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As the Chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld – a law firm in mid-town NYC known as The Pure Play in Real Estate Law – I am inviting you to join The Real Estate Philosopher®. This will consist of my thoughts and also thoughts of friends and colleagues.

It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm. The purpose here is very simple – to put forth thoughts in the real estate world that are different, provocative, and challenging of accepted wisdom. Hopefully, nothing said here will be mainstream thinking.

You may be wondering how I am qualified to write on these topics since I am “just” a lawyer. However, I have an unusual place in the real estate world. As the Chairman of The Pure Play in Real Estate Law (one of the largest real estate law practices in NYC), I interact with an incredible number of real estate players. This ranges from small real estate shops with nothing but a gleam in their eyes, to some of the largest real estate institutions in the world, and everything in between. This gives me a unique and global perspective and allows me to act as an amateur philosopher in the real estate world. This has always been my hobby and it is what I love doing.


Bruce Stachenfeld
a.k.a The Real Estate Philosopher®

The Office, as We Know It, Is Dead? No, it Isn’t – Not One Bit!

Sep 5, 2020

“The office is dead,” say the headlines all over the place. Seriously? That is what I am hearing. Since clients and others keep asking me what I think about this, I will weigh in. I have a few thoughts to start with: The office is not dead The office is not dead The office is not dead

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Buy New York City Now! – And Lend, Invest, Lease Here as Well!

Aug 22, 2020

Perhaps my biggest defect as a predictor of the future is that at heart, I am sometimes too optimistic. Maybe it is my natural contrarian instinct not to fall prey to the media’s irrepressible spirit to seek out and promulgate the most depressing and negative news possible. So here I go again. As a philosopher, I will do my best to be strictly analytical, albeit with a slight optimism bias……

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Possible Government Plan to Rescue Troubled Real Estate With Preferred Equity

Jul 5, 2020

No, we at Duval & Stachenfeld haven’t lost our minds. Apparently a proposal of this nature is being discussed in Congress right now and a bill could be introduced by Congressman Van Taylor (R. Texas), as soon as this coming week. The bill he would introduce would be called the “Helping Open Properties Endeavor Act of 2020,” and it would establish a “HOPE Preferred Equity Facility.” It is not finalized yet, but this is what we think “might” happen.

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Big V Recovery: Nine Predictions for the Real Estate Industry

Jun 6, 2020

About a month ago I wrote that there will be a Big V Recovery. So far I have not been getting positive reinforcement for that article. Indeed one response I got – from a fellow who has his own crystal ball – called me “clueless.” However, yesterday the employment news surprised the economists but not The Real Estate Philosopher, as so far this is exactly what I thought would happen, and I will stick to my belief that this is only the beginning of the Big V Recovery. Sorry I can’t resist a bit of humbug here.

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Distressed Debt Acquisitions? Not So Fast…

May 24, 2020

My point was that anyone could "find" a deal, and it hardly leverages your skills or talents to look at the same stuff everyone else is looking at – and do you really think you can outperform on a long-term basis when you are looking at the same screen that everyone else is seeing at the same time.

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Rescue Capital That Does NOT Cost an Arm or a Leg - Seven Ideas

May 14, 2020

We at D&S are, as always, in the thick of things in the real estate industry, and it seems like something many parties want is inexpensive "rescue capital." In that regard, we have thought of the following ideas for consideration. I note that these ideas are "other than" rescue capital provided by the government or governmental agencies:

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Why This Will be a “Big V Recovery”

Apr 19, 2020

I am old enough to have been in a relatively senior position in the real estate world during the Global Financing Crisis (the “GFC”) and the pandemic today (the “COVID Pandemic”). In my position – then as Managing Partner of Duval & Stachenfeld – and now as Chairman -- I have friends, clients, contacts, and relationships with many of the highest level players throughout every corner of the real estate world. This extremely wide lens allows me a unique composite view into what everyone is doing, thinking, wondering about, planning, etc.

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