How Some in Commercial Real Estate Spend Their Summers – Commercial Observer

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Top commercial real estate pros will often escape the city during the heat of summer, but the deals still press on — and in.
While the Hamptons has long been a popular getaway for New York City’s CRE set, many are also opting for more faraway destinations. Whether by the ocean or in the mountains, the industry’s lenders, brokers, developers, attorneys and architects are finding creative ways to balance their busy careers and still unwind while the weather is warm. 
Here is a sample of how some in the CRE world, in and outside of New York, choose to spend their summers.
Jay Neveloff
Partner and chair of the real estate practice at Kramer Levin
Summer destination of choice
With the exception of typically one week in Colorado — when my wife and I do remote off-the-beaten-track hiking — we are generally in Westchester.
Favorite recreational activity
Golf, tennis, hiking and boating.
Work/life balance in the summer 
Absolutely no different than it is during the year. All deals are getting done, even those that pop up on weekends and evenings.
Seth Weissman
Managing Partner at Urban Standard Capital


Summer destination of choice
Water Mill [Southampton area of Long Island]. My husband and I built a home there in 2019.
Favorite recreational activities
My oldest daughter Emma and my husband both ride horses, so I go cheer them on from the sidelines. Otherwise, you can find me in the pool! 
Work/life balance in the summer 
It’s a great place to connect with people in a casual environment and even meet the families of peers. On the work front, Urban Standard Capital is the largest private lender in the Hamptons, so I usually spend time on Fridays doing site visits (we have 17 projects there currently) or meeting with clients. Additionally, it’s a great place to catch up with people, discuss the market and opportunities we are seeing or expect to see in the fall.
Blima Ehrentreu
Founder and CEO at The Designers Group
Summer destination of choice/favorite recreational activities 
It varies each year, as I love exploring different countries and experiencing their unique cultures and landscapes. This year, I visited Morocco, with its rich history and stunning architecture, as well as Scottsdale, Ariz., which offered an incredible desert experience. Last summer, I explored Greece and its beautiful islands, as well as Alaska. Each country I visit offers new design inspiration and creates unforgettable memories that shape my approach to design. While in these countries, I enjoy various cultural and recreational activities. In Morocco, I immersed myself in the culture by exploring bustling markets and gardens, and even tried camel riding in the desert. In Greece, I spent time snorkeling and relaxing on the beautiful beaches. And during my time in Alaska, I enjoyed the breathtaking natural scenery, taking advantage of opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation.

Work/life balance in summer 
Despite being on vacation, I believe in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. While traveling, I ensure that I take time to unwind and recharge, fully immersing myself in the cultural richness of each destination. This dedicated leisure time not only allows me to relax but also fuels my creativity and passion for design. While I disconnect from day-to-day work-related matters during my travels, I remain accessible to ensure that important decisions and big deals can still progress smoothly. This balance ensures that I return to work with renewed energy and fresh ideas to bring to our projects at The Designers Group.

 
Dylan Kane
Managing director in New York capital markets group at Colliers
Summer destination of choice/favorite recreational activity 
I grew up on Long Island, so I’m a Montauk guy. I’ve been spending time out there every summer since 2015 (the days before Uber, when you had to keep three crumpled taxi driver business cards in your pocket to get home). I’d love to buy my own place out there soon.
Montauk is well known for its busy weekend spots, but I also love spending a week out there when things slow down and you can casually hang out at the beach, play golf at Montauk Downs, and go to favorite local restaurants like Harvest on Fort Pond and Duryea’s. The lobster tagliatelle at Crow’s Nest is a spiritual experience. Surf Lodge and Montauket are the best local happy hour spots for a sunset with live music.
Work/life balance in summer 
You really have to be physically present daily with your team to maximize productivity, creativity and culture. But important deals don’t slow down just because you’re away from the office for a few days. I’ve probably proposed some of my best and most complex loan structuring ideas on afternoon calls while pacing around the backyard in a bathing suit holding a margarita with a little umbrella.
Adam Gordon
Co-founder and managing partner at Wildflower
Summer destination of choice/favorite recreational activity 
I watch the sun rise each morning over Mount Saint Helena as I sip tea and read The New York Times online before starting into work mode between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Our mini donkeys generally come to the door around 6:30 a.m. for carrots as I make phone calls and prepare for a seven- to 10-mile walk on the ranch or on a neighbor’s vineyard. During summers, we live on a working ranch in Northern California wine country raising Japanese wagyu cows for local restaurants. Our focus on the well-being of our animals has led to culinary success, and our wagyu is carried at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. 
Our friends are winemakers, chefs and entrepreneurs who were all drawn to life in this mecca. It’s a social place, and we explore a variety of restaurants and destinations. Friends often come over with wines they have made or food they have grown or prepared. The taco truck scene is one of many obsessions. I’ll also generally be driving a vintage two-door G-Wagon or early Porsche 911 with pals on back roads at least a day or two each week. 
Work/life balance in summer 
We laugh about my work mojo here. It must be the weather, but we generally sign or close at least one deal of note on each trip out West. My wife and I designed our home, which has 12-foot glass walls overlooking the ranch and the oak-studded rangeland, hills and vineyards beyond. I’m generally on calls from our dining table or on my daily few-hour walks. Nature is healing and awakening, and it keeps my very engaging day job at Wildflower in perspective.
David Perlman
Managing director and head of New York office at Thorofare Capital
Summer destination of choice 
Southern Europe (France, Spain and Italy). Would throw Canary Islands on that list.
Favorite recreational activity 
Fishing if allowed. Kayaking if available.
Work/life balance in summer
Work hard and vacation hard, but still need to be available. Technology has made it easier to work remotely while on vacation.
Evan Denner
Executive vice president and head of business for Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation
Summer destination of choice
Long Beach Island, N.J. 
Favorite recreational activities
Jet-Skiing, waterskiing, pickleball.
Evan Denner
Executive vice president and head of business for Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation
Summer destination of choice
Long Beach Island, N.J. 
Favorite recreational activities
Jet-Skiing, waterskiing, pickleball.
Work/life balance in the summer 
I wake up early to work out for a few hours. I then spend a few hours working and trying to get to the beach or to water activities by noon. Back at 4 for a few hours to work, then I try to spend the rest of the day on the beach.
Thomas LaSalvia
Head of CRE Economics at Moody’s Analytics 
Summer destination of choice
Outer cape of Cape Cod. 
Favorite recreational activities
Kayaking and golf. 
Work/life balance in the summer
Generally, when away, I do wake up early and work for an hour or two to maintain engagement with the team, clients and important projects (the economy and CRE market do not stop). 
Sam Chandan
Director of the Chen Institute for Global Real Estate Finance at New York University

Summer destination of choice
Fire Island Pines, though I don’t make it there often enough.
Favorite recreational activities 
Time with friends. And the beach.
Work/life balance in the summer
I try to unplug on the weekends. During the week, I work on emails and research by the pool, and Zoom from the dining room table.
Ari Rastegar
CEO and founder of Rastegar Property Company
Summer destination of choice/favorite recreational activity
My wife’s family is from L.A., and the family is out there so we usually are in
Malibu or Santa Monica spending time in Southern California. We have three kids, so, in general, that is our favorite place to just visit because of the relationships we have, and it’s quick to get there from Austin [where Rastegar is based], super simple. It takes three hours to get there. 

But what we figured out this year is Austin has everything we want to do. We have more public parks than any top 10 city in the United States, and the whole city is on lakes. Schlitterbahn is one of the biggest outdoor water parks in the country. We’ll get a boat and dock up with 15 to 20 friends, and people bring food and we’re in the middle of paradise. 
Work/life balance in summer 
I am busier than I have ever been in my entire career. We have 1 million square feet of new construction that’s finishing in the next four months and it’s fully leased. There is no work-life balance for Ari Rastegar at the moment, and I’ve been in the office until midnight several times.
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