New York Law School recently dedicated of the new Norman J. Radow ’81 Lecture Hall. Anthony Crowell, Dean and President of New York Law School welcomed guests and introduced Norman J. Radow, a real estate entrepreneur, CEO of the RADCO Companies, and a member of the NYLS’s Board of Trustees.
Radow, a Brooklyn native, grew up in East New York. A child tenant of New York City public housing, Radow has made it one of his goals to make neighborhoods and the lives of those who live there better. He graduated from New York Law School in 1981. In 1994 Radow established the Atlanta-based RADCO to redevelop the Four Seasons Hotel, a then-distressed 53-story hotel, office, and condominium tower. Radow has been involved in several high profile developments throughout the country and currently owns approximately 18,500 apartments in 10 states, with a combined asset value in excess of $2 billion.
At the dedication, NYLS Trustee Ross F. Moskowitz ’84, a Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, interviewed Radow, discussing several topics including the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy proceedings. Radow emphasized that the common denominator among the shortcomings that led to the bankruptcy proceedings was that most developers involved thought they did everything right, and would not have changed their business plans at all. Radow argued that business plans need to stay pliable and adaptable. Further, development plans should be revisited when market changes demand it.
Radow discussed that around 2012/2013 there was a realization in the development community that the United States was becoming a nation of renters. As rents have increased, Radow acknowledged that salaries for the 99% are not and the average millennial makes an average of only $35,000 per year. Radow pointed that there are many decisions being made—such as raising interest rates based upon an increased GDP—that do not take into account factors like stagnant wages. He argued that these numbers are being inflated by the 1% and decisions need to be made based upon a more accurate reflection of the majority of wages.
Norman Radow finished by taking questions from the audience on topics including the creation of affordable housing in NYC and his decision to relocate to Atlanta.
To watch a recording of the speech, click here or click the video below.