Industry Leaders Note “Positive Movement” With Companies Coming Out Of “This Shellshock” And Looking To Expand

New York Real Estate Center Hosts State of NYC Office Leasing Market Panel

New York Real Estate Center, the leading platform for virtual continuing education courses, featured some of the industry’s most respected voices in a panel discussion of the state of New York City office leasing market on April 7, 2021.

Hosted by Pierre Debbas, principal of New York Real Estate Center and Managing Partner of Romer Debbas LLP, the panel included Lindsay Ornstein, Co-Founder and leader of the Transwestern New York office, Lois Weiss, a widely read commercial real estate columnist for various publications, Joshua Caspi, Principal of Caspi Development, and Jim Wenk, Vice Chairman at Savills North America.

The panel explored the future of office and leasing space in New York City and what rent prices will look like. Panelists also provided great insight into what they are currently seeing, as well as what they predict in the near future.

“It is no secret that co-working office spaces weren’t profitable before the pandemic hit,” said Mr. Debbas. “Looking forward, co-working may benefit from this and the changes that occur to the office space market.”

Flexible office solutions existed pre-pandemic, with smaller companies often preferring this compared to the traditional office model. The panelists agreed that the unknown parameters guiding the market right now are expected to create a boom in the co-working and flexible office solutions.

“The flux of available office space coming onto the market now will be the indicator of whether flexible office solutions can survive in the post-pandemic world,” said Ms. Ornstein.

The office leasing market is expected to shift neighborhood dynamics as well. With commuters returning to the city, areas easy to drive into will have the highest interest, whereas people are predicted to avoid the subway and public transportation throughout the city.

“We’re seeing markets coming back, with the real estate market leading the charge,” said Ms. Weiss. “Larger landlords have the ability to work hand-in-hand with their tenants to open back up. The real problem is happening with smaller landlords, who can’t sustain these types of revenue losses.”

The panelists also discussed the current state of the retail leasing market.

“There was a retail reckoning in the making before the pandemic even hit,” said Ms. Ornstein. “This pandemic is the catalyst for change that the retail industry has been craving. It’s experiential. We will definitely see a lot of innovation come out of this wave of change.”

“The city is on sale right now. There is no doubt that there are deals out there,” said Mr. Caspi. “We are seeing positive movement. Companies are coming out of this shellshock, they are looking to expand.”

The seminar also touched upon the future of the work-week model. With approximately 10% of Manhattan office employees returned to the office so far, the future of the office remains unknown.

“I’m seeing companies plan for the future in various ways,” said Mr. Wenk. “It’s going to be industry specific, but we’re expecting offices to be used mainly for collaborative purposes moving forward.”

New York Real Estate Center is a dynamic platform that serves as a resource for the residential and commercial real estate community. Subscribers have access to a full catalog of courses and information taught by leading real estate professionals, including Michael J. Romer and Pierre E. Debbas, managing partners of Romer Debbas, LLP and principals of New York Real Estate Center. The innovative courses offered through New York Real Estate Center satisfy state real estate agent and broker licensing requirements.

About New York Real Estate Center, LLC (

New York Real Estate Center, LLC, was launched by Michael J. Romer and Pierre E. Debbas as an extension of Romer Debbas, LLP’s commitment to education in the real estate community. An affiliated and licensed School for Continuing Education, New York Real Estate Center, LLC, offers a wide variety of accredited continuing education classes which satisfy real estate agent and broker licensing requirements. Several of the firm’s attorneys are Certified Instructors by New York Department of State.

About Romer Debbas, LLP (

Led by Michael J. Romer and Pierre E. Debbas, Romer Debbas, LLP is a New York City-based law firm uniquely focused on commercial and residential real estate transactions, development projects and litigation, with clients in local, national and international markets. Their practice also extends to include Bankruptcy, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration, Litigation, Taxation, Trusts and Estates.