Robert J. Ivanhoe is vice chair of Greenberg Traurig, senior chairman of the Global Real Estate Practice, and co-chair of the Real Estate Investment Trusts Practice. He has represented numerous nationally-recognized owner/developer and institutional lender/investor clients domestically and internationally for more than 30 years. He concentrates his practice in sophisticated real estate structures, financings, workouts, restructurings, acquisitions, and dispositions of all asset classes of real estate. Robert is actively involved in real estate industry current affairs and is regularly asked to write and lecture on industry topics.
What is your favorite landmark in New York State?
My favorite landmark is the Brooklyn Bridge. It is not only a great representation of the architecture of that time period, but even more so a great achievement in engineering and an expression of the great ambition of the American dream to achieve and unite the nation. It became the means of connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan and uniting the boroughs of New York City, enabling its future growth and importance. Today it remains as a great tribute to its visionary architects and engineers for everyone to see and enjoy.
What has been your favorite development project and why?
9/11 was one of the most chilling and memorable events of my lifetime. The redevelopment of the World Trade Center site not only demonstrates the strength and resilience of New Yorkers, but also serves as the centerpiece of a revitalized downtown New York City with great architecture, planning, transportation infrastructure and tourist attractions. It is vital to the continued growth and strength of New York City.
What is the current state of commercial real estate in New York? What impact has the pandemic had?
The pandemic has had many short-term and long-term effects on commercial real estate in New York. The initial flight from NYC in the early stages of the pandemic, causing a plunge in investment activities, capital flows, commercial and residential occupancy and hotel occupancy, was dramatic. The recovery from those factors has been sporadic, with the residential rental market resurging, condominium market strengthening in certain segments, office market recovering slowly with a definite trend toward a flight to quality, and the hotel and retail markets still struggling. One should expect the hotel market to improve gradually as the pandemic continues to recede but many unrelated secular trends may result in ongoing shifts in the retail sector and real estate market.
How did you become interested in architecture, real estate, or construction?
I have always had a great interest in architecture. I even did some studying in architecture in college. That interest remains strong to this day and was clearly a major part of my pursuing a legal career in real estate with a focus on development projects. I always take an interest in the architecture of any project I am working on.
What is your favorite place you’ve ever lived?
Greenwich, Connecticut, where I have lived with my family for over 30 years.