What We Heard: NYC Tech Revolution

RDM's sales director, Joe Leach, was in attendance at the NAIOP NYC Tech Revolution. The event examined the impact of technology innovations in the commercial real estate industry within New York City.

The speaker panel, which was moderated by Arie Barendrecht (WiredNYC), included Michael Rudin (Rudin Management), Charlie Buscarino (Clarient Group), Phil Kirschner (Credit Suisse Workplace Strategy Group) and Ari Goldberg (StyleCaster).

This is we heard:

NYC and Tech
The tech industry, including media companies, start-ups and information companies, is the 2nd biggest driver of jobs.
NYC has 2,000 tech companies, 1,000 of which are are headquartered in NYC.
Brooklyn is the second fastest growing tech sector, behind San Francisco

NYC Buildings and Tech
86% of NYC startups are in pre-war buildings which are are old and have bad telecom equipment.
(AB) Landlords don't see broadband as a revenue stream and therefore do not invest in updating.
(AG) The demand for tenants is so high that a landlord doesn't care about updating.
(AG) The government should provide incentives to landlords to keep buildings at a certain level.
(AB) Even big retailers care about IT - Macy's has over 100 developers on staff.

What can old buildings do to become more tech friendly?
(CB) There is no easy solution for an old infrastructure. Sometimes an anchor tenant can fund it, if not, do it systematically, piece by piece.
(CB) Buildings should be "carrier neutral" to meet tenant needs.
Rudin created the first carrier neutral, fully wired building in NYC at 55 Broad. This was beneficial because the building was revamped without disturbing any tenants. It was bad though because they had zero leasing revenue.
(PK) The new trend is "Bring Your Own Device" so there's more of an emphasis on making sure the particular apps their employees are using are secure, rather than the devices themselves.
(PK) Companies who encourage employees to work from home and/or bring their own devices (BYOD) need open and secure networks for employees to be productive.
(AG) Software as a Service, such as Dropbox, is convenient because when an employee leaves the company all they have to do is call in the IT guy to wipe the former employee's computer and create a new Dropbox account for the new employee.
(CB) In today's world people use social media at home and at work.  There's no distinction.  It's almost like a blur of social media throughout the day.
(PK) You have to worry about security with work from home employees - one second they're home and the next they're at a Starbucks.
(MR) Rudin invested in sensors which measure weight, temperature, co2 levels, etc. to create a system to help reduce their energy consumption and be more sustainable.
(MR) Rudin saved saved 30% of energy load during a 5 day heat wave in July. Will save close to a million dollars by the end of the year
(CB) Studies show that simply being transparent and making employees aware of their impact makes them more energy efficient and sustainable. Information is empowering.
(PK) Highlights the new role of "co-working" and shared spaces.  Smaller companies get temporary access to high end amenities.

The Next Mayor
The new administration needs to be involved in setting the bar higher for building standards, such as with programs like WiredNYC.
(AG) Bloomberg was a business guy and a tech guy.  He hopes the new mayor continues to support programs like NYCEDC.
(MR) Hopes incentives for smaller startups like Stylecaster continue.  Also thinks the major needs to make sure there are more options of places to live for young people.