Hamptons resident Ian Reisner has established himself as a major player in real estate. A hotelier, he focuses on residential and hospitality developments.
Reisner has been in the news lately as he and P.J. McAteer have purchased dockside frontage making up 80% of the commercial real estate space on Fire Island Pines for $10.1 million. The established business will open for this coming season with cosmetic changes, from April through October. When a branding/licensing deal is hammered out, the property will undergo a planned $4 million renovation and will then re-open in 2016. We spoke with the mogul about his background and his thoughts on East End real estate.
Did you always know you wanted to stay on the East End?
I grew up summering in the Hamptons. My parents met in Quogue in 1959. I learned real estate while watching my dad search for, negotiate and then buy and renovate a few Hamptons places in the 1980s and 1990s. This was my start. Then I spent part of the last 20-plus summers in East Hampton watching and investigating real estate, usually through the lenses and wallets of my friends. I learned the market cold.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background as it relates to real estate?
I’m the Managing Partner and President of Parkview Developers, LLC and the founder and visionary behind The OUT Hotel, the world’s first “straight-friendly” urban resort. I co-founded Parkview Developers in 2000. It focuses on residential and hospitality development mainly in New York and Chicago. Projects have included new construction developments, assemblages and owning and operating the Carnegie Hotel off Columbus Circle and developing and managing The OUT Hotel complex. Our largest project has been the rejuvenation of 230 Central Park South, [which has been] an acclaimed and highly successful “Condop” conversion that includes a new Art Deco facade and the combining and gut renovating of dozens of apartments.
Prior to real estate development I had a 15-plus year career on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers and then Bank of America where I was a Managing Director. I was also the co-founder of Watch World International, a nationwide chain of 119 specialty stores that was sold to Sunglass Hut International in June 2000 for $30 million. All 119 stores were planned, designed and constructed by myself and co-founder Mati Weiderpass; as much a real estate play as a retail business.
When looking to invest in the East End what are some things people should make sure to consider?
Location, location, location. Water, water, water. A walk to the beach if possible. Or a bike ride away. A wreck south of the highway is okay, but then create value through a developer, renovations, construction, etc.
What do you love most about working in real estate?
I’m a people pleaser! Point blank. And hospitality is just that. It’s in my blood and it mixes all my favorite subject matter—design, architecture, finance, good food and fun, too.
What does a career in real estate developing entail?
It’s a lifestyle, not a 9 to 5 job. [It entails] being a jack of all trades and a serial entrepreneur, which I am—design, legal, accounting, finance, construction, purchasing, negotiating.
What are the most important traits for a successful developer?
Buying right. You make all your money on the purchase. You sell at “the market.”
What’s an ideal day in the Hamptons for you?
A day at Sunset Beach on Shelter Island.
Will the East End ever have “OUT” developments?
If the right opportunity presents itself for sure. We all go OUT there and dine OUT and stay OUT and chill OUT and why not at an OUT out there?