NYC’s biggest real estate finance deals of 2020

One Manhattan West’s $1.5B loan led the pack New York /December 31, 2020 05:37 PMBy Keith Larsen | Research By Jerome DineenOne Manhattan West, Grace Building and St. John's Terminal top our list for the biggest finance deals. (Brookfield Property Partners, SHVO)

One Manhattan West, Grace Building and St. John’s Terminal top our list for the biggest finance deals. (Brookfield Property Partners, SHVO)

New York’s commercial real estate market took a beating in 2020. In one indicator, the 10 largest investment sales of the year totaled $5 billion, a 37 percent dropoff from the $8 billion the previous year.

Not surprisingly, finance deals dropped off considerably this year, as well. The 10 largest loans in New York totaled $7.9 billion, about 28 percent less than the $10.9 billion from the previous year.

Even during the pandemic, some of the city’s largest developers like Brookfield Property Partners, Vornado Realty Trust and SL Green Realty were able to secure huge financing deals north of $1 billion.

Still, securing financing was no small task. Lenders have been wary of making long-term commitments to developers given the uncertainty around pricing and demand. That was especially evident when it came to office, retail and hotel properties in the city. While Midtown office landlords have tried to lure tenants back, employees have settled into the work-from-home-world, hotels are still empty and who knows when Time Square will be bustling with tourists again.

Source: A TRD analysis of Department of Finance records dated from Jan. 1 to Dec. 8, 2020. Refinancing deals with the same lenders were excluded.ADVERTISEMENT

1. One Manhattan West, $1.5 billion

Brookfield Property Partners and Qatar Investment Authority scored the biggest deal with this refinancing for One Manhattan West, a 70-story tower in Hudson Yards. The duo closed in September, through the commercial mortgage backed securities market. The refinancing also included two mezzanine loans totalling $300 million.

The 2.1 million-square-foot office portion of the building was 94-percent leased to seven major tenants and three Brookfield affiliates as of Aug. 1. The two largest tenants are the law firm Skadden Arps and “big four” accounting firm Ernst & Young, which have about 61 percent of the property’s total net rentable area.

2. Grace Building, $1.25 Billion

Brookfield also holds the distinction of having the second largest financing deal. Brookfield and Swig Company refinanced the 49-story Grace Building at 1114 Sixth Avenue with a $1.25 billion loan from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco-based Swig developed the 1.56 million-square-foot property in 1974, while Brookfield acquired its stake in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Trizec Properties.

3. St. John’s Terminal, $973 Million

Oxford Properties and the Canadian Pension Plan scored $973 million in construction financing to redevelop St. John’s Terminal. Wells Fargo led the financing, which included TD Bank and JPMorgan, Atlas Capital Group and Westbrook Partners.

Google, the sole tenant at St. John’s Terminal, selected the site in 2018 as part of its expansion plan.

Renderings for the project, designed by COOKFOX Architects, were released in 2018. The plans showed the redevelopment would retain the first three stories of the former rail warehouse at 500 Washington Street, and add another nine floors.

4. One Court Square, $880 Million

Savanna secured an $880 million recapitalization of its 1.5 million-square-foot One Court Square project in Long Island City at the beginning of the year.ADVERTISEMENT

Savanna secured the $580 million senior loan from funds managed by Apollo Global Management and $100 million of subordinate debt from SL Green Realty. Junius Real Estate Partners provided $200 million, converting its ownership position into a preferred equity stake, according to Commercial Observer. Savanna was left with a 1 million-square-foot hole in its rent roll in LIC over a year ago, after Amazon backed out of its plans to build a second headquarters in New York City.

5. One Manhattan Square, $690 Million

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development scored $690 million refinancing for its 80-story, 815-unit condo tower in Two Bridges. The deal closed in the beginning of the year.

The new debt consisted of a $553.5 million senior inventory loan and a $138.2 million mezzanine loan. Blackstone Group was the lender. In August, city property records showed that 173 units had closed.

6. 410 Tenth Avenue, $600 Million

SL Green Realty nabbed this $600 million construction loan for its West Side office redevelopment in September. The new financing was provided by a group of domestic and international banks led by Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. The new debt replaces a $465 million loan that was provided in 2019.ADVERTISEMENT

In 2018, the REIT acquired a majority interest in 410 Tenth Avenue, previously known as 460 West 34th Street, valuing the property at $440 million. Nearly half of the 636,000-square-foot building will be occupied by Amazon, which signed a lease for 335,000 square feet.

7. Coca-Cola Building, $545 Million

A partnership led by Michael Shvo secured the $545 million loan to refinance the Coca-Cola building. Provided by Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, it replaced $600 million of debt at the property at 711 Fifth Avenue.

Shvo’s group — which included Turkish developer Bilgili Holding, private equity firm Deutsche Finance America and German pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer — acquired the property in September 2019 for $937 million. That came just weeks after Coca-Cola chose to sell the property to a partnership of Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners for $909 million.

8. 120 Broadway, $510 Million

Silverstein Properties and UBS Realty Investors secured the refinancing in March. It included $410 million of fixed-rate and $100 million of floating-rate debt. Lending was led by Wells Fargo, and included Bank of New York and U.S. Bank. The new debt replaced a $310 million CMBS loan Wells provided in 2013.ADVERTISEMENT

8. 220 East 42nd Street, $510 Million

SL Green Realty secured a $510 million mortgage in June for the Daily News Building at 220 East 42nd Street. The development group secured the financing from a lending group led by Aareal Capital Corp., Citi and Credit Agricole.

The landlord had acquired the 37-story Art Deco tower for $265 million in 2003, and entered a contract to sell it for $815 million last fall.

10. 11 Penn Plaza, $500 Million

Vornado secured this loan from Citibank to refinance the 23-story, 1.1 million-square-foot 11 Penn Plaza. The project sits across the street from the REIT’s Farley Post Office redevelopment.

Apple signed a 220,000-square-foot lease at the building in February, taking over space from Macy’s, which is moving its headquarters to Tishman Speyer’s JACX complex in Long Island City

Leadership shake-ups hit Vornado, Cushman & Wakefield and Howard Hughes

Changing market forces companies to reinvent themselves National /December 01, 2020 03:30 PM By Akiko MatsudaFrom left: former Vornado CFO Joseph Macnow; ; Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly, former Cushman & Wakefield CFO Duncan Palmer (Photos via Vornado, Howard Hughes, Cushman & Wakefield)

From left: former Vornado CFO Joseph Macnow; ; Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly, former Cushman & Wakefield CFO Duncan Palmer (Photos via Vornado, Howard Hughes, Cushman & Wakefield)

Three major real estate firms announced shake-ups to their leadership teams this week.

Vornado Realty Trust’s chief financial officer Joseph Macnow is stepping down from the role and will be replaced by Michael Franco, the company’s president, the real estate investment trust announced Tuesday.ADVERTISING

Macnow, who has been with Vornado since 1981, will stay on as a senior adviser to the firm.

The shake-up comes after the REIT, headed up by chairman Steve Roth, reported a $103 million impairment loss on its retail joint venture during the third quarter, although it recorded a net gain of $187 million from sales at 220 Central Park South, its ultra-luxury condo. The company’s office portfolio has also been hurt as employees continue to work from home in the pandemic.

The firm will reduce its overhead costs by more than $35 million annually by reducing compensation and shedding some 70 jobs.

Another major commercial firm, Cushman & Wakefield, will also see its CFO step down: Duncan Palmer, who joined Cushman in 2014, is leaving the company, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. His last day as a CFO is set for Feb. 28, 2021, and he will remain with the firm as a consultant until the end of next year. A Cushman spokesperson was not immediately available for

Cushman suffered a net loss of $37.3 million in the third quarter, its second consecutive quarterly loss this year.

And finally, the Howard Hughes Corporation announced two changes to its executive leadership team: The company’s interim CEO David O’Reilly will now take on that role officially, and L. Jay Cross, who recently served as the president of Related Hudson Yards, has been tapped as the firm’s new president.

O’Reilly joined the firm as the chief financial officer in 2016 and was promoted to president in June. He became interim CEO when Paul Layne, who took the reins in October 2019, retired, according to the Houston Chronicle.

O’Reilly will continue to wear the CFO hat until a successor is identified.

“Watching him execute on the company’s strategic plan and pivot quickly to adjust to changed market conditions furthered our confidence in him as our new leader,” said Bill Ackman, the firm’s chairman.

Ackman also praised Cross’ “extraordinary development career” — which, along with Hudson Yards, includes leadership roles several sports teams and involvement in building stadium complexes in New Jersey, Toronto and Miami — noting that it aligns with Howard Hughes’ “vision to accelerate strategic development in its master planned communities, and build the cities of tomorrow.”

KABR sells New Jersey building for reported $60M

233K-sf building, home to Samsung, was acquired for $10M in 2009TRD TRI-STATE /October 27, 2020 11:00 AM By Akiko Matsuda 

KABR Group CEO Kenneth Pasternak and 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, NJ (Photos via KABR)

KABR Group CEO Kenneth Pasternak and 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, NJ (Photos via KABR)

A New Jersey office building acquired at a deep discount during the Great Recession sold in the middle of the pandemic — and reportedly for a premium.

The KABR Group, a New Jersey-based private equity real estate firm, announced Tuesday that it sold a 233,000-square-foot building at 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, to Asia Investment Management, which is based in Seoul, South Korea. KABR will continue to manage the building on behalf of the buyer.

The seller declined to disclose the sale price, but a Korean news outlet reported that the transaction was for $59.7 million. The sale has yet to be recorded in Bergen County property records.

The New Jersey County Tax Boards Association estimates the property’s market value at $35.65 million, according to PropertyShark.

The sale was a major achievement for KABR, which purchased the then-vacant building in 2009 for $10.28 million. The seller was AIG Global Investment, which had taken control of the distressed property.

In 2010, KABR leased most of the building to Samsung Electronics America. Since then, the company has remained on as a tenant, eventually expanding to occupy the entire building. It signed a six-year, 233,000-square-foot lease extension about a year ago, according to NorthJersey.com.ADVERTISEMENT

JLL’s Jose Cruz, Kevin O’Hearn, Steve Simonelli, Michael Oliver and J.B. Brunmo represented KABR for the sale.

“The investment opportunity was appealing to both domestic and offshore capital given the credit and term remaining which provides a predictable cash flow for the buyer,” Cruz said of the reason for the transaction in the downturn when the number of investment sales has plummeted.

Title giant First American pumps $40M into digital closing startup

Latest funding adds to $30M provided last year to launch mobile-first serviceTRD NATIONAL /November 11, 2020 09:20 AMBy E.B. SolomontEndpoint CEO Scott Martino and First American CEO Dennis Gilmore (iStock)

Endpoint CEO Scott Martino and First American CEO Dennis Gilmore (iStock)

One of the country’s biggest title insurers is doubling down on digital closings.

First American Financial Corp. said it’s investing $40 million into Endpoint, a title and escrow startup it launched last year. That’s on top of the $30 million it already pumped into Endpoint to develop the standalone company, which bills itself as a mobile-first service.ADVERTISING

Endpoint, based in El Segundo, California, said the new funding will allow it to accelerate hiring and expansion, both of new products and to new markets. Endpoint’s escrow automation replaces the traditional exchange of papers at real estate closings. So far, it operates in Seattle, Southern California and Arizona.

First American is one of the so-called “Big Four” insurers that dominate the title industry. Founded in 1889, it generated $6.2 billion in 2019 revenue.ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, Endpoint CEO Scott Martino said buyers and sellers today “expect a certain level of convenience and speed.”

Earlier this year, First American bought housing tech company Docutech for $350 million. At the time, the title insurance company said the deal brings it closer to completely digital mortgages and closings.

In recent years, investors have backed other startups aiming to streamline the antiquated closing process. States Title, a four-year-old startup in San Francisco, raised $123 million last year to digitize title, mortgage and escrow services. And Spruce, a New York startup founded in 2016, raised $29 million Series B in May.

First American developed Endpoint with BCG Digital Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Boston Consulting Group.Contact E.B.Solomont

First Exterior Stone Panels Installed At 39 West 23rd Street In The Flatiron District

39 West 23rd Street. Photo by Michael Young

BY: MICHAEL YOUNG 8:00 AM ON OCTOBER 4, 2020

Curtain wall work is progressing at 39 West 23rd Street, a 24-story residential project in the Flatiron District. Designed by COOKFOX Architects and developed by Anbau Enterprises, the development consists of two structures separated by an internal courtyard.

39 West 23rd Street, rendering by COOKFOX

39 West 23rd Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

Recent photos show the state of exterior work on the building, which is located on the northern side of West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. One of the most noticeable places of progress is on the western lot line wall, where thin, narrowly spaced horizontal bars subtly protrude, adding an interesting texture to the façade.

39 West 23rd Street, rendering by COOKFOX

The other more recent area of concentrated work is on the bottom floor of the southern profile, where workers were spotted installing the first set of warm-colored stone panels around the metal perimeter framework above the ground floor.

The metal railings, and overhanging shrubbery as part of the more subtle design aspects of 39 West 23rd Street have yet to go in. Below we see the southern elevation awaiting to be externally enclosed.

The following renderings depict the finished look of the project.

Workers have painted part of the walls above the main setback toward the top floors. The earth-toned color appears to be the final treatment for this portion of 39 West 23rd Street.

Meanwhile, fenestration work is progressing on the the upper levels of the eastern profile that cantilevers over its abutting low-rise neighbor. We expect this area to emulate the same architectural design as the front of the building.

The development will span a total of 118,00 square feet and yield 44 units. Four residences will be designated as affordable rentals. Residential layouts vary between single-floor homes and duplexes, including some with their own private outdoor terraces. Amenities include a fitness center, a residential lounge, a children’s playroom, a communal outdoor landscaped terrace, and a 25-car garage below street level.

A definite completion date for 39 West 23rd Street is unclear, but sometime within 2021 is likely.

The Spiral Ascends Past The Halfway Mark At 66 Hudson Boulevard In Hudson Yards

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

BY: MICHAEL YOUNG 8:00 AM ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2020

Construction has passed the halfway mark on Bjarke Ingels Group‘s 1,031-foot-tall 66 Hudson Boulevard, aka The Spiral. The $3.7 billion, 66-story Hudson Yards supertall is being developed by Tishman Speyer with Turner Construction Company as the construction manager. Banker Steel is in charge of manufacturing the steel and Permasteelisa is the contractor for the glass enclosure.

The Spiral (left) rising to the north of Hudson Yards. Photo by Michael Young

Recent photos from the north and west along Eleventh Avenue show the massive steel superstructure gaining prominence over the neighborhood.

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral (left) and 55 Hudson Yards (right) Photo by Michael Young

The installation of the reflective glass curtain wall is making steady progress among the lower floors above the multi-level podium. The signature stepped setbacks that give the building its nickname are becoming more readily apparent, outlined by the void in the envelope. These steps will eventually be topped by landscaped outdoor terraces.

The Spiral and One Vanderbilt in the background. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

The Spiral. Photo by Michael Young

Construction has been neck and neck with the simultaneous ascent of  Foster + Partners‘ 50 Hudson Yards just across the street to the south. Though the reinforced concrete core of 50 Hudson Yards has been rising slightly ahead of the Spiral, BIG’s supertall should begin to overtake it as the building massing reduces in size with each floor. This will be the tallest structure to rise to the north of Related’s Hudson Yards development and will extend the western edge of the Midtown skyline closer toward the Lincoln Tunnel, located a few blocks away.

The Spiral (left) and 50 Hudson Yards (right). Photo by Michael Young

YIMBY last announced that The Spiral is estimated to be finished sometime in 2022.

YIMBY Interviews Douglas Durst, Of The Durst Organization

from the FORTIS editors:

we decided to run this article from March since the pandemic prevented us from aknowledging important information to our clients.

Have a happy Labor Day!

Photo by Michael Young

BY: NIKOLAI FEDAK 8:00 AM ON MARCH 24, 2020

When it comes to new development in New York City, one of the most prolific and notable of the current firms in existence is The Durst Organization, which previously led the construction of One World Trade Center in a public-private partnership with The Port Authority. YIMBY recently interviewed its eponymous head, Douglas Durst, who gave updates on the firm’s major new Long Island City project, dubbed Sven, as well as a range of other topics.

YIMBY in bold.

What major projects are you working on at the moment?

We have Sven in Long Island City, which is a 70-30 rental residential building with 958 units.

When is Sven expected to top out, and when do you expect it will open for leasing?

It was going to top out [next week], but we won’t have a topping out event. Leasing will occur about a year from now.

Sven, photo by Michael Young

Do you think the 12,000 affordable units planned for Sunnyside Yards would be better built elsewhere given the per-unit cost will be over $1 million?

I don’t know the entire project, but building affordable on a very expensive platform does not make a lot of sense.

Do you see the residential boom in Long Island City eventually being accompanied by new office towers (besides Tishman’s new project)? Or do you think this helps other neighborhoods like Hudson Yards more than LIC?

I think they will be building more office buildings in Long Island City. Its transportation network, proximity to Manhattan and density make it an obvious choice for a commercial district. It is a compelling location for a large corporate headquarters.10 Halletts Point Hero View, rendering courtesy the Durst Organization

10 Halletts Point Hero View, rendering courtesy the Durst Organization

If you could pick three neighborhoods for high-density residential upzonings, which would they be and why?

I would think Mott HavenAstoria, and Washington Heights/Inwood region. Neighborhoods where there is access to public transportation, there needs to be density. That is not only smart growth, but sustainable.

Do you think the rapid expansion of landmarked districts across the city is now negatively impacting housing affordability?

To a degree, [but] there are so many things that are impacting housing affordability, such as zoning and real estate taxes.

What caused your change of heart over Pier55?

Governor Cuomo. He committed to completing Hudson River Park and is getting it done.

Pier 55, photo by Michael Young

Besides Pier55, what other major public projects currently underway are you most looking forward to?

I’m not particularly looking forward to Pier 55, but [rather] the completion of the Jacob K. Javits CenterPier 40 and Pier 76, and the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center.

What do you think the best path forward is for fixing the city’s crumbling transit infrastructure, especially the subway?

There has to be dedicated resources and a dedicated revenue stream, but the bureaucracy involved in having the MTA on top of the operating entities is very inefficient.1800 Park Avenue

Previously proposed plan for 1800 Park Avenue. Rendering by ODA New York.

What’s next in the pipeline after you finish Sven?

We have a project at 1800 Park Avenue, a project in Philadelphia, and we are rebuilding 825 Third Avenue. 1800 Park Avenue is a site across from the Metro North station in Harlem and we are working it out to become a residential development.

TRDxWNYC: Reporter Kathryn Brenzel on surging vacancies

Radio spot covers which units are emptying out and whether rent caps will be liftedTRD New York /August 20, 2020 02:35 PM By Raji Pandya

From the Fortis Editor: although we try to provide meaningful and positive information regarding real estate generally, and Manhattan/NYC real estate in particular, we need to show the impact of Covid 19 on our economy and lifestyle in NYC. This article touches on some of the issues we are facing. But if you are forward thinking and can stomach the possibilities, opportunities may exist in these times. Buyer beware, of course.

The Real Deal's Kathryn Brenzel and WNYC’s Sean Carlson

The Real Deal’s Kathryn Brenzel and WNYC’s Sean Carlson

The apartment vacancy rate in New York City has doubled or tripled, depending on who’s counting. Whatever the number, it’s the highest in memory. The Real Deal senior reporter Kathryn Brenzel appeared on WNYC this morning to discuss what this means for landlords, tenants, and the city’s housing market.

Brenzel noted that the rise in vacancy appears most pronounced at the higher end of the rental market. In an effort to fill apartments and retain tenants, landlords have been offering concessions in the form of reduced rent, a month or more of free rent, and waivers on fees associated with leases.ADVERTISING

While these measures give tenants a leg up in negotiations with landlords, a climbing vacancy rate could pose a threat to rent stabilization in the city. Under the state law enacting it, if the rate reaches 5%, the housing emergency would be over and rent stabilization would end.

But Brenzel told WNYC’s Sean Carlson that New York politicians are intent on keeping the system intact. The vacancy rate on which it hinges is usually calculated every three years, but is being pushed back a year to 2022 so the survey does not conflict with the census. That means rent caps are safe until then. “It’s too soon to say that rent stabilization is in peril,” Brenzel said.

SL Green moves to foreclose on Thor’s 590 Fifth Ave

REIT holds a $25M mezzanine loan on the 19-story propertyTRD New York /August 17, 2020 10:05 AMStaff

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, 590 Fifth Avenue and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt (Holliday via Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images; Google Maps)

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, 590 Fifth Avenue and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt (Holliday via Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images; Google Maps)

SL Green Realty, which has been looking to its loan books for cash in recent months, is foreclosing on a Fifth Avenue office tower.

Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities has defaulted on a $25 million mezzanine note on 590 Fifth Avenue from SL Green, according to Business Insider. The real estate investment trust has scheduled a foreclosure auction on the 19-story, 100,000-square-foot building for Oct. 15.ADVERTISING

Thor had reportedly tried to reposition the building’s store space into a flagship retail opportunity but was not successful, according to the publication. The property sits between west 47th and 48th streets.

Several tenants at the building had stopped paying rent amid the pandemic, resulting in Thor’s default on the loan, a source told Business Insider. Among those tenants was Knotel, but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the status of its rental payments at the building. A spokesperson for Thor also declined to comment to Business Insider.ADVERTISEMENThttps://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Foreclosing on a property as a mezzanine lender means SL Green will have to take over payments on the building’s $83 million senior mortgage. [BI— Akiko Matsuda

Here’s the real estate record for Kamala Harris

California senator failed to go after Mnuchin’s OneWest, but secured a major settlement from big banks for mortgage-servicing violationsTRD NATIONAL /August 11, 2020 07:00 PM By Georgia Kromrei

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden (Getty)

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden (Getty)

While serving as California attorney general, Kamala Harris could have gone after Steve Mnuchin for alleged mortgage fraud at his company, OneWest, but didn’t.

OneWest foreclosed on more than 36,000 California homeowners in the years following the Great Recession. Harris’ office conducted a preliminary investigation, and deputy attorneys general recommended the state take action, but no charges were brought.

On other occasions, however, Harris, who was just named by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as his pick for vice president, has taken the battle to the industry.

In 2012, she negotiated the second-largest civil settlement in U.S. history for predatory practices that contributed to the foreclosure crisis, securing $25 billion for homeowners from the country’s biggest lenders, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Though the banks had agreed upon a far lower amount with the Obama administration and other states, Harris played hardball, walking away from the table until the banks agreed to cough up billions of dollars more.ADVERTISEMENT

Harris is the first African-American female vice presidential candidate — in a year when longstanding racial tensions have roiled communities. The police killing of George Floyd unleashed a public outcry and nationwide protests against police brutality. The haphazard federal response to the Covid-19 crisis has also given more force to criticism of President Donald Trump, whose Wall Street donors have mostly abandoned him in favor of Biden.

James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called Harris’ nomination an “exciting moment” that will impact generations to come.

“In a country as diverse as ours, we must continue to make strides like these to include a broader spectrum of voices in every industry and every institution, including the highest office in the land,” he said in a statement.

A lot has happened since Harris threw her hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential nomination. She officially withdrew her candidacy on December 3, 2019, and endorsed Biden three months later.ADVERTISEMENT

Her presidential platform, however, included points that may not sit well with real estate interests, including her position that “housing is a human right.” In November 2019, she and Rep. Maxine Waters introduced a bill that would invest more than $100 billion in affordable housing, including $10 billion to ease or eliminate zoning requirements.

Harris said she would pass legislation to provide a tax credit for renters spending over 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, the level at which tenants are considered to be rent-burdened. She also supported a federal minimum wage of $15, which developers have said would drive up their construction costs.

Last year, she also teamed up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – the subject of intense criticism from many in the real estate community – to eliminate the “one-strike rule” in public housing, a Clinton-era policy allowing residents to be evicted for violent or drug-related crimes. The legislation aimed to prohibit public housing authorities from denying someone housing if they had a criminal record.ADVERTISEMENT

Harris has challenged Trump’s tax cuts, calling them a “trillion-dollar tax scam” and said that she would reverse his 2017 corporate tax cut. And she joined 37 of her Democratic colleagues last year to argue against a capital gains tax cut, calling it an “illegal action that would defy longstanding Justice Department policy.”

(Biden has also called for a reform of the tax code, specifically going after real estate’s favorite tax loophole, the 1031 “like-kind” exchange. )

She has proposed additional taxes on the financial sector, calling for a new tax on banks with more than $50 billion in assets. Many of New York’s largest construction lenders would fall into that category.

But while she may take largely populist political stances, Harris’ personal taste, at least as real estate goes, runs more to the posh. She owns a 3,500-square-foot pad in the posh Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The property, as per a Forbes article citing Zillow estimates, is worth $4.8 million.