side for 20 years. “It really brings us in line with the best practices in hospitality businesses from around the world, and it needs to be institu-

tionalized as a permanent part of the New York City streetscape.” The city’s hospitality leadership team was unanimous in its praise of the move. Both the New York State Restaurant Association and the New York City Hospitality Alliance applauded the announcement. “It’s an equitable plan that really works for See DINING on page 5

INSTALLATION VIEW of Gray at Frieze New York, 2019

GRAY, CHICAGO/NEW YORK

EMBRACING OLD WAYS The pandemic forced galleries to sell online. Now the art world looks to return to traditional modes of doing business

NEWSPAPER

VOL. 36, NO. 23

© 2020 CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS INC.

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n the first weeks of the pandemic, the notoriously traditional gallery world had no choice but to embrace new ways to sell art. Its preferred avenue of business—a private conversation at a crowded fair or opening—was not possible. So the industry tried to sell its precious pieces online, bringing the art world’s mysterious selling process into the open. But now gallery owners are feverishly trying to return to the way things used to be. In fact, at a time when most industries are reinventing their business practices, See GALLERIES on page 19

GOTHAM GIGS

DIVERSITY

10 BLACKOWNED EATERIES TO ORDER FROM

How to make corporate inclusion plans effective PAGE 3

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BY GWEN EVERETT

6/19/20 4:07 PM


CORONAVIRUS ALERT

Rent freeze locked in for 2020 after city board vote; federal lawsuit looms

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he Rent Guidelines Board voted last week to institute a rent freeze on all stabilized apartments across the city with one- or two-year leases. The ruling will lock in the rate in the first year of two-year leases, with a 1% increase in the second year. Small property owners blasted the 6–3 vote, which they said threatens their economic livelihood during a time when some tenants have stopped paying rent altogether. “To have the Rent Guidelines Board be silent to mom-and-pop landlords and consider them as a myth speaks volumes to how they are completely irresponsible in their decision making,” said Jan Lee, owner of two buildings with 28 units total in Chinatown. He testified on the need for a percentage rent increase. “We’re becoming a city that will only be corporate-owned.” Some stakeholders believe the decision by the board places the onus of a broader economic meltdown on landlords, who are being singled out for their ability to collect a stream of income. “It’s devastating,” said Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, an industry group of 4,000 rentstabilized-property owners. “Certainly we understand that renters

are in a tough time, but we don’t think property owners should be responsible for carrying the burden on behalf of everyone.”

No change Property-owner advocates said they felt betrayed by the board, especially considering the expectations they had for a rent increase following the passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 by the state Legislature last year. “The bottom line is, we went into this year expecting the Rent Guidelines Board would compensate more than they had considering the changes in rent laws last summer,” said Vito Signorile, communications director for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 rental-property owners. “We didn’t expect a pandemic to change the economics of the city.” For Signorile, the contradiction lies in previous statements made by city officials who had already spoken in favor of shifting costs from owners to tenants. “We can’t just say to landlords, ‘You have to absorb [costs] and not pass them on to tenants,’ because that’s just an unsustainable system,” said Vicki Been, who previously served as deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development, last spring. But during the pandemic, Mayor

Carver Federal shares soar BY AARON ELSTEIN

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ew York’s last Black bank became the latest daytrader favorite last week, with shares in Carver Federal Savings soaring 10 times higher before the frenzy flickered out. There was no news behind traders’ infatuation with Carver, which specializes in lending to minorityowned small businesses and churches. But in light of recent Black Lives Matter activity, there has been a move to support Blackowned businesses. Carver, which was founded in Harlem in 1948, is the nation’s largest bank founded and run by African Americans. The bank did not reply to requests for comment. Carver nearly went bust after the financial crisis before a consortium led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Prudential Financial rescued the institution in exchange for 98% of its equity.

“The bank isn’t too big to fail,” Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said at the time. “But it is too important to fail.”

Safe deposit Carver has stabilized under Chief Executive Michael Pugh. It is a community development financial institution, so maximizing profit isn’t its goal. Its most recent earnings statement showed a loss of $1.4 million on $4 million in revenue for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. Regulators have praised Carver for “excellent responsiveness to its [borrowers’] needs through its community development lending, investing and service activities.” The stock began last Wednesday at $2.41 per share and reached as high as $22.97 by mid-morning. By 1:15 p.m. it had dropped below $10 per share and closed at $8.39 on volume of 59 million shares. Average daily volume is 27,000. ■

BLOOMBERG

BY BRIAN PASCUS

Bill de Blasio made it clear he supported a rent freeze to help ease the economic strain on tenants who may have lost their job or seen their business placed on pause during the government-mandated lockdown.

Frozen stiff The decision to institute a rent freeze could add fuel to a lawsuit filed by the RSA and CHIP against the city and the state. In the lawsuit, the RSA accuses

the Rent Stabilization Law of being an unconstitutional regulatory scheme that violates the Due Process and Takings clauses in the Constitution. Oral arguments are set to begin on Tuesday in the Eastern District Federal Court. Martin said the city and the state have filed motions to dismiss, and both sides are prepared to appeal the judge’s decision. Another implication of the board’s rent freeze could soon be

Juneteenth to be state holiday BY GWEN EVERETT AND LIZETH BELTRAN THE DAY ON which many African Americans commemorate the abolition of slavery will become a holiday for state employees under an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor said he will propose legislation to make Juneteenth, June 19, an official state holiday next year. “It is a day we should all reflect upon. It is a day that’s especially relevant in this moment in history,” Cuomo said. The governor acknowledged during a news conference that it has been a long road for the state and today’s society to appreciate the significance of Juneteenth. “I don’t think it has been recognized for the importance that it denotes, and that is why I am going to propose legislation to make it an

official holiday next year,” he said. “I believe this is a period where we could see monumental change, and I want to be a force for change— whether it's reform on the Police Department, whether it’s an expanded racial sensitivity. And if Juneteenth is a part of that recognition of what happened, then great.”

seen in the broader economy. Some industry experts believe the city will discover the effects July 2, the day after landlords make—or fail to make—their property-tax payments. The deadline for property tax payments is July 1. “I can tell you this too: Landlords are doing everything they possibly can to make those property-tax payments,” said Steve Mangione, spokesman for the RSA, who noted property owners face an 18% penalty from the city for late payments. “They’re under the gun. You will also have people who just can’t pay it.” Mangione said that in order for landlords to pay property taxes in an environment with less rent revenue, they will shift from paying bills—like those to repair a roof or water boiler—and use that money to pay their taxes instead. The shift of money away from traditional costs could create a ripple effect throughout the economy. “It’s a big trickle down. The rent revenue means so much to the landlord,” said Mangione. “Politicians created a narrative that landlords are sitting on big cash reserves. Well, it’s certainly not true for the small guy.” ■

WEBCAST CALLOUT

JUNE 30 HOW ARE PRODUCERS INNOVATING?

Long time coming Juneteenth, which recently has become more prominent, commemorates June 19, 1865, the day the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and officially declared that all slaves in that state were free in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two years earlier. Texas was the last state to receive official word that slavery was abolished and the Civil War was over. In 1980 Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a holiday. ■

As Broadway remains dark, Crain’s talks to some of the Theater District’s top producers and talent about how they are innovating and reaching loyal audiences with strong content. Join the discussion on the lessons learned about abandoning old rules and reinventing Broadway.

CrainsNewYork.com/ ACSpring2020

Vol. 36, No. 23, June 22, 2020—Crain’s New York Business (ISSN 8756-789X) is published weekly, except for bimonthly in January, July and August and the last issue in December, by Crain Communications Inc., 685 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Crain’s New York Business, Circulation Department, PO Box 433279, Palm Coast, FL 32143-9681. For subscriber service: call 877-824-9379; fax 313-446-6777. $3.00 a copy; $129.00 per year. (GST No. 13676-0444-RT) ©Entire contents copyright 2020 by Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved. 2 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

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POLITICS

HORSE RACE IN THE BRONX—OPEN SEAT PITS OLD GUARD F AGAINST NEWCOMER

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends her seat in first primary showdown BY BRIAN PASCUS or the first time in 30 years there will be a new face representing New York’s 15th Congressional District in the Bronx—one who likely will be decided in the June 23 Democratic primary. Rep. José Serrano is stepping down after 30 years on Capitol Hill, leaving a coveted seat open to a cadre of candidates in one See PRIMARY on page 21

GETTY IMAGES

RUBEN DIAZ SR. likes cowboy hats and conservative values

DIVERSITY

Different this time

Can corporations that say they will become more inclusive to Blacks and Latinos be believed?

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ven during the current public reckoning around race at top businesses, the old order of corporate New York might be hard to shake, experts warn. That might be hard to imagine as vaunted companies, including The Wing, ABC and The New York Times, underwent high-profile

personnel shakeups amid employee complaints of racial inequity. The biggest corporate names in the city—typically a politically cautious group—have condemned racism in droves and made multimillion-dollar donations to foundations. Underlying those headlines of change, though, is another reality: Much of corporate New York is still treating diversity the way it

has for years. Companies say that’s because racial equity was a priority long before protests over George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police rocked the country. But the companies where leadership changed this month had diversity initiatives in place, too. Experts say the policies that corporations

ISTOCK

BY GWEN EVERETT

See INCLUSIVE on page 18 JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 3

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CORONAVIRUS ALERT

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sues landlord for stalling subleases over unpaid rent

The entertainment company says Covid-19 triggered a clause in its lease to pause rent payments

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dd Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to the list of companies embroiled in a Covid-19 rent fight. The entertainment company founded by the billionaire artist is attempting to sublease its former office space at 1411 Broadway, but the process is being held up by a rent dispute with the landlord, according to a lawsuit filed by Roc Nation. The company says its landlord

leases in retaliation for Roc Nation not paying its rent, according to the lawsuit, which was filed June 16 in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Roc Nation cut off rent payments at the tower April 29, citing a force-majeure clause in the lease triggered by the pandemic. The company says that allows a pause in payments. The building’s ownership, an investor group that includes Ivanhoe Cambridge, denies that Covid-19 is grounds to trigger the clause. The landlord’s “obstinate insistence on full rent payments is intertwined with its unreasonable denial of consent to the subleases,” Roc Nation attorney Jordan Siev wrote. CoMetrics Partners, a management consulting firm, agreed in February to sublease about 5,000 square feet from Roc Nation. Prime Staffing, a health care recruiting company, and Rinnovo Construction have agreed to subleases total-

THREE COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO SUBLEASE SPACE FROM ROC NATION. has stalled on signing off on deals for three companies ready to take over parts of its former space in the Garment District building, which the firm left last year for a bigger office in Chelsea. The landlord is slowing the sub-

ing 5,600 square feet, according to the lawsuit.

Issues raised Roc Nation has asked the court to declare that the landlords must sign off on the subleases, as well as declare that the force-majeure clause in its contract was indeed triggered by the pandemic, in turn allowing the company to temporarily withhold rent. The property owner has threatened to recoup rent through a $1.3 million line of credit Roc Nation provided on the lease as security. It is unclear from the lawsuit how much Roc Nation pays each month for the office and how many months the company has not paid. Jay-Z’s connection to the building dates to 2009, when his Rocawear clothing company signed for 40,000 square feet on the 38th and 39th floors—the same floors that are now the subject of the lawsuit. Roc Nation’s lease lasts through 2024. The listed attorney for the land-

JAY-Z’s connection to the building dates to 2009.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BY RYAN DEFFENBAUGH

lord in the court documents did not immediately return a request for comment. Roc Nation is not alone in pressing the courts to declare that the pandemic cancels commercial rent obligations. Victoria’s Secret sued its Herald Square landlord, SL Green, last month, asking a judge to negate its

lease because the pandemic has made business impossible. Venus Over Manhattan, an Upper East Side art gallery, made the same argument for its lease at 980 Madison Ave. Roc Nation represents artists including Rihanna and Shakira, as well as athletes including Kyrie Irving and C.C. Sabathia. ■

Landlords, stiffed for third consecutive month, risk tax default

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andlords, who have not received a quarter of their rent payments from tenants for the third straight month, are still on the hook for their taxes. About 25% of residential tenants and 66% of commercial tenants in rent-stabilized buildings have yet to pay any rent for June, according to a survey from the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord group. CHIP said landlords will be in danger of property tax default if things don’t start looking up. “It is clear that the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are nowhere near an end, CHIP Executive Director Jay Martin said in the report. “There are thousands of tenants and building owners who need help now.” The report showed that 82% of residential rent receipts came in for May, but that doesn’t mean that 82% of tenants have paid their rent, CHIP spokesman Michael Johnson said. Some tenants did not pay in April or May but have started to pay a little this month. When they pay, it gets credited to April’s rent first by most building owners, then May and so on, Johnson said. Collection rates vary across individual CHIP members, the report said. Tenants in more expensive buildings’ rent-stabilized apart-

ments are paying at a higher rate than tenants in lower-cost ones, Johnson said. For about one-fifth of the landlords, residential rent collection dropped below 60%. With operating expenses and upcoming tax deadlines that exceed the rent they’re getting from tenants, some properties are in distress, the report says.

Property tax relief The group, which represents owners and operators of 400,000 rent-stabilized units in the city, is an advocate for property tax relief. Property taxes can make up more than 40% of a rent check, the report says. The taxes are the city’s largest source of tax revenue—45% last year. Martin has called for a bailout from the federal government to help alleviate the city’s fiscal crisis and give landlords more room to negotiate with their tenants. The City Council is considering a bill sponsored by Margaret Chin that would defer the taxes for landlords who can prove their ability to pay them has been impacted by the pandemic, but it comes with a 9% interest rate. That wouldn’t make things better, Martin said. “The bills are woefully inadequate,” he said. “You’re paying for the ability to pay later. It does nothing to compensate own-

BUCK ENNIS

BY NATALIE SACHMECHI

ers who have already given massive amounts of forgiveness to residential tenants.”

Caution advised The Independent Budget Office warned New York to tread “carefully lest the city undermine its most im-

portant revenue source.” Many CHIP landlords won’t be able to participate in the deferral program, Martin said, because their property taxes are being paid in monthly installments along with their mortgages. Even if a tax bill is passed tomorrow, most of that

money has already gone out the door, he said, and it won’t be coming back. About 40% of CHIP landlords said they would struggle to pay their full property tax bill, the report said, while 6% said they probably will default on their July 1 tax bill. ■

4 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

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CORONAVIRUS ALERT

FROM PAGE 1

everyone,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the Hospitality Alliance. “These restaurants are vital to the economic fabric of the city of New York.” Others feel the initiative doesn't go far enough. One restaurant owner characterized the plan as an empty victory, one that will help only a tiny percentage of eateries that have the outdoor space available to seat multiple tables while maintaining adequate social distance. "This is a great victory for a small percentage of restaurants, but let's not fool ourselves into a place of complacency or belief that this is a far-reaching solution," said James Mallios, owner of Amali in Midtown. "For the select few, I think 5%, this will be a game changer— thus the Pyrrhic victory."

Falling rate The plan includes five options for restaurant owners. Curb-lane seating will allow seats in parking lots or along curbs adjacent to a business. This element will be allowed through Labor Day weekend. Basic sidewalk seating will be allowed through October. Open-street seat-

SERVERS must wear masks, and tables have to be 6 feet apart under the plan.

AP PHOTO

DINING

ing will begin in July and will be coordinated by the Department of Transportation and community groups. Backyard and patio seating will be permitted at appropriate restaurants. And there will be a plaza-seating component, one that will entail business-improvement districts working with restaurants to extend seating into public plazas following Department of Transportation approval. De Blasio said the process for any restaurant to apply for the seating and regulation measures can be done online and is as simple as clicking a few buttons. The move comes after positive Covid-19 tests in the city fell below

1% for the first time. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that there were 1,284 Covid-19 hospitalizations last Thursday and an average of 25

nor said New Yorkers should care about the growing number of cases around the U.S., as tourists could continue to spread the disease. Antsy city dwellers have clearly let their guard down, as seen in videos of public gatherings recently. Large congregations of people were seen drinking and socializing without masks outside the bars in the East Village, Upper West Side and parts of Brooklyn and on 30th Street in Queens that were open for curbside dining. Cuomo cautioned that restaurants and bars violating social-distancing requirements could lose their liquor license and insisted businesses work to keep people 6 feet apart and covering their face. These concerns weren’t based just on social-media videos. The state received 25,000 complaints during the course of one weekend about patrons standing too close and violating social-distancing rules outside restaurants, with most of the complaints about establishments in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

looming, most restaurant owners are just happy to be returning to some semblance of normalcy. Going forward, some industry experts believe, the Open Restaurants initiative should be a catalyst for the city to reimagine itself. “New York City is no longer the city of mean streets but one of street eateries in the great tradition of piazzas,” Reinhart said. “If New York is leading the country as a business center, [the city will] have to be largely pedestrian [focused].” The Department of Small Business Services will be handing out 2 million masks to restaurants in order to make sure they have proper personal protective equipment for the reopening. And although restaurants will need to allow for 6 feet of socialdistancing space in their seating arrangements for patrons, by reimagining outdoor dining, the de Blasio administration may have presented a new way forward for an industry hit hard during the pandemic. “All you need is a table and chair,” Reinhart said. “It paints a different picture of how to use our streetscape.” ■

Different picture

Additional reporting by Ryan Deffenbaugh and Jonathan LaMantia

“THIS IS A GREAT VICTORY FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF RESTAURANTS” deaths last week, saying both figures were the lowest since March. But the coast is not yet clear. As other states start to reopen, infection rates across the country have been rising, a trend that has left New York in a heightened state of alarm coming into phase two. The gover-

Even with a possible Covid-19 resurgence and government fines

Let’s make a deal: Landlords are slashing prices on empty units BY NATALIE SACHMECHI

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he city’s soaring rent prices may have finally hit a ceiling. With people leaving the city, working from home and searching for more space, the appetite for city apartments has waned. Landlords across the five boroughs are slashing rents on once-coveted units that they’re trying to take off the market, according to a StreetEasy report. Even as prices continued to rise last month, the 2% uptick in city rents was overshadowed by even deeper, but less widespread, price cuts. Nearly a quarter of all rentals across the city were marked down in May, compared with 15% this time last year. “Covid-19 has upended the typical trade-off of home space for close proximity to work, entertainment, etc.,” StreetEasy economist Nancy Wu wrote. “Many New Yorkers are choosing to get more space and greater affordability farther from the city center.”

High rents, high discounts The largest and most frequent discounts on rentals listed on StreetEasy were in Manhattan— more than 25% of all listings in the borough. That’s 12,500 apartments as of May 30. Swankier neighborhoods, such as the Financial and Flatiron districts, Midtown West and the Upper West Side, had more than a third of

their listings discounted. In May 2019, 18% were discounted at most. “Since many landlords in these areas are struggling to rent units without offering a deal,” Wu wrote, “they’ll likely soon start listing them at a lower price to begin with.” Rents in other boroughs are dropping as well. Overall, 22% of Brooklyn units and 18% of Queens homes were discounted. Downtown Brooklyn reported cuts on 39% of its StreetEasy listings; 22% had been cut in May 2019. With fewer renters looking to pay a premium for gyms, pools and rooftop space, newer buildings in Brooklyn and Long Island City that have shared amenities could be offering great deals. The Bronx and Staten Island reported fewer discounts than last year, according to the report. Traditionally, the two boroughs have lower rents than the other three. Higher rents typically have higher discounts, and vice versa, Wu said. Also, residents of the Bronx and Staten Island tend to stay home during the summer rather than leave for the Hamptons or other areas, which keeps prices stable. Reduced rents aren’t the only tactic that landlords are using to entice potential tenants. Other concessions include offering one or two free months of rent—which has become more popular across the city, Wu said, rising by more

than 12% since last year to 26% of buildings. As New Yorkers yearn for more space, studio apartments are being picked last. Although apartments of all sizes are being discounted, 27% of studio rents dropped last month, compared with 14% last year.

Fewer units, fewer people People are interested in living in buildings with fewer units—and therefore fewer people—the report showed. Wu called it a social-distancing premium. In 27% of buildings with 50 or more units, rents have been cut about 10% below the asking price. That’s a median discount of $400 per month, which is double what such renters saved last year. The summer is going to be a hotbed for rental discounts, because that’s when the greatest number of city leases begin and end. So the supply of rentals is only going to get bigger, Wu said. Demand, however, will tumble as many new hires and interns start their jobs remotely, and many people escape the city for the season or permanently due to job loss. Prices will follow suit, and they could continue falling throughout the year, Wu said. “The growing frequency of rent cuts today suggests that the market favors the renter over the landlord,” she wrote. For the first time in a long time in New York, it’s a renter’s world. ■

STRATEGIC

business advice from experienced A&E advisors will add certainty to your future. grassicpas.com/constructionae

JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 5

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IN THE MARKETS

Big drop in Manhattan office values causes heartburn for banks

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or some big landlords, the implied price of Manhattan office space has fallen below levels in 2009, when it was $469 per square foot, according to a recent report from Evercore ISI. Vornado Realty Trust’s towers are valued at $364 per square foot, and Empire State Realty Trust’s at just $266. That’s a problem for owners trying to preserve AARON their property values while persuading tenants their workplaces will be safe. It’s also a problem for banks, because real estate occupies a big chunk of their loan portfolios. It has been 30 years since the city saw a prolonged commercial real estate downturn. If one is starting

The agency reported that the nation’s 5,100 banks set aside nearly $53 billion in the first quarter to cover expected loan losses. At the same time, they shelled out nearly $33 billion in dividends to shareholders, and those payouts were nearly twice banks’ quarterly earnings. Clearly something has to give. Change could ELSTEIN come as soon as this week, when the Federal Reserve is set to announce the stress-test results for JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and other large banks. The Fed could force banks to slash or eliminate their dividends, figuring it makes no sense for money to trickle out to investors when earnings and capital levels are under pressure. The pressure could intensify because, as RBC Capital Markets’ Gerard Cassidy reckons, banks’ second-quarter loan-loss provisions will be even higher than the first quarter’s. If that’s the case, the number of “problem” banks, which rose last quarter for the first time since 2011, could rise higher from its reading of 54. There were nearly

BANKS HATE CUTTING DIVIDENDS BECAUSE IT CONVEYS WEAKNESS now, it will cause heartburn for banks, which suffered big losses in just the first few weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown, according to FDIC data released last week.

BLOOMBERG

Real estate occupies a large chunk of loan portfolios

900 problem banks after the financial crisis.

Monitoring payouts To keep a lid on distress, FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams said now is not the time to ease off on the exceptional regulatory relief granted to banks at the start of the crisis, which allowed borrowers to stop payments without their loans

being classified as troubled. She added that the agency is “monitoring” bank dividend payouts. Banks hate cutting dividends because it conveys weakness. They’re already the weak link in the stock market, though, with the group down nearly 30% this year while the S&P 500 is off just 3%. The gap reflects investor uncertainty over how many commercial real estate and

other loans will go bad. Sensing which way the winds are blowing, some banks are bolstering their defenses. Last week ConnectOne Bancorp of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., raised $75 million in cash, a move that modestly lifts the small lender’s already formidable riskbased capital ratio of 13.2%. It’s a good idea to have plenty of sandbags before the flood arrives. ■

VC world aims to make itself less white and male Venture Forward launched to improve diversity in a field with well-documented difficulties on that front

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hite men’s grip on the levers of power in finance isn’t just stark; it’s also sturdy. Women in the sector hold only 30% of senior jobs, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—the same level as in 2007. Venture capital executives say they want to change that. Last week the National Venture Capital Association launched Venture Forward, which aims to improve diversity in a field with well-documented difficulties on that front. “Over the last 50 years, this industry has produced tremendous inno-

The initiative is backed by Silicon Valley Bank, Deloitte and law firm Gunderson Dettmer. Financial institutions have pledged for many years to diversify their workforces and client bases, with results perhaps best described as mixed. On June 16 Morgan Stanley’s former global head of diversity, Marilyn Booker, sued the firm for allegedly firing her after she pushed senior executives too hard to restructure a program for training Black financial advisers. “Morgan Stanley has had decades to get its house in order and improve its record on diversity and inclusion,” said Booker’s attorney, Jeanne Christensen, of the Widgor law firm. “No more excuses.” Morgan Stanley rejected the allegations and said, “We are steadfast in our commitment to improve the diversity of our employees and have made steady progress—while recognizing that we have further progress to make.” Sallie Krawcheck, former chief financial officer at Citigroup and head of Merrill Lynch, observed in

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE PLEDGED FOR MANY YEARS TO DIVERSIFY THEIR WORKFORCES vation and economic success, but it has done so while systematically excluding the participation of women, people of color and other underrepresented minorities,” said Maryam Haque, Venture Forward’s executive director. “We will work to ensure that the VC industry takes honest account as we look to the future.”

a 2011 interview that men are simply more comfortable hiring people who look and sound like themselves. “Putting in someone who’s diverse, has a diverse background, a different background always feels like a risk,” said Krawcheck, who today runs Ellevest, an investment firm that focuses on women.

Study findings The lack of diversity is especially acute in venture capital, where only 14% of partners are women and just 6% are African American or Hispanic, according to a study by Deloitte and the NVCA. Another study showed that during a five-year period that ended in 2017, woman-founded startups received 9.2% of VC investments. Just 1.8% went to firms with Latino founders and 1% to those launched by Black entrepreneurs. For years such data has spawned conferences and promises to do better, but now the signs are clearer that VCs are paying more than lip service to diversity. Union Square Ventures, an early investor in Twitter, recently pledged to hire more Black investors, back more Black founders and share its data with the public.

BLOOMBERG

BY AARON ELSTEIN

“We must confront the uncomfortable reality that we are part of the problem,” the firm said. In Brooklyn, minority-run 645 Ventures said it plans to support the Center for Policing Equity. The company launched a website “to help our allies understand where they can donate money and time toward organizations that advocate for social justice in addition to better education and opportunities for people of color.” If VCs are serious about bringing more economic opportunity to those who have missed out, they

could do worse than investing in occupations with the least diverse workforces. Helpfully, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a list of the racial breakdown at various jobs. The data show that whites are 78% of the total workforce but 94% of airline pilots and speech pathologists, 93% of real estate appraisers, 91% of editors and construction managers, and 90% of public relations managers. They are 89% of CEOs. Sounds like those jobs might be ready for some disruption. ■

6 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

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CORONAVIRUS ALERT

Structural racism contributed to Covid-19 death toll, city health commish says BY JONATHAN LAMANTIA

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ew York City’s experience with Covid-19 has ripped open inequality in health care for all to see, said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s health commissioner, who spoke during a Crain’s webcast June 16. The health commissioner noted that black and Latino New Yorkers are dying at about twice the rate of white New Yorkers, when adjusting

it to in this period to those underlying risk factors, those underlying chronic illnesses that are playing out so dramatically in our communities.” Barbot previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner before joining the de Blasio administration in 2014. In 2018 she succeeded Dr. Mary Bassett, who had also been vocal about the role racial discrimination plays in health care. Barbot said the Health Department has worked during the pandemic to reach people who might not be seeing its public service announcements on TV and social media. It has held multilingual tele– town halls and targeted direct mailings with information about the virus to hard-hit areas. It is also working with primary-care providers in neighborhoods with high rates of Covid-19 to set up telemedicine systems so they can continue to treat patients with chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes.

BLACK AND LATINO NEW YORKERS ARE DYING AT ABOUT TWICE THE RATE for age, and said the city would be targeting assistance to 27 areas that had been most affected by Covid-19. “This data affirms the long-standing historical racial disparities that are attributable to structural racism,” Barbot said. “Secondly, our health care delivery system is not responding in the way that we need

New York was the U.S. epicenter for Covid-19 and has so far sustained more deaths than any other state. The city has confirmed that 17,455 people have died of the disease, and it believes an additional 4,690 likely died of Covid-19 but had no positive test as of June 16.

City’s response The health commissioner did not address how the city’s response to Covid-19 might have affected the severity of the outbreak. City Councilmen Eric Ulrich and Robert Holden called for her ouster in April, charging that she was slow to warn New Yorkers about the true dangers of the disease. In early February she told New Yorkers not to worry about riding subways and buses and encouraged people to attend Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown. She continued to encourage people to go about their daily lives into early March, before the department changed its messaging. Mayor Bill de Blasio stripped the Health Department of responsibili-

ty for contact tracing, a task it normally would be suited for, giving the job to NYC Health and Hospitals. Health Department officials have been supporting the hospital system with the task. Barbot said the city now sees itself in a moderate transmission phase as cases decline, while they rose last week in more than 20 other states. “As we enter the first phase of reopening, we see that our hospital admissions for Covid-like illness, our critical care capacity in the public health care system as well as our positive test rates across the city all indicate that we are at a point where starting to slowly lift restrictions is a way for us to move forward,” Barbot said. State data released last week showed only 1.2% of people taking Covid-19 tests in New York City are now testing positive. Data on antibody testing, which measures how many people have been exposed to the virus, showed 21.6% of people tested in the city have had exposure. That is up only slightly from

19.9% last month, meaning there are still many people who have not been exposed. Barbot said that as New York City recovers from Covid-19, it aims to build a health care system that delivers equal results to all New Yorkers. She said questions of how to rebuild health care shouldn’t be limited to how to address areas such as paying for telemedicine but should include large structural ones, such as why insurance is linked to a person’s employer. As hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost jobs in March and April, they also lost access to their insurance plans. “What we’re seeing being played out is generations of disinvestment on top of sustained acuity of health inequities that are playing out in horrific details across our city and our country with regards to racial disparities and Covid deaths,” Barbot said. “Together they typify the everyday violence of structural racism and how the accumulations pay cruel dividends on all of our communities of color.” ■

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president K.C. Crain senior executive vice president Chris Crain group publisher Mary Kramer

EDITORIAL

associate publisher Lisa Rudy

It’s essential for NY to acknowledge bias in health care underlying conditions are more likely to face adverse effects from Covid-19. This suggests those who are able to obtain preventive care to manage certain conditions are better able to rebound from the disease. However, low-income communities and ethnically diverse neighborhoods often lack access to primary-care doctors. Many of these neighborhoods are in the outer boroughs and also lack access to direct routes of transportation. So a person might have had to decide between ignoring a medical issue and taking a bus and then a train to get to a routine checkup. Never mind that many doctors don’t accept Medicaid, an insurance system that covers a good portion of people of color in our city. On top of that, 75% of the workers deemed essential are people of color, data from the comptroller’s office show. Not able to work from home and stay indoors, as most of the government’s health messages implored residents to do, the average front-line worker faced a commute lasting 45 minutes—a long time to spend on public transportation

W

assistant managing editors

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associate editor Lizeth Beltran (digital) art director Carolyn McClain photographer Buck Ennis data editor Gerald Schifman senior reporters Aaron Elstein,

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with others who could be asymptomatic or medically vulnerable. For too long, “good” neighborhoods, “good” hospitals and “good” jobs have landed in the hands of a chosen few—with immigrants, low-income individuals and people of color pushed to the outskirts. But then we expect them to pile into trains to staff our grocery stores, clean our hospitals and run our express transit. Racism isn’t always, well, black

and white. There are usually shades of gray governing how we put people at a disadvantage without thinking twice. As studies undoubtedly are done in the coming months to determine who was most affected by Covid-19 and why, New York needs to come to terms with this underlying bias. We need to make sure that equal access to quality health care and social services is also deemed essential.■

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Businesses must lead to end racial inequality elcome to black America 2020: Covid-19 has taken the lives and livelihoods of more black Americans than people of any other race. Amy Cooper invoked the police to threaten Christian Cooper in Central Park, and three white men in Georgia almost got away with murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Then the horrific killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd exhausted and horrified audiences. Inequality in America is too often fatal. It finally has become impossible to ignore. As of today, we’ve seen protests in all 50 states and across the world, while the call for change rings in police precincts, legislative houses, across industries and up corporate ladders. As companies face public pressure to speak up, consumers are making it clear that they want to know that the companies they use not only share their values but also live their values.

editor Robert Hordt

senior editor Telisha Bryan

OP-ED

BY LAMELL MCMORRIS

EDITORIAL

Janon Fisher, Gabriella Iannetta (digital)

ETHNICALLY DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOODS OFTEN LACK ACCESS TO PRIMARY-CARE DOCTORS attributed the difference in outcomes to structural racism and suggested we treat bias as a social determinant of health. The health care community has observed that individuals with

Frederick P. Gabriel Jr.

ISTOCK

T

he initial frenzy of the Covid-19 outbreak is dissipating, and many New Yorkers are itching to get back to business. But we can’t move forward without fully taking into account the lessons learned during the past few months. And one we need to make sure to address is the role structural racism played in our city’s death toll. During last week’s Crain’s Health Pulse webcast, keynote speaker Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s health commissioner, noted that black and brown New Yorkers have died from the virus at twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age. She

publisher/executive editor

As a lifelong civil rights activist and black entrepreneur, I’m thrilled to see this reckoning among corporate leaders, but it’s time for them to go further, by acting with the intentionality the moment demands. Any company that fails to take immediate concrete action for racial justice will face a long-term toll. Words in strong corporate statements must be paired with strong deeds, like truly investing in creating a diverse talent pool at every level of the company structure, and elevating an entire cohort of people of color to positions of leadership as executives and board members. I’ve seen the talent landscape, and there are plenty of people in the job market who are well qualified to fill these positions, and it’s up to corporate America to reach out beyond their age-old networks to harness it. Committing to actionable and long-term change can’t be halfhearted. This moment makes clear that Americans want real accountability and lasting change. We can think of these demands

as two tangential tracks of important work: addressing the enduring effects of racist policies and leveraging success to achieve change.

Racist policies This is not unlike our country’s historic legacy of redlining—the discriminatory practice of denying or limiting mortgage and financial services to communities of color— which involved strategically preventing black Americans from building wealth for their families and their communities through homeownership. Addressing the effects of racist policies requires investing resources—time, energy and capital—into the black community, a segment that has been historically, strategically deprived of worthy investment. The people have made clear that we are witnessing not a moment but a movement. Businesses need to position themselves not only so that they may rise to the occasion but also so that they are participating in the long-overdue wave of

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Ana Jimenez, ajimenez@crainsnewyork REPRINTS director, reprints & licensing Lauren Melesio,

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changes that we’re starting to see. Businesses cannot in good faith post infographics about the need for police accountability without also holding themselves accountable. They need to be open and willing, as Verizon was when I worked with them, to speak publicly—in words and deeds—about what it means to value black lives. It has been my life’s work to help companies achieve significance once they’ve achieved success, to help them channel their enterprises into serving the greater good. American businesses must understand their role in the fight for justice and equality in this country where they’ve built their successes. There are only two sides in this fight. Future success for companies will depend on their being on the right side of it. ■

Simone Pryce

Lamell McMorris, a civil rights leader and political consultant, founded Greenlining Realty USA, an urban property redevelopment firm.

founder G.D. Crain Jr. [1885-1973]

media services manager Nicole Spell SUBSCRIPTION CUSTOMER SERVICE

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chairman Mrs. G.D. Crain Jr. [1911-1996]

8 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

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OP-ED

Keep the city moving by legalizing scooters BY FERNANDO CABRERA

E

ven before the pandemic, New Yorkers were already suffering from a lack of good transportation options. Now, with buses and trains running at only a fraction of their full capacity, people are desperate. That’s why it’s urgent that the City Council move quickly to vote on Intro 1266 to legalize electric scooters and authorize a pilot program for them. We cannot ignore the realities recently brought to light by Covid-19. A recent poll found that nearly half of all New Yorkers plan to avoid mass transit after lockdown mea-

tive to cars. The best transit networks are supplemented by redundancies, like publicly shared electric scooters and bikes, which connect riders to stations and stops while providing an affordable option for short trips.

Air quality concern If automobiles are the only available option, it will have a devastating impact on respiratory health across the city and particularly in my district of the West Bronx, where neighborhoods consistently experience the worst air quality and the highest rates of asthma in New York. Roughly 410 out of every 10,000 Bronx children visited an emergency room for asthma-related symptoms from 2014 to 2016, according to the latest data from the Health Department. That is an 83% increase over the citywide asthma-related ER rate of 223 children out of 10,000. Micromobility, in addition to clearing the air, also can reduce commute times for the vast majority of New Yorkers. Estimates from one leading global operator show

MICROMOBILITY, IN ADDITION TO CLEARING THE AIR, ALSO CAN REDUCE COMMUTE TIMES sures are lifted. It would have been nearly impossible six months ago to predict such a drastic drop in ridership demand, yet here we are. Subway and bus systems are critical to our transportation grid, but they cannot act as the sole alterna-

that scooters can increase the number of NYCHA developments that are within 7.5 minutes of a subway stop by as much as 40%. That would make a big difference in the lives of many Bronx residents. My district, for example, has one of the largest populations of home health aides in the city, many of whom face challenging commutes to areas with poor transit access. Scooters would provide these hardworking individuals with a socially distant and carbon emission– free way to shorten their commute. Washington, D.C., Paris and other cities around the world have adopted scooters as a safe, clean and affordable transportation option. Now more than ever we need New York City and the DOT to embrace these options at scale. My district is still waiting for Citi Bike, but we would welcome the opportunity to benefit from electric scooters. Innovation should not serve disadvantaged communities last.

Sharing program As the City Council moves to confirm the legality of the scooters, the mayor and the DOT also must move to give people access to them. An equitable e-scooter sharing pro-

BLOOMBERG

Subway and bus systems are critical, but they cannot be the sole alternative to cars

gram for New York could, as in Los Angeles, be composed of thousands of scooters strategically distributed to maximize connections between vital destinations, like parks, schools, hospitals and employment centers. The time is now to pass Intro 1266 and show all New Yorkers that we’re serious about our commit-

ment to adopt proven transportation solutions that put their health and safety first. ■ City Councilman Fernando Cabrera represents the Bronx neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Morris Heights, Mount Eden, Fordham, Kingsbridge, Claremont Village and University Heights.

JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 9

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ASKED & ANSWERED New York City Health and Hospitals

A

INTERVIEW BY JENNIFER HENDERSON

s the chief population health officer of New York City Health and Hospitals, Dr. Dave Chokshi helmed the system’s efforts to develop care models and measure how well they improved outcomes for patients. Much of those efforts focused on chronic disease prevention and outpatient care to head off unnecessary hospital visits. Though Chokshi recently stepped down from his role after six years, he led population health during the height of the pandemic. He and his team increasingly turned to telehealth, and that came with challenges for a health system tasked with reaching many of the city’s lower-income residents.

Why has increasing telehealth visits been important for Health and Hospitals during the pandemic?

For us, telehealth was really about ensuring access to care on an ongoing basis, particularly being able to do it in a way that kept our patients and staff safe. It allows the patient to stay in their home, and the same is true for our staff. We as a system really benefited from planting the seed for telehealth about five years ago. We’ve been working for several years to lay the groundwork.

What has affected telehealth’s expansion?

We have really benefited from changes that were made at the state level, particularly in the offices of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Support.

DOSSIER

telehealth, but I think we’re going to have to advance that further for it to be financially sustainable for us.

BORN AND RAISED Baton Rouge, La.

What are the challenges of telehealth?

EDUCATION Bachelor’s in public policy and chemistry, Duke University; master’s in global public health as a Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford; M.D., Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Chokshi and his wife, Melissa Aguirre, an educator in city public schools, recently helped their daughter, Ava, celebrate her first birthday. RAMPING UP Health and Hospitals expanded from conducting about 55,000 televisits per month in March to about 100,000 in May. Virtual visits have included check-ins with nutritionists and even discussions with financial counselors. PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS Chokshi was selected as a White House fellow in 2012 and served as the principal health adviser in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2016 President Barack Obama appointed Chokshi to be a member of the White House’s advisory group on prevention, health promotion, and integrative and public health.

The most vulnerable patients may have some difficulty in using and being able to access the internet. Some of them don’t have phones; some of them needed a bit of a guiding hand to use the patient portal.

Has virtual care helped inside hospitals?

Video-enabled isolation rooms in our emergency departments allowed providers to monitor and communicate with Covid patients virtually. This allowed us to take care of patients but also conserve our personal protective equipment and prevent unnecessary faceto-face contact. Additionally, to restore that more human experience in a particularly isolating time, physicians via a video link were able to have difficult discussions with patients and families at the end of life.

More behavioral health is permitted to be provided telephonically or by video. There was regulatory flexibility with being able to deliver care in that way. It’s important to ensure that reimbursement keeps pace as well. There has been very good change at the state and federal level that is supporting reimbursement for

What is next for you?

I am continuing to take care of my patients at Bellevue as a primary care doctor and am also a clinical associate professor of population health and medicine at NYU. Health and Hospitals’ commitment to population health will thrive under the leadership of Dr. Mitch Katz and my successor, Dr. Nichola Davis. ■

BUCK ENNIS

DAVE CHOKSHI

NOMINATIONS OPEN Crain’s ew ork Business will hi hli ht otable omen in ountin and Consultin , whi h will publish as a se tion within Crain’s ew ork Business in the September 28 issue his feature is a elebration of women e e utives workin in a ountin and onsultin who have impa ted ew ork City in ma or ways and honors their professional, ivi and philanthropi a hievements

ominate today at crainsnewyork.com/notableaccounting2020 ominations must be ompleted by the deadline, July 24, to be onsidered uestions Conta t notables rainsnewyork om

10 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

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CORONAVIRUS ALERT

BLOOMBERG

T

he coronavirus hammered New York City hotels, pushing struggling properties to the brink of insolvency and presenting grave challenges to a local economy that depends heavily on tourism. Now, with international flights canceled and Broadway on ice, lodging owners and a hotel workers union that has seen 95% of its members laid off are sparring over how to implement safety protocols that both sides see as a necessary step to luring tourists back. The fight has parallels across industries, as companies seek to balance safety against the need to cut costs, and furloughed workers struggle with their own financial pressures and fears of contracting the virus. The stakes are especially high in New York, where hotels are facing a long recovery. Tourists supported 400,000 jobs and generated $70 billion in economic activity in 2019, according to the city’s tourism agency. New York officials are projecting hundreds of millions of dollars in lost hotel taxes, a number that doesn’t account for revenue generated when tourists dine in restaurants, shop at brick-and-mortar stores and frequent cultural institutions. “I’m extremely worried because tourism has become a real driver for New York’s economy,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future. “It’s vital to the city’s future for pol-

icymakers to figure out how to restart tourism again, and I have a strong feeling that it will have to start with safety.” The battle over work rules has been brewing for months. In March the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, which represents workers at three-quarters of the city’s hotel rooms, reached an agreement on safety protocols with more than 150 properties, including the New York Hilton and the Grand Hyatt. That pact reduced the number of rooms that housekeepers are required to clean during a shift and created positions for staff dedicated to cleaning public spaces. At the time few people were staying in hotels: Occupancy rates in New York plummeted to 15% in the week ending March 28, down from 84% in the same period in 2019, according to lodging data provider STR.

and elevators. But owners are rankled by union demands that would increase labor expenses, including a requirement that guest rooms be cleaned every day, whether or not guests want daily service. Another would give workers paid time to change into uniforms, which the union says would help prevent them from bringing the virus to work. “The majority of owners and operators are shocked and are clueless as to how they can reopen a closed hotel with the very costly and very cumbersome new union demands,” said Jonathan Falik, chief executive officer of JF Capital Advisors, which works with hotel owners. “It will force many of the existing hotels to remain closed, file for bankruptcy or convert to other uses.” Owners themselves have been more circumspect, declining to comment on the record for fear of upsetting a 40,000-member union with deep ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio and a track record of moving favored legislation through the City Council. Vijay Dandapani, CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, said the ownership group was engaging with the union on safety protocols but declined to comment on the substance of the proposal.

New proposal As Americans start to travel again and Manhattan limps back to

“IT’S VITAL TO THE CITY’S FUTURE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO RESTART TOURISM” life, the union has circulated a new proposal for keeping workers and guests safe. The document, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg, calls for many measures that are uncontroversial, like providing masks and hand sanitizer to workers and guests, and enforcing social distancing in lobbies

Push back Lodging owners have also pushed back on safety measures

Retailers play rent catch-up

I

n a tale of two commercial real estate markets, businesses are continuing to pay their office rent while retailers are struggling to pay the bills. The Empire State Realty Trust, which owns nine office buildings in the city, including the Empire State Building, collected 96% of its office rents for April and 95% for May, according to a recent report. But its retail properties, both inside its buildings and as standalone spaces, are playing catch-up. As of April 22, the company collected only 46% of such monthly rent due for that month. So far the landlord has collected only 61% of the rent it was owed for May. “The tone out there by tenants is to conserve cash,” Thomas Durels, an ESRT executive vice president, said during a first-quarter earnings call, “and some of this approach has showed up in tenants’ attitude

toward rent payment.” The trend has continued since then, according to data from ESRT, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. The REIT is still making every effort to have tenants pay. It is suing one of its retail tenants, Urban Outfitters, for $1.2 million in rent arrears and other fees at its Herald Square store, according to a case filed June 8.

No relief A quarter of the ESRT’s retail collections for May were actually security deposits that tenants put toward rent payments, which was part of the relief that Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered to tenants when the eviction moratorium was put in place. About 15% of May office rent receipts included security deposits. The company began executing its rent-deferral program June 1, whereby tenants may defer three months of rent that must be paid back within 18 months or restore

from hotel-brand companies. In April Marriott International said it planned to use tools called electrostatic sprayers to sterilize rooms but delayed implementing them widely after some owners complained the devices would damage fabrics and inflame allergies, according to people familiar with the matter. Marriott declined to comment. The company’s shares have slipped 39% this year. New York hotel owners were hurting before the pandemic, hit by a glut of new rooms and the rise of Airbnb listings. Even with occupancy rates near all-time highs, operating profit dropped 14% last year, according to STR. Hotel executives are predicting that at least 10% of the city’s existing rooms won’t reopen after the pandemic, said Patrick Scholes, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson

Humphrey. The closings have already started. Billionaire Robert Rowling’s Omni Hotels informed loyalty members on June 11 that it was permanently closing a nearly century-old hotel on East 52nd Street. Union officials concede that the pandemic spells hard times for New York hotel owners, but they argue that operators have thrived in the past decade and can afford to embrace measures that protect workers and promote travel. “We can’t allow owners to use the pandemic as a Trojan horse to slip in workforce reductions just to increase their profits while decreasing the safety of guests and workers,” Peter Ward, president of the Hotel Trades Council, said. “If the industry won’t thoughtfully regulate itself, then policymakers and elected officials need to step in and take real action.” ■

Invitation to Prequalify and to Bid Rehabilitation and Flood Mitigation of the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn, NY Turner Construction Company, an EEO Employer, is currently soliciting bids for the Rehabilitation and Flood Mitigation of the New York Aquarium from subcontractors and vendors for the following bid packages: BP #34 Electrical Manhole EMH-2 including excavation & concrete work (Bid, Payment & Performance Bond Required) Only bids responsive to the entire scope of work will be considered and, to be successful, bidders must be prequalified by Turner. Certified M/WBE and Small Business (13 CFR part 121) companies are encouraged to submit. BUCK ENNIS

BY NATALIE SACHMECHI

BLOOMBERG

Hotels, battered by pandemic, face rift over safety rules

their security deposit if it were used toward rent. The deferrals will be offered on a case-by-case basis. And before the ESRT agrees to the relief, tenants must prove how the pandemic affected their ability to pay rent. The ESRT announced earlier this month that it would be renewing Charles Schwab’s 10,702-squarefoot lease at 1 Grand Central Place, where JPMorgan Chase and First Republic Bank are also tenants. ■

In order to receive the bid packages, potential bidders must submit a complete Subcontractor/Vendor Prequalification Statement. Prior prequalification submissions that remain current will be considered as previously submitted or may be updated at this time. All bidders must prequalify by the bid deadline July 16, 2020 and submission of a prequalification statement not later than July 2, 2020 is strongly encouraged. All bidders must have an acceptable EMR, and will be subject to government regulations such as 44 CFR and Federal Executive Order 11246. Successful bidders will be required to use LCP Tracker compliance verification software. Note that while this is a New York City prevailing wage project, union affiliation is not required for BP#34. To obtain further information about contracting opportunities and/or the prequalification package and bid solicitation package/s, please contact Macarena Bermudez (mbermudez@tcco.com or 212-229-6000.) The date for the virtual public opening at the Turner Construction Company office located at 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York, is July 17, 2019 at 11 am. JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 11

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THE LIST LARGEST ARCHITECTURE FIRMS Ranked by number of New York–area architects

9 1 1 1 1 1 12 13 14 15 1 6 2 27 28 29 21 21 12 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2

RAN

(From left) 15 LAIGHT ST. by Gensler (No. 1); 1245 BROADWAY by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (No. 4); SKYLINE TOWER by Hill West Architects (No. 8); 1 WILLOUGHBY SQUARE by FXCollaborative Architects (No. 10); 1 WALL ST. by SLCE Architects (No. 16) COURTESY OF GENSLER, SOM © GDSNY, BINYAN STUDIOS, FXCOLLABORATIVE, MACKLOWE PROPERTIES

RANK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 12 13 14 15

NEW YORK–AREA ARCHITECTS 2019/ 2018

WORLDWIDE ARCHITECTS 2019/ 2018

FIRM/ ADDRESS

PHONE/ WEBSITE

Gensler 1700 Broadway New York, NY 10019

212-492-1400 gensler.com

Joseph Brancato, Robin Klehr Avia Regional managing principals Amanda Carroll, Rocco Giannetti, Joseph Lauro, Molly Murphy Managing directors, New York office

290 319

1,768 1,745

Perkins Eastman 115 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10003

212-353-7200 perkinseastman.com

Andrew Adelhardt III, Shawn Basler, Nick Leahy Co-chief executives

285 271

510 486

HOK 5 Bryant Park New York, NY 10018

212-741-1200 hok.com

Carl Galioto President, managing principal

191 227

1,187 1,289

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 14 Wall St. New York, NY 10005

212-298-9300 som.com

T.J. Gottesdiener Managing partner

188 193

455 381

Architecture: 77% Moynihan Train Hall/1245 Broadway Engineering: 11% Interiors: 9% Planning: 3%

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates 11 W. 42nd St. New York, NY 10036

212-977-6500 kpf.com

James von Klemperer President

132 126

228 221

Architecture: 85% 1 Vanderbilt for SL Green Realty Interiors: 3% Corp./NYCHA Red Hook Houses Planning: 12%

Ennead Architects 1 World Trade Center New York, NY 10007

212-807-7171 ennead.com

V. Guy Maxwell, Kevin McClurkan, Molly McGowan, Don Weinreich Management partners Richard Olcott, Tomas Rossant, Todd Schliemann, Peter Schubert, Thomas Wong Design partners

96 90

101 93

Architecture: 100% Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/The Public Theater

Spector Group 183 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016

212-599-0055 spectorgroup.com

Marc Spector, Scott Spector Principals

95 95

97 97

Architecture: 44% MDC Partners at 1 World Trade Interiors: 48% Center/Northwestern Mutual at Planning: 8% 200 Liberty St.

Hill West Architects 11 Broadway New York, NY 10004

212-213-8007 hillwest.com

L. Stephen Hill, David West Founding partners

91 91

91 91

Architecture: 98% Skyline Tower in Long Island City/ Planning: 2% PLG in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Robert A.M. Stern Architects 1 Park Ave. New York, NY 10016

212-967-5100 ramsa.com

Robert Stern Founder, senior partner

83 87

83 87

Architecture: 89% 220 Central Park South for Vornado Interiors: 10% Realty Trust/555 W. 22nd St. for Planning: 1% Related Cos.

CetraRuddy Architecture 1 Battery Park Plaza New York, NY 10004

212-941-9801 cetraruddy.com

John Cetra, Nancy Ruddy Founding principals

76 76

78 78

Architecture: 77% Fotografiska New York/Columbia Interiors: 15% University Manhattanville Planning: 8%

FXCollaborative Architects 22 W. 19th St. New York, NY 10011

212-627-1700 fxcollaborative.com

Guy Geier Managing partner

76 83

81 83

Architecture: 67% 1 Willoughby Square for JEMB Interiors: 23% Realty/77 Greenwich for Trinity Planning: 10% Place Holdings

H2M Architects + Engineers 538 Broad Hollow Road Melville, NY 11747

631-756-8000 h2m.com

Richard Humann President, chief executive

67 60

67 60

Architecture: 35% Farmingdale Aquatic Center/ Engineering: 65% Woodfield Road residential housing in West Hempstead, NY

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners 120 Broadway New York, NY 10271

212-777-7800 beyerblinderbelle.com

Frederick Bland Managing partner

64 66

83 77

Architecture: 88% 200 Montague St. in Brooklyn Interiors: 2% Heights/TWA Hotel at John F. Planning: 10% Kennedy International Airport

STV Architects Inc. 225 Park Ave. South New York, NY 10003

212-777-4400 stvinc.com

P012_P013_CN_20200622.indd 12

SLCE Architects 1359 Broadway

Dominick Servedio Executive chairman

WANT MORE OF CRAIN’S EXCLUSIVE DATA? VISIT

AECOM 12 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020 605 Third Ave. New York, NY 10158

HEAD(S) OF NEW YORK–AREA OFFICE

62 61

107 99

NEW YORK–AREA SERVICE MIX (% OF BILLINGS) 1 NOTABLE PROJECTS/CLIENTS 2

Architecture: 29% 15 Laight St./Gateway Center in Interiors: 69% Newark Planning: 2%

Architecture: 75% The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Interiors: 20% Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering/ Planning: 5% 196 Willoughby for RXR Realty Architecture: 60% Engineering: 13% Interiors: 25% Planning: 2%

Architecture: 39% Engineering: 50% CRAINSNEWYORK.COM/LISTS. Interiors: 1% Planning: 10%

212-973-2900 aecom.com

John Cardoni Executive vice president

60 60

4,135 n/d

212-979-8400 slcearch.com

Saky Yakas Managing partner

58 58

58 59

LG North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/New York– Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns

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+2%

+1%

0%

-1%

-2%

-3%

-4%

South Beach Psychiatric Center new residential building in Staten Island/Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal One

-5%

Sourc

Architecture: 15% Correctional facilities replacing the Engineering: 70% Riker's Island jail complex Interiors: 1% Planning: 14% 6/17/20 Architecture: 100% 1 Wall St. for Macklowe Properties/ 1 Boerum Place for Avery Hall

4:49 PM


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1 Park Ave. New York, NY 10016

ramsa.com

Founder, senior partner

87

87

Interiors: 10% Realty Trust/555 W. 22nd St. for Planning: 1% Related Cos.

CetraRuddy Architecture 1 Battery Park Plaza New York, NY 10004

212-941-9801 cetraruddy.com

John Cetra, Nancy Ruddy Founding principals

76 76

78 78

Architecture: 77% Fotografiska New York/Columbia Interiors: 15% University Manhattanville Planning: 8%

FXCollaborative Architects 22 W. 19th St. New York, NY 10011

212-627-1700 fxcollaborative.com

Guy Geier Managing partner

76 83

81 83

Architecture: 67% 1 Willoughby Square for JEMB Interiors: 23% Realty/77 Greenwich for Trinity Planning: 10% Place Holdings

H2M Architects + Engineers 538 Broad Hollow Road Melville, NY 11747

631-756-8000 h2m.com

Richard Humann President, chief executive

67 60

67 60

Architecture: 35% Farmingdale Aquatic Center/ Engineering: 65% Woodfield Road residential housing in West Hempstead, NY

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners 120 Broadway FIRM/ ADDRESS New York, NY 10271

212-777-7800 beyerblinderbelle.com

Frederick Bland Managing partner

PHONE/ WEBSITE

HEAD(S) OF NEW YORK–AREA OFFICE

64 NEW YORK–AREA 66 ARCHITECTS 2019/ 2018

83 WORLDWIDE 77 ARCHITECTS 2019/ 2018

STV Architects Inc. Gensler 225 Ave. South 1700Park Broadway New York, NY 10003 10019

212-777-4400 212-492-1400 stvinc.com gensler.com

62 290 61 319

107 1,768 99 1,745

Architecture: 39% 29% Engineering: Interiors: 50% 69% Interiors: 1% Planning: 2% Planning: 10%

South Beach PsychiatricCenter Centerinnew 15 Laight St./Gateway residential Newark building in Staten Island/Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal One

AECOM 605 ThirdEastman Ave. Perkins New York, Ave. NY 10158 115 Fifth New York, NY 10003

212-973-2900 aecom.com 212-353-7200 perkinseastman.com

Dominick ServedioRobin Klehr Avia Joseph Brancato, Executive chairman principals Regional managing Amanda Carroll, Rocco Giannetti, Joseph Lauro, Molly Murphy Managing directors, New York office John Cardoni Executive vice president Andrew Adelhardt III, Shawn Basler, Nick Leahy Co-chief executives

60 60 285 271

4,135 n/d 510 486

Architecture: 15% Engineering: 70% Architecture: 75% Interiors:20% 1% Interiors: Planning: Planning:14% 5%

Correctional facilities replacing the Riker's Island jail complex The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering/ 196 Willoughby for RXR Realty

SLCE Architects HOK Broadway 1359 5 Bryant New York,Park NY 10018 New York, NY 10018

212-979-8400 212-741-1200 slcearch.com hok.com

Saky Yakas Carl Galiotopartner Managing President, managing principal

58 191 58 227

58 1,187 59 1,289

EwingCole 14 Penn Plaza Skidmore, Owings & Merrill New York,St.NY 10122 14 Wall New York, NY 10005

212-897-4033 ewingcole.com 212-298-9300 som.com

Mary Frazier Managing principal T.J. Gottesdiener Managing partner

55 51 188 193

220 190 455 381

1 Wall St. for Macklowe Properties/ North American 1LGBoerum Place for headquarters Avery Hall in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/New York– Investments Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns Lenox Hill redevelopment for Northwell Building for Moynihan Health/River Train Hall/1245 Broadway Hospital for Special Surgery

Stephen B. Jacobs Group 381 Ave. South KohnPark Pedersen Fox Associates New NYSt. 10016 11 W.York, 42nd New York, NY 10036

212-421-3712 sbjgroup.com 212-977-6500 kpf.com

Stephen Jacobs President James von Klemperer President

50 53 132 126

53 55 228 221

Architecture: 100% Architecture: 60% Engineering: 13% Interiors: 25% Planning: 2% Architecture: 40% Engineering: 20% Architecture: 77% Interiors: 30% Engineering: 11% Planning: Interiors:10% 9% Planning: 3% Architecture: 85% Interiors: 15% Architecture: 85% Interiors: 3% Planning: 12%

Dattner Architects 1385 Broadway Ennead Architects New York,Trade NY 10018 1 World Center New York, NY 10007

212-247-2660 dattner.com 212-807-7171 ennead.com

46 48 96 90

46 48 101 93

TPG Architecture 132 W. 31st St. New York, NY 10001

212-768-0800 tpgarchitecture.com

Kirsten Sibilia Managing principal V. Guy Maxwell, Kevin McClurkan, Beth MollyGreenberg McGowan, Don Weinreich Principal Management partners Richard Olcott, Tomas Rossant, James Phillips, Frederic Todd Schliemann, Peter Strauss Schubert, Managing executives Thomas Wong Design partners

39 36

39 36

Spector Group NBBJ 183 Broadway Madison Ave. 140 New York, NY NY 10005 10016 New York,

212-599-0055 212-924-9000 spectorgroup.com nbbj.com

Marc Spector, Scott Spector Timothy Johnson, Joan Saba Principals Partners

95 32 95 33

97 245 97 240

Architecture: 62% 44% Architecture: Interiors: 37% 48% Interiors: Planning: 8% Planning: 1%

MDC Partners at 1 World Trade BlackRock headquarters/critical Center/Northwestern MutualIsland at services structure for Coney 200 Liberty St. Hospital

Hill Architects West Architects NK 11 Broadway 233 Broadway New York, York, NY NY 10279 10004 New

212-213-8007 212-982-7900 hillwest.com nkarchitects.com

L. Stephen Paul Drago Hill, David West Founding Principal partners

91 28 91 31

91 28 91 31

Robert A.M. Stern Architects Stonehill 1 Park Ave.Taylor 31 27thNYSt.10016 NewW.York, New York, NY 10001

212-967-5100 212-226-8898 ramsa.com stonehilltaylor.com

Robert Stern Paul Taylorsenior partner Founder, President

83 26 87 21

83 26 87 21

Architecture: 85% 98% Architecture: Planning: 2% Engineering: 7% Interiors: 5% Planning: 3% Architecture: 89% Architecture: Interiors: 21% 10% Interiors: Planning:79% 1%

Skyline Boys Towerand in Long Variety Girls Island Club ofCity/ PLG in Prospect Lefferts Gardens Queens/emergency department expansion at The Brooklyn Hospital Center 220 Central Park South for Vornado Graduate Hotel onW.Roosevelt Realty Trust/555 22nd St.Island/ for Margaritaville Related Cos. Resort in Times Square

CetraRuddy Architecture Davis Brody Bond 1 Battery Park Plaza 1New NewYork, YorkNYPlaza 10004 New York, NY 10004

212-941-9801 212-633-4700 cetraruddy.com davisbrody.com

John Cetra, Nancy Ruddy Steven Davis, Christopher GrabĂŠ, Founding principals Carl Krebs, William Paxson, David Williams Partners Guy Geier Managing partner Mark Harbick, Kenneth Kramer Principals

76 23 76 n/d

78 23 78 n/d

Architecture: 77% Architecture: Interiors:100% 15% Planning: 8%

Fotografiska New York/Columbia 181 Mercer St. in Greenwich Village University Manhattanville for New York University/Zero Irving for New York City Economic Development Corp. 1 Willoughby Square for JEMB Realty/77 Greenwich for Trinity Newark Beth Israel master plan and Place Holdings implementation/EisnerAmper office relocation Farmingdale Aquatic Center/ Woodfield Road residential housing NYC School Construction in West Hempstead, NY Authority in Staten Island

Architecture: 88% 200 Montague St. in Brooklyn Interiors: 2% Heights/TWA Hotel at John F. Planning: 10% Kennedy International Airport NEW YORK–AREA SERVICE MIX (% OF BILLINGS) 1 NOTABLE PROJECTS/CLIENTS 2

Surf Building No. 2 in Coney Island/ Solari 1 Vanderbilt for SL Green Realty Corp./NYCHA Red Hook Houses

Architecture: 88% 2840 Atlantic Ave. in Cypress Hills/ Interiors: 8% Bronx Express Bronx Community Architecture: 100% Memorial SloanatKettering Cancer Planning: 5% College Center/The Public Theater Architecture: 85% National Hockey League/ Interiors: 15% Madison Square Garden

FXCollaborative Architects 212-627-1700 76 81 Architecture: 67% 22 W.3 19th St. fxcollaborative.com 83 83 Interiors: 50% 23% FCA 646-315-7000 22 58 Architecture: NewWorth York, St. NY 10011 Planning: 36% 10% 40 franciscauffman.com 29 48 Engineering: New York, NY 10013 Interiors: 12% Planning:35% 2% H2M Architects + Engineers 631-756-8000 Richard Humann 67 67 Architecture: 538 Broad Hollow Road h2m.com President, chief executive 60 60 Engineering: 65% Stantec 212-366-5600 Tom Walsh 22 554 Architecture: 7% Melville, Architecture NY 11747 Inc. 475 Fifth Ave. stantec.com Vice president 21 624 Engineering: 93% New York, NY 10017 Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and 212-777-7800 Frederick Bland 64 83 Architecture: 88% 200 Montague St. in Brooklyn Planners beyerblinderbelle.com Managing partner 66 77 Interiors: 2% Heights/TWA Hotel at John F. 120 Broadway Planning: 10% Kennedy International Airport New York, NY 10271 Â Â? Â? Â? Â?

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225 Park Ave. South New York, NY 10003

stvinc.com

Executive chairman

REDUCED FOOTPRINT

61

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SLCE Architects 1359 Broadway New York, NY 10018

+1% 0%

-1% -2%

212-979-8400 slcearch.com

Saky Yakas Managing partner

EwingCole 212-897-4033 14 Penn Plaza in employment from ewingcole.com Change March to April New York, NY 10122

Mary Frazier Managing principal

Stephen B. Jacobs Group 381 Park Ave. South New York, NY 10016

Stephen Jacobs -4.4% President

-3% -4% -5%

’11

’12

’13

DESIGN PROBLEMS

-2.3

Furloughs and layoffs spurred by the pandemic have212-973-2900 cut deeply into the city’sJohn Cardoni AECOM 605 Third Ave.workforce. Combined,aecom.com architecture and engineering the sectors shed 4.4% ofExecutive total vice president New York, NY 10158 employees from March to April, the steepest month-to-month drop in the past decade.

’14

212-421-3712 sbjgroup.com ’15

Dattner Architects Sources: State Department of Labor, Crain’s research 1385 Broadway New York, NY 10018

TPG Architecture 132 W. 31st St. P012_P013_CN_20200622.indd New 13 York, NY 10001

’16 ’17 212-247-2660 dattner.com

212-768-0800 tpgarchitecture.com

’18

’19 ’20 Kirsten Sibilia Managing principal Beth Greenberg Principal

%

Engineering: 50% residential building in Staten Interiors: 1% Island/Newark Liberty International Planning: 10% Airport Terminal One

State claims in theArchitecture: architecture15% and engineering at the 60 unemployment4,135 Correctional sectors facilitiesspiked replacing 3,446 in the week ending before droppin the two months that followed. 60 n/d April 11Engineering: 70%g inRiker's Island jail complex

DROP in local architects from 2018 to 2019 at firms on Crain’s ranking

+1,312

%

RISE in jobless claims in architecture and engineering in the past 10 weeks compared with the same period from 2019

James Phillips, Frederic Strauss Managing executives

99

Interiors: 1% Planning: 14%

3,500

Claims at week’s end

3,000 58 58 2,500

58 59

Architecture: 100% 1 Wall St. for Macklowe Properties/ 1 Boerum Place for Avery Hall Investments

2,000 55 51 1,500

220 190

Architecture: 40% Lenox Hill redevelopment for Engineering: 20% Northwell Health/River Building for Interiors: 30% Hospital for Special Surgery Planning: 10%

1,000 50 53 500

46 48

39 36

0

53 55

3/28

4/4

Architecture: 85% Surf Building No. 2 in Coney Island/ Interiors: 15% Solari

46 Architecture: 88% 2840 in Cypress 4/11 4/18 4/25 5/2 5/9 Atlantic 5/16 Ave. 5/23 5/30 Hills/ 6/6 48 Interiors: 8% Bronx Express at Bronx Community Planning: 5%| CRAIN’S College NEW YORK BUSINESS | 13 JUNE 22, 2020 39 36

Architecture: 85% National Hockey League/ Interiors: 15% Madison Square Garden

6/18/20 4:30 PM


HOW ARE PRODUCERS INNOVATING? Tuesday, June 30 | 4-5 p.m.

As Broadway, which was experiencing one of its biggest boom periods in history, remains dark, Crain’s talks to some of Broadway’s top talent about how they are innovating. How are they still reaching loyal audiences with strong content? What have they learned about abandoning old rules and reinventing themselves?

KEYNOTE:

Stewart F. Lane CEO & Co-Founder BroadwayHD

PANEL DISCUSSION:

Stephen C. Byrd Founder & Producer Front Row Productions

Clive Chang Chief of Staff & Innovation Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Bonnie Comley Owner/Founder BroadwayHD

Julia C. Levy Executive Director Roundabout Theatre Company

Register today at

www.crainsnewyork.com/ACSpring2020 $150 for individual ticket(s) *With each ticket purchase, $50 of the sale will be donated to The Actors Fund, which supports actors directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Help support The Actors Fund during these unprecedented times.

For event questions: Ana Jimenez | 212-210-0739 | crainsevents@crainsnewyork.com For sponsorship opportunities: Lisa Rudy | lrudy@crain.com

CN019751.indd 1

6/17/20 9:00 AM


ARTS & CULTURE

Digitizing Broadway Stewart Lane BroadwayHD INTERVIEW BY GWEN EVERETT for it. Broadway HD wanted to celebrate that. That was the whole point, trying to re-create that. “If you can’t get to Broadway, get to Broadway HD” was our mantra. Now more than ever, because of the virus situation, Broadway HD has the responsibility and the honor of carrying on the Broadway theme, the Broadway spirit. It’s been fortunate to have captured those moments on Broadway, in full-length musicals and plays, that we can now share with the public until Broadway gets back on its feet again.

How did Broadway HD come to be?

New audiences have a new set of tastes. Have you found certain Broadway shows that got overlooked by New York audi-

Theater became so popular that people found they were willing to pay higher prices

Parts of Broadway are resistant to innovation. When Covid-19 made the old way of doing things impossible, did that strengthen the pitch for Broadway HD?

Right now, because of what’s happened, a lot of producers who were holding off on letting us shoot their shows and capturing them are very sorry that we won’t have the opportunity to do it. Because a lot of those shows are not going to come back when Broadway reopens, whenever that is.

ences thrive in front of digital ones?

A lot of Broadway shows that are very worthy and very important don’t get to shine as often as they should. And the Broadway audience, maybe the immediate Broadway audience, has certain attitudes that maybe the rest of the nation doesn’t share. And many times, worthy shows don’t get the play that they should be getting. At Broadway HD we’re able to open them up to a much wider audience. There are musicals and plays where you go, “You know, this deserved a longer run.” But there just wasn’t enough of an audience in New York. We’re able to give further life to those kinds of plays. “Indecent” was a perfect example.

What kind of benefits do shows that team up with you experience? Because of what’s happened, producers and institutions that we’ve dealt with are now seeing financial rewards from teaming up with us. Institutions, such as the Lincoln Center and some producers, use our product to market the licensing of their shows after they close. They say, “Look, here’s what the show looks like on Broadway HD. It’ll fit perfectly into your theater.” ■

BROADWAYHD

A

fter rising to the top of Broadway, Stewart Lane decided to shake it up. The six-time Tony Award-winning producer founded Broadway HD with Bonnie Comley, his wife and business partner and a producer who boasts three Tonys of her own. Together, they set out to record ultra-high-quality renditions of live Broadway performances. While the idea was considered highly disruptive in an industry that runs on in-person experiences, the Covid-19 pandemic has made Broadway more receptive to it. Lane spoke with Crain’s to discuss how Broadway HD helps productions license their plays and gives a new digital life to plays that were overlooked during their Broadway runs.

CRAIN’S FORUM ON HOW BROADWAY IS INNOVATING TO HEAR MORE from Stewart Lane and other leaders in the performance industry on how they are reinventing themselves, check out Crain’s Arts and Culture Event on Tuesday, June 30, from 4 to 5 p.m. To register visit CrainsNewYork.com/ ACSpring2020.

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JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 15

P015_CN_20200622.indd 15

6/18/20 4:25 PM


WHO OWNS THE BLOCK

Midtown price choppers

620 W 42ND ST.

Concessions become the norm as rental market swoons BY C. J. HUGHES

T

606 W. 57TH ST.

605 W. 42ND ST. Sky, a 1,175-unit, $850 million highrise from the Moinian Group, sits on a block-long site once home to a gas station. Moinian bought the site from Verizon for $120 million in 2005 and broke ground three years later. But the recession stalled the project for years, resulting in an empty plot and citations. The building has three swimming pools and a full-size basketball court. In exchange for state property tax breaks, Sky offers some below-market-rate housing.

Named for a son of Frederick Elghanayan, a co-founder of developer TF Cornerstone, the 1,028-unit Max offers studios to three-bedroom homes. More than 250 of the apartments are affordable, and many units offer quartz countertops. Among the 50,000 square feet of amenities are a yoga room and a basketball court. Also on-site is a public preschool. Concessions are not new for the blocklong complex, as TF offered up to two months of free rent as an incentive when it came to market in 2018.

572 11TH AVE. Oskar, a 13-story rental building from the Moinian Group, opened here in 2018. Moinian paid about $6 million for the site in 2004, which then featured the Market Diner establishment once frequented by Frank Sinatra. The Bank of China handled the $105 million in financing for the project, most of which was covered by the sale of state revenue bonds. More than one-quarter of the 164 apartments are set aside at below-market rents.

650 W. 42ND ST. Silverstein founder Larry Silverstein, a major commercial developer, completed his first residential project at this address. The $225 million undertaking opened in 2000 and has 921 units. It was a long time in coming, as Silverstein paid $25 million for the property in 1984 on what was a desolate industrial area. Today, the 41-story River Place tower offers studios to two-bedroom homes.

450 W. 42ND ST. 620 W. 42ND ST. Silver Towers, a two-building, 1,359-unit rental that opened in 2009, is a creation of Silverstein Properties, one of the city’s largest landlords. Among Silverstein’s portfolio are three of the replacement towers at the World Trade Center site. At Silver Towers, tall windows, stainless-steel appliances and washer-dryers adorn studios and one- and two-bedrooms, and a free shuttle bus runs to subway stops a few blocks away. The rezoned site was once envisioned for a hotel for the nearby Javits Convention Center.

520 W. 41ST ST. Silverstein snapped up this full-block site in 2015 from Mercedes-Benz for $115 million—$77 million of which was an acquisition loan from SL Green Realty. A demolition of the car dealership followed. Plans have changed through the years, but the latest calls for a two-tower complex with condos and offices. Nothing has been built yet, though Deutsche Bank provided $148 million in financing in 2018.

This 63-story tower, built in 2011, is split between rentals and condo units. The rental portion, which is called MiMA and owned by Related Cos. and TIAA, takes up the lower stories. The condo part, Manhattan View, which uses the address 460 W. 42nd St., was developed by SCG America Group, a Chinese company. The condominium, which includes 147 studios to four-bedrooms, occupies the top 13 floors. Like its neighbors, MiMa has seemed to struggle as tenants have broken their leases. Related is offering to throw in a free month of rent or cover broker fees for new tenants.

WIKIPEDIA, GOOGLE MAPS

he Covid-19 crisis might finally be catching up with the rental market. After a couple of months of relative stability, vacancies are up, prices are down and deal-sweetening freebies are plentiful, according to market data and brokers. And it comes at a time of year when college graduates and new hires should be snapping up apartments. “The market is adjusting itself, and rents will be stagnant for a bit,” said Bobby Florian, a rental agent with Bond New York who often works on the Upper East Side. “But I’m hopeful.” For signs of a rebound or further pain, analysts are watching the Far West Side, home to rental buildings that are among the largest in the city, making them a handy bellwether. In that group is Sky, a luxury tower with 1,175 apartments from the Moinian Group, which is dangling two months of free rent for 14-month leases, according to StreetEasy. Last week Sky’s cheapest studio, with that discount, was $2,828. Moinian declined to comment. Also offering incentives is the Max, a 1,028-unit, two-year-old complex from TF Cornerstone that’s both covering broker fees and offering one or two months of free rent, depending on apartment size. TF also had no comment. Nearby are the 1,359-unit Silver Towers from Silverstein Properties. The towers have 17 available apartments, including a studio for $2,760 per month. Covid-fueled concessions there include leases that can be written for just six months, down from the typical year. “We believe residents may feel anxious about committing to a year lease,” a company spokesman said. In general, signs of a softening aren’t hard to find. In Manhattan, which has suffered from a ban on in-person showings, average rent on all units fell to $4,108 in May. That was a 3% drop from April, according to brokerage MNS Real Estate. New-lease signings in May were down 62% compared with a year ago, according to Douglas Elliman, which measured the rental vacancy rate at 2.88%, a 14-year high. Behind the scenes, there has been other pain, as tenants are breaking some leases and deciding not to renew others, said Daniel Lee, a Compass agent who works in Hell’s Kitchen. Overall, apartments once popular with roommates are suddenly a tougher sell as tenants worry about a second wave of the coronavirus. “Two-bedrooms are really taking a hit,” Lee said. Condo sublets are struggling, too, Elliman agent Marie Bianco said. Some tenants are asking for rent discounts of 40%. And interest has been much weaker than usual for Bianco’s listings, which include seven Midtown properties. “No one calls,” she said. ■

16 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | JUNE 22, 2020

P016_CN_20200622.indd 16

6/18/20 4:22 PM


INSTANT EXPERT

What you need to know about the race for outdoor dining BY RYAN DEFFENBAUGH

THE PLAYERS

1

2

De Blasio and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg hatched a “massive” plan that would allow restaurant tables to spill onto streets and sidewalks and into public parks and parking lots. Under the so-called Open Restaurants program, 43 miles of streets currently closed to traffic will allow eateries to set up tables and chairs for dining. Additionally, restaurants can provide table service curbside and on the sidewalks adjacent to their storefront. Businesses can self-certify into the program through an online application, skipping the monthslong process of receiving a sidewalk-café permit. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has cleared the city to begin phase two of reopening—outdoor dining included— on June 22. Restaurants have to maintain 6 feet between tables, and employees are required to wear masks at all times under the state’s rules. Diners must wear masks when not seated at a table.

GETTY IMAGES

DE BLASIO

TROTTENBERG

CUOMO

WHAT’S NEXT

5

The race is on to self-certify into the program and add outdoor tables. Cuomo pledged last week that he will be watching operators closely and could revoke the liquor license of restaurants that don’t enforce social distancing. Restaurants must also prepare for limited indoor seating, which would happen under phase three of reopening.

AS THOUSANDS OF RESTAURANTS SPILL ONTO STREETS, SOME LEVEL OF CONFUSION AND CHAOS IS INEVITABLE

YEAH, BUT…

3

As thousands of restaurants reopen, some level of confusion and chaos is inevitable. The city is attempting what could be a tenfold increase in outdoor dining while also leaving space for bikes, buses and pedestrians. Before the pandemic, simply closing 14th Street to most car traffic took more than a year of planning and was held up by a legal challenge. Some on the City Council have already aired concerns about the potential for noisy cafés on residential avenues. Restaurateurs say conflicts are inevitable and they can adjust their operations as the summer proceeds. There is also the question of demand: How quickly will people be comfortable dining out—even if outdoors and separated by 6 feet? National numbers indicate promise, with spending at restaurants and bars climbing 29% from April to May, according to Commerce Department data. Businesses also face the challenge of enforcement. Twitter and Instagram were abuzz this month when patrons crowded outside bars and restaurants without masks. Cuomo asked business owners to keep people moving.

BUCK ENNIS

The consequences from Covid-19 for the city’s 27,000 restaurants and bars have been dire: Food-service jobs fell 72% in April from a year earlier, and 90% of businesses say they are unable to pay rent. The industry has rallied around outdoor dining as its only potential source of revenue this summer. The state will allow businesses to serve alfresco tables sooner than those indoors, but only about 2,000 restaurants have approved sidewalk-café permits. City Hall needs to move quickly to expand options, but doing so will require the de Blasio administration to close off streets and create new spaces for dining, something his critics say he has been too slow to do. The mayor unveiled a plan for outdoor table service on June 18, days before the city was set to reach phase two.

FLICKR, GETTY IMAGES

THE ISSUE

GETTY IMAGES

SOME BACKGROUND

4

Applications for a sidewalk-café permit took an average of 160 days last year, typically requiring review from the city Department of Consumer Affairs, the local community board and the City Council. The costs and strict requirements have limited outdoor dining mostly to Manhattan and businesses with private outdoor space. Even with the expansion, restaurants will have limited capacity for spaced-out dining. That’s why the industry and open-streets advocates have teamed up to push the mayor to block off more roads for restaurants to place tables. The effort exposes an issue on which de Blasio has many critics. The mayor famously travels the city by SUV motorcade and has been accused of letting his decisions on street-use be skewed by that perspective. Councilman Antonio Reynoso described the council’s outdoor-dining legislation as a way to push along a mayor who has not always been an “outside-the-box thinker about rethinking street space.”

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FROM PAGE 3

have enacted so far have produced sluggish progress—even from sectors that are otherwise experts in solving problems. “We hear every year that this will be the year that companies pay more attention to diversity,” said Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a recruitment firm in Harlem. Johnson consults with companies looking to hire more diverse candidates for senior roles. When it comes to corporate gestures toward diversity, Johnson is wary. “I’ve stayed away from kind of buying into those types of statements, because the follow-through has been horrendous,” he said. “It’s almost been nonexistent.”

Percentage change It’s a puzzling truth given that companies are not shy about setting, and publicizing, diversity goals. Citigroup said in January that 8% of its mid- and upper-level managers would be Black by the end of next year. Goldman Sachs promised last year that a quarter of its analysts and new associates would be Black or Latino hires. Nike, which unveiled new a Midtown headquarters and flagship store in 2017, pledged to hire more underrepresented groups for mid-level management roles in its last Impact Report, which mea-

points below the industry standard. sures diversity in its workforce. “Companies have been engaged But it’s hard to see such corporate pledges as ambitious. Citigroup and in diversity-enhancing practices for Goldman both were aiming to hire a decades now. So many of the messmaller percentage of Black people sages that you’re hearing, they’re for their management and en- not new,” said Sean Rogers, profestry-level ranks than is in the popula- sor of human resources and labor tion as a whole. The United States is relations at the University of Rhode about 12.7% Black. Citigroup char- Island, where he is the business acterized its goal of 25% Black and school’s chief diversity officer. “The Latino new associates and analysts fact that many corporations have as “aspirational,” but together those been talking about this for decades segments make up about 31% of the but we’re still seeing problems,” he U.S. population, according to the added, “indicates that there is more talk than action.” Census Bureau. Nike has The past month has not even set a hard benchshown that representamark for its midlevel mantion is not in itself a soluagement hiring. GOLDMAN tion. At ABC News, The Part of the issue is that SACHS goal New York Times and The structural forces distort the for hiring Black Wing, executives stepped workforce before firms and Latino down and were placed on even begin hiring, said Jeranalysts and leave amid complaints ry DeBerry, partner and associates that company culture redirector of diversity at law mained racially insensifirm Mayer Brown, which tive, regardless of the on-paper dihas a location in Midtown. “The percentage of Black people versity the firms could boast. In each case, the executive who going to law school is certainly much lower than the percentage of Black stepped down was white and manpeople in the U.S.—significantly aged a workforce with people of collower,” DeBerry said. “And we know or who complained of insensitivity at best, and toxicity at worst, in their that as a firm, and as a profession.” The firm, whose associates are firm’s decision-making. “There’s a big difference,” DeBer36% people of color or LGBTQ, does outreach at the high school and col- ry said, “between being diverse and lege level to try to bolster the pipe- inclusive.” The New York Times declined to line of potential Black lawyers. The outreach has more than tri- comment. In messages to their pled the percentage of its partners staffs, The Wing and ABC News said who are people of color or otherwise they were taking the events of rediverse, to 16%, DeBerry said. But cent weeks seriously. ABC launched that’s still a couple of percentage an investigation into its executive

25%

ISTOCK

INCLUSIVE

placed on leave. The Wing said it was taking time to reflect. Companies have not put many people of color into management roles, Johnson said. At Nike, more than one-fifth of its workforce is Black, but only 4.8% of its directors are. “There’s no system in place to sponsor these employees to get them onto leadership paths,” Johnson said. “Then they get into a track of job jumping, but it’s basically because they never found a job that supported their job journey.” That’s not to say that firms have not made any progress. Goldman has met its goal of 25% Black analysts, and the firm is making progress on associates, spokeswoman Leslie Shribman said. Consulting firm Accenture has 80 Black managing directors, compared with the 31 it had in 2015, said Jack Azagury, senior managing director and market unit leader for the Northeast. Accenture, Citigroup, Nike and other companies are publishing data on the diversity of their workforce—which allows for public accountability. Accenture, which ranked first in

a list of 100 firms with strong diversity practices, said it is reworking its efforts in light of the current protests. It said the past month has demonstrated that the firm needs to do more. “Obviously the past few weeks have been extremely saddening and very tough,” Azagury said. “I’ve sat through in the last weeks probably 12 hours of calls, listening to our employees.” Accenture, which has a location in Manhattan, plans to add racism training to its diversity programming, on top of the unconscious-bias training it already holds. Firms needs to confront racism head-on, Azagury said. “Some of it is unconscious bias, and some of it is racism,” he said. “And we need to call it what it is.” In September the firm plans to unveil a new goal for Black and Latino representation in its ranks by 2025. “One of the reasons we are going to set goals for 2025 is we are now accountable. We are now in the public eye. We can hold ourselves accountable,” Azagury said. “It’s not going to be, ‘Let’s go at it for a few weeks.’ We are in it for the long term.” “I do really believe that some people are sincere about it,” Johnson said. “I am cautiously optimistic.” He paused, then said, “Maybe even cautiously pessimistic. We’ll be here next year this time, wondering why some of these initiatives didn’t work.” ■

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GALLERIES FROM PAGE 1

FARZAD OWRANG

THE FRONT of gallery Luhring Augustine’s West 24th Street location

sales confirmed what they knew before: Art is simply not meant to be bought online. “In the art world, sales is about people being moved,” art dealer Andrea Rosen said. “How could that not be in person?” The parts of the art world that seem superfluous to outsiders— wine-filled openings, unapologetically selective fairs and rarefied conversations on the quality of a brushstroke—are essential elements of doing business, multiple dealers told Crain’s. These elements cultivate an aura of excitement and intrigue that coaxes collectors to buy. “The conversation around a physical object, a work of art, has been the conventional way to transact in the gallery,” said Valerie Carberry, director at Gray, a bluechip gallery with a location on the Upper East Side. “And it’s not just having those conversations; it’s having them with the right person, at the right moment” While it’s a far cry from the simplicity of posting a painting online with a price, it’s how Carberry made the most memorable sale of her career. She sold a Josef Albers work from the 1950s at Art Basel Miami when a buyer walked the wrong way out of the VIP collectors lounge. The two had never met before. But he spotted the painting in Carberry’s booth, walked over, negotiated the $225,000 asking price and bought the work on the spot. “It’s the kind of chance encounter that only happens in person,” she said.

“IN THE ART WORLD, SALES IS ABOUT PEOPLE BEING MOVED” able. They inevitably will work in a smaller industry, multiple sources told Crain’s, because all but the biggest galleries will struggle to overcome the financial hurdles created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Those remaining galleries may reevaluate renting costly gallery space. Because dealers are going to have less money in their pockets, they will be less likely to take part in what used to be costly must-attend events and fairs. Michael Nevlin, co-owner of The Journal Gallery, predicted that everything is about to change. “We’re in for a major shakeup in the art world,” he said, which will mean fewer galleries and fewer fairs.

Lackluster sales Gallery owners became far more transparent about pricing and provenance for online sales early in the crisis. But nearly all of them told Crain’s they do not plan to continue that transparency when normalcy returns. Making sales transparent online did not bring in sales anywhere near the size dealers are used to, they said. “Sales have been way below normal business,” said Steve Sacks, owner of Bitforms gallery in Nolita. Despite opening multiple online viewing rooms, he’s seen revenue fall 75% during the pandemic. That’s typical. An Art Dealers Association of America survey of 168 galleries in the U.S. found the entire industry was getting crushed. Galleries expected their second-quarter revenue to be down by 73%; sales already have fallen by one-third since the start of the year. That’s even though online marketplaces are giving collectors more information upfront than ever before, a move many thought would make the art world more accessible for new buyers. But the flood of new clients never came. Art dealers found that online

lectors if they do not think they are the right buyers for the pieces. “There is this game the art world plays that is essentially ‘Let me check you out and see if the work is available for you or not,’ ” said Julia Dipplehoffer, co-owner of The Journal Gallery. Part of that is because dealers have a fiduciary responsibility to the artists they represent, ADAA’s Bray said. But they cannot just sell a piece for a high price, she added. They want to place works with collectors who have the right intentions for them. Whether the collector plans to flip the work, donate it to a museum or hold it for themselves are all things a dealer would consider, Bray said. But gallery owners aren’t entirely returning to their old ways. They frankly don’t have as much money to splurge on pricey rent and art fairs. Aside from steep income losses, the ADAA survey found that more than half of galleries struggled to pay their rent during the pandemic. A number of galleries will not survive and will have to shutter permanently, Bitform’s Sacks said. Those galleries that remain open

Ending the fairs? The financial crunch galleries face makes it unlikely dealers will be able to afford jet-setting to multiple elite art fairs every year. Although they can lead to sales and provide opportunities to network with new collectors, the biggest fairs are highly selective and prohibitively expensive, Sacks said. Attending Art Basel a few years ago cost him $50,000, with no guarantees of making a sale.

Those realities are playing out in public for even the most prestigious events. Art Basel, the top fair in the art world, canceled its September event, after twice pushing back its deadline for applications. “We know that many of our galleries are facing unprecedented challenges during this difficult time,” said Yun Lee, a spokeswoman for Art Basel, “and in the short run there may be less demand for art fairs from galleries who must carefully choose which fairs they participate in as they rebound from the current crisis.” But Rosen said the fair culture had gotten out of hand in recent years. Gallerists were constantly traveling. Although there was an impression that fairs led to big sales, that was not always true, Rosen said, adding that for some they became financial burdens. “The art fair phenomenon just became about a kind of obligation to participate in art fairs,” Rosen said. “Because if you weren’t there, you missed out, or you were seen as lesser, and what did it mean if you weren’t part of that?” Now that art fairs may no longer work as a model, Rosen said, “I think there’s a huge relief.” ■

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE To place your listing, visit crainsnewyork.com/people-on-the-move or, for more information, contact Debora Stein at 917.226.5470 / dstein@crain.com

NEW GIG? NEW NEW GIG? NEW GIG? GIG?

Scant online effort Gallerists are partly to blame for the situation; they never tried that hard in the past few months to sell their most valuable works online. In fact, they kept their most expensive works shrouded in secrecy. “Even though I was very excited about the transparency of seeing all of these online prices in viewing rooms, there’s still a lot of action going on over and above that that we’ll never see online, and we’ll never see a price tag on it,” Clare McAndrew, founder of research and consulting firm Arts Economics, said during a May panel discussion. For the pieces they did list, gallery owners still put buyers through the same rigorous process for purchasing a work of art that they always have. Gallerists can reject col-

may reconsider the worth of renting costly space in Manhattan, multiple dealers told Crain’s. “The physical gallery was sort of under siege beforehand,” said Adam Shopkorn, owner of the Fort Gansevoort Gallery in the Meatpacking District. “I don’t think the pandemic is going to completely put physical galleries out of business. I just think when you’re a big gallery and you have seven locations or 11 locations, it’s challenging.” Covering sky-high monthly rent in New York City is also a burden for small galleries, because the unpredictability of sales leaves them illiquid during certain months, Carberry said.

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gallerists are not persuaded by the benefits of online selling. Crain’s spoke to nearly a dozen players in the art world, and most hoped to return to their old sales practices as soon as possible. While they briefly embraced online viewing rooms as the future, they found that those efforts produced a small number of lucrative deals for galleries, which depend on a few ultra-valuable sales a year. Dealers “are anxious to get back to their physical spaces and to be a part of the arts community in the way that we were before,” said Maureen Bray, executive director of the Art Dealers Association of America, which represents more than 100 galleries in New York City, including blue-chip names such as Pace and David Zwirner. But while the pandemic persuaded many dealers to return to their old business methods, they realize some changes are unavoid-

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port in the poll, which was conducted between May 21 and 24 of 323 likely primary voters. Diaz and Torres are a study in contrasts. Wearing his trademark cowboy hat, Diaz is a bombastic, conservative Democrat. He has been a mainstay in Bronx politics for 17 years, serving on either the City Council or the state Senate since 2003. He is openly critical of the LGBT community and abortion rights—positions that some voters in the 15th District may find unpalatable. But he has DIAZ JR. shown a cunning awareness of how the district thinks, as evidenced by his ability to get re-elected. Ruben Diaz Jr.,

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Other interesting races One of the primary battles sure to gain attention will take place in the 14th Congressional District, which covers parts of Queens and the Bronx. Two years ago, 27-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset longtime congressional power broker Joseph Crowley, catapulting herself to national fame. Two years later AOC faces the challenge of incumbency. Opposing her is former CNBC journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who has raised more than $1 million but lacks AOC’s broad support and celebrity status. Rep. Elliot Engel, who has held his seat for 16 years, finds himself in a dogfight in the 16th Congres-

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sional District, which covers parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. Since being caught on a hot mic last month expressing apparent dismay at not being able to speak at a George Floyd protest, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has lost some support to progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal. Hillary Clinton and GARBARINO Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jefferies have endorsed Engel, but Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have endorsed Bowman. Out on Long LIPETRI Island, Rep. Peter King is retiring, leaving his 2nd District seat open for the first time since 1993. The district can swing to the left and the right, so the primary winners are likely to have another tough race ahead. Assemblymen Andrew Garbarino and Michael LiPetri are battling for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, combat veteran Jackie Gordon, a former Babylon Town Council member, faces political activist Patricia Maher, who lost a congressional race to King in 2014. In the 11th Congressional District, which covers Staten Island and MALLIOTAKIS parts of Brooklyn, first-term incumbent Democrat Max Rose, a Purple Heart recipient, is waiting to discover his Republican opponent. GOP primary CALDARERA voters will choose between Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Joe Caldarera, former Brooklyn assistant district attorney. Malliotakis has secured President Donald Trump’s endorsement, while Caldarera is backed by the National Rifle Association. ■

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“DIAZ IS A WILD CARD, BUT HE CLEARLY REPRESENTS THAT NEIGHBORHOOD”

been instrumental in the creation of affordable housing for senior citizens in the borough. She got caught up in a NYCHA hiring controversy during her time as speaker, however. Rodriguez has been on the council since 2010, gaining fame for supporting the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests. He has served on the council’s higher education committee and was instrumental in implementing universal prekindergarten in New York. He was criticized when the de Blasio administration hired his wife as a special assistant to the mayor at a $150,000 salary. Ultimately, DeSio said, Diaz’s penchant for controversy has allowed him to dictate the terms of the political conversation and made the other candidates’ campaigns play into his hands. “It’s clear that Rev. Diaz is in the driver’s seat based on a lot of the ways the other campaigns are reacting to him,” DeSio said. “Usually campaigns don’t talk about how the other guy is going to win.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ

BUCK ENNIS

pollsters at progressive think tank Data for Progress—so far the only public survey of the race. Another councilman, 32-yearold Ritchie Torres, who is politically savvy and openly gay, is running a close second in the polling. They account for half of all sup-

CARUSO-CABRERA

FACEBOOK: JOE CALDERA

BUCK ENNIS

TORRES

34%

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of the most reliably Democratic districts in the country. The outcome will test the conventional wisdom that progressive politics wins outerborough races. City Councilman Rubén Diaz Sr., a 74-year-old Pentecostal preacher fond of Western apparel and homophobic statements, is the current front-runner, according to

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UNDECIDED

There are some conhis son, is the popular cerns about Torres’ penBronx borough president. chant for changing his The perceived negapositions based on polittives of Diaz Sr.’s record ical convenience, as evimight not harm him as OF VOTERS in denced in the 2018 attormuch as would be asney general election, sumed in a traditional the 15th CD when he co-endorsed Democratic primary, achaven’t picked a Zephyr Teachout after cording to John DeSio of candidate previously announcing Risa Heller Communicasupport for Letitia James. tions. DeSio is an 11-year A large chunk of the electorveteran of Bronx politics as Diaz ate—34%—is undecided, accordJr.’s spokesman. “He’s been an elected official for ing to the Data for Progress poll. decades, and everyone knows this That opens the door for three other about him, and it never really candidates with impressive creseems to affect him,” DeSio said. dentials. Assemblyman Michael Blake has He added that Diaz does suffer, however, from a paltry internet long been considered one of the ground game and a lack of social rising African-American voices in the Democratic Party. Since helpmedia expertise. “If there is a weakness,” DeSio ing manage Barack Obama’s sucsaid, “it’s the lack of sophistication cessful ground game in the 2008 in a congressional campaign. That Iowa caucus, Blake spent years working the Obama administracould hurt him.” Other Bronx political experts agree that for all his perceived flaws, Diaz is a formidable force. “Diaz is a wild card, but he clearly represents a mainstream portion of that neighborhood community,” said Charles Moerdler, who spent 30 years as a member or chairman of Bronx Community Boards 8 and 14. “He has demonstrated this in election after election.” MARK-VIVERITO RODRIGUEZ Torres offers an opposite avenue. Elected to the City Council tion’s Office of Intergovernmental in 2013 at age 25, he Affairs. He was elected to the state’s has wasted no time lower chamber in 2014. In 2017 he in burnishing his became vice chairman of the Dempolitical star. He ocratic National Committee. At age 37, Blake—like Torres— has been one of the council’s foremost represents a new generation of paradvocates for in- ty leadership. “I think Blake has ambition,” Decreased investment in NYCHA, the city’s public-hous- Sio said. “Blake has the Washinging system. He has investigated loan fraud within the taxi medallion industry and pushed for protections for gig-economy workers. “He has put together a good legislative record,” DeSio said of Torres. “He has a good reputation for being an earnest, smart, active elected official who has put forward legislation that helps people.” Moerdler said Torres has the brightest future ENGEL of all 12 Democratic candidates on the ballot. “He is someone who is an exceptionally talented man, and of all the candidates, I think he is the one with the greatest prospects, long term, for political leadership,” ton background, and I think he really wants to be in Congress.” Moerdler said. Blake’s connection to Obama and the concrete accomplishments he had a hand in give him the gravitas needed to win the primary. “Blake has a very fine record,” Moerdler said. “And he has the support of the Obama administration.” The other two top candidates seeking the nomination are former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Washington Heights Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, two Manhattanites hoping to win the Bronx seat. Mark-Viverito led reconstruction efforts at St. Mary’s Park and the Bronx Children’s Museum. She has GETTY IMAGES

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CORONAVIRUS ALERT

U.S. Open tennis tournament to be held without fans

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ov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that the U.S. Open tennis tournament will be held on its scheduled dates starting in late August—but without spectators—as part of the state’s reopening from the shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The U.S. Tennis Association had decided to go forward with its marquee event in New York City, pending an OK from the state. “We’re excited about the U.S. Open,” which is scheduled in

worldwide. Soon after Cuomo’s appearance, USTA Chief Executive Mike Dowse released a statement that the hardcourt tuneup tournament normally held in Cincinnati in August would move to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows before the U.S. Open. “We recognize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times,” Dowse said, “and we will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks.” The U.S. Open normally is each season’s fourth and final Grand Slam tournament, but it would be the second of this year, following the Australian Open, which concluded in February. The French Open was postponed from May and currently is scheduled to start a week after the U.S. Open ends. Wimbledon was canceled altogether for the first time since 1945.

“MOST PLAYERS I HAVE TALKED TO WERE QUITE NEGATIVE ON GOING” Queens for Aug. 31 through Sept. 13, Cuomo said in Albany during his daily news briefing June 16. “It will be held without fans, but you can watch it on TV—and I’ll take that.” Like many sports, professional tennis tours have been suspended since March because of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has wiped out more than 40 events

Who’s playing? Even with the go-ahead from the state, one significant question re-

coronavirus and the safety of international travel.

Game plan

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mains for the U.S. Open: Which players will participate? Both top-ranked players, Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty, and defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal have expressed reservations about heading to Flushing, where an indoor tennis facility was used as a temporary location hosting hundreds of hospital beds during the height of the city’s coronavirus crisis. Already ruled out regardless is Roger Federer, who has won five of his men’s-record 20 Grand Slam

singles titles at the U.S. Open. He announced recently that he is out for the rest of the year after needing a second arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. With television contracts helping to offset the loss of money from ticket sales and other on-site revenue and facing a recession that already led to the recent elimination of more than 100 jobs at the U.S. Tennis Association, the organization’s board decided to go forward with the U.S. Open despite continued concerns about the novel

The USTA’s plan, which was shared with the state, includes limited player entourages, assigned hotels, increased cleaning at the tournament grounds, extra locker-room space, daily temperature checks and occasional testing for Covid-19. There would be no qualifying for singles, and there likely will be reduced fields for doubles. Players whose rankings would have put them in qualifying rounds that allow some men and women access to the 128-player singles draws will be compensated with funds the USTA will pass along to the ATP and WTA tours to distribute. Djokovic recently said the restrictions that would be in place would be “extreme.” “Most of the players I have talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there,” Djokovic said. He recently held exhibition matches with packed stands in his home country of Serbia, where the government lifted most virus restrictions last month. ■

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OUT OF OFFICE

10 Black-owned eateries to order from now Choices range from Jamaican to Italian fare as well as sweet treats

BY CARA EISENPRESS

A

s the city heads into phase two of the economic reopening, more and more temporarily shuttered restaurants are offering takeout. Eateries are able to host outdoor dining as well so long as tables are spaced 6 feet apart and servers wear face coverings. A full reopening is slated for phase three, which is potentially less than a month away. At the same time, because of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, New Yorkers are thinking about larger questions of racism and bias. Some city residents have been looking to solicit Blackowned businesses, including restaurants and cafés, as a small act of solidarity.

BUCK ENNIS

LEE LEE’S RUGELACH

THE EDGE HARLEM 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday Sisters Juliet and Justine Masters have kept this place, which focuses on comfort food that draws on the Masters’ Jamaican and British backgrounds, open throughout the pandemic. Their takeout and delivery menu has a coconut fish burger on the Jamaican side and a grilled cheese

HEATHER SMITH

CHERYL’S GLOBAL SOUL Noon to 8 p.m. daily When restaurants were open, this Prospect Heights eatery, run by Cheryl Smith, was always crowded. The menu takes inspiration from the world over, with dishes like a tonkatsu pork bowl and Moroccan tagine making it on the takeout list. The restaurant takes orders at 347-529-2855. 236 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn

sandwich and savory pie of the day from the British corner. At dinner, there’s chicken curry and linguine Alfredo with either jerk salmon or chicken. 101 Edgecombe Ave., FIELDTRIP 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Bright, nutritious rice bowls are the purview of Chef JJ Johnson. Bowls include barbecue brisket with brown rice, chipotle black beans and peanut hoisin sauce and a veggie bowl with jollof basmati rice, roasted broccoli, vegan cucumber yogurt and Nana’s bread. All bowls come with sides of wok-cooked vegetables. The official delivery range is from 50th Street up to Inwood, but the restaurant says it will try to be accommodating when patrons call 917-639-3919. Pickup and delivery orders also can be placed through its website, where there’s a link to donate fresh meals to communities in need. 109 Lenox Ave.

THE EDGE HARLEM

LEE LEE’S RUGELACH Deliveries fulfilled between 6 and 9 p.m. daily for orders made by 7 p.m. the day before Renowned for its rich rugelach—cookies made by rolling a buttery dough around a cinnamon or chocolate filling—Lee Lee’s, a Harlem institution, is open for pickup or delivery anywhere in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens. 283 W. 118th St.

LLOYD’S CARROT CAKE Bronx location: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Manhattan location: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday This 30-year-old bakery, whose first location was in Riverdale, sells a carrot cake that its founder, Lloyd Adams, kept tweaking until he deemed it perfect. Both the original and a second location, in East Harlem, are now run by Adams’ wife and children and sell red velvet cake, apple pie, cupcakes as well as the original carrot cake. Customers can order through Uber Eats in Manhattan and the Bronx, on Goldbelly for national delivery and through the bakery’s website for pickup at the Bronx location. 6087 Broadway, Bronx; 1553 Lexington Ave. MELBA’S Noon to 6 p.m. daily Melba’s—owned by Melba Wilson, who’s the president of the New York City Hospitality Alliance and an anchor of Harlem’s women-owned restaurant boom—offers a menu of fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, Southern fried chicken with an eggnog waffle and crab cakes. 300 W. 114th St. MISS LILY’S 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday This downtown mainstay offers Jamaican favorites, including its “world famous” jerk chicken and oxtail stew, for takeout from its East Village location. There are also cocktails such as Roots & Culture

CHERYL’S GLOBAL SOUL CHERYL’S GLOBAL SOUL

THE CRABBY SHACK Noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday Fifi Bell-Clanton and Gwen Woods founded this spot when they couldn’t find a decent place to eat crabs in New York. The restaurant is now offering an Alaskan snow crab platter with a pound of crab legs in garlic butter and Old Bay seasoning. There’s also steamed shrimp and crab-filled grilled cheese sandwiches. 613 Franklin Ave. Brooklyn

(tequila, lime and house-made ginger beer) and frozen alcoholic slushies such as Strawberry Riddims Forever (silver rum, strawberry and lime). 109 Ave. A TERANGA Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday The restaurant at The Africa Center by chef Pierre Thaim is delivering a limited menu culled from its regular offerings representing several African countries. There’s casamance salad with kale, fonio, mango, tomato and red onion; ndambe, a stew of black-eyed peas, sweet potato and okra; and jollof rice and grilled chicken. Dishes come in individual portions or family-size meals and with a variety of sauces. 1280 Fifth Ave. VINATERIA 1 to 10 p.m. daily Customers can order Vinateria’s Italian classics, such as veal meatballs, gilled broccolini, pan-seared hake with mushroom risotto and mafalde short rib ragu, along with bottles of wine at a 20% discount by calling 212-662-8462. 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. JUNE 22, 2020 | CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS | 23

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