NEW YORK, June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP presented a Government Relations Forum today on restaurant, retail and resiliency in Lower Manhattan, featuring Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; Alliance for Downtown New York President Jessica Lappin; Cushman & Wakefield Vice Chairman and Head of Strategic Accounts Laura H. Pomerantz; and Owner/Partner of HPH Hospitality Group Peter Poulakakos.
Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, and Ross F. Moskowitz, Stroock partner and member of the firm's Executive Committee, moderated the program.
"Today's event focused on the ever-changing ecosystem that is energizing Lower Manhattan as a retail, commercial and residential force and generating a powerful economic impact on New York City," said Abrams.
"The continued development of lower Manhattan reflects the great resilience of the commercial and residential communities to rebound and thrive even after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy," said Moskowitz.
"There are 110 million square feet of office space below Chambers Street in New York," said Cushman & Wakefield's Pomerantz. "In all of Chicago there are only 90 million square feet of office space."
Pomerantz and her co-panelists agreed that before commercial tenants and anchors such as the Brookfield Place mall, Condé Nast, The M Group - a marketing and communications company that expanded its space even before moving in – and Goldman Sachs came downtown, the area had few amenities for residents.
That has changed, they said. Our restaurants "used to be for lunch only," said HPH's Poulakakos. "Today we have the trifecta: tourists, residents and workers."
"Fourteen million tourists visited lower Manhattan last year," said the Alliance's Lappin, noting that those tourists – along with business travelers - stay in hotels, shop and eat in the neighborhood. This year alone, she said, "Eighteen hotels with 3,000 rooms are in the pipeline."
"The hotels send guests to restaurants," added Poulakakos.
The area's many attractions include one that is dear to Manhattan Borough president Brewer: the South Street Seaport. "It is the oldest historic district in New York City and the country," she said, emphasizing her championship of the reemerging port as a vital landmark.
Brewer, the 27th Manhattan Borough president, previously served on the City Council for 12 years.
The Alliance for Downtown New York, headed by Lappin, manages New York City's largest Business Improvement District and provides service, advocacy, research and information to advance the area as a global model of a 21st century center for businesses, residents and visitors.
Cushman & Wakefield's Pomerantz is a principal and founding partner of Laura Pomerantz Real Estate, LLC. Cushman & Wakefield's is one of the world's leading real estate services firms.
Poulakakos began his career in hospitality in 1998, following in the footsteps of his father, legendary Wall Street restaurateur Harry Poulakakos. HPH Hospitality today manages more than 25 restaurants and nightlife operations.
Today's event was the 27th in a series hosted by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. The forum was sponsored by Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, led by Abrams and comprised of former prosecutors, judges, and government agency officials. Abrams also served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General, Executive Chair of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Transition Committee and Honorary Co-Chair of Attorney General Schneiderman's Transition Committee.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is a law firm providing transactional, regulatory and litigation guidance to leading financial institutions, multinational corporations, investment funds and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad. Our emphasis on excellence and innovation has enabled us to maintain long-term relationships with our clients and made us one of the nation's leading law firms for almost 140 years. Stroock's practice areas include capital markets/securities, commercial finance, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity, private funds, commodities and derivatives, employment law and benefits, energy and project finance, entertainment, environmental law, financial restructuring, financial services litigation, government relations, insurance, intellectual property, investment management, litigation, national security/CFIUS, personal client services, real estate, structured finance and tax.
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