In pre-pandemic days, traveling by train from Washington, D.C. to New York meant departing from Washington Union Station, an architectural treasure with vaulted ceilings, sweeping staircases, and a range of food and retail choices—and arriving in New York’s Pennsylvania Station, where the only thing to do was find the nearest exit and reach daylight as quickly as possible.
As you will read in this issue’s Shaping Communities, those days are over. Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers arriving in New York now embark in the former mail-sorting area of the landmark James A. Farley Post Office Building. It has been transformed into the Moynihan Train Hall, a mix of glass and steel, of modern and historic, and countless square feet of dining and retail options—making the decision of where to spend that extra time waiting for a train a lot more complicated.
Spearheaded by Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), the Moynihan Train Hall is just one part of the REIT’s larger vision—and a bold public-private partnership—to revitalize a central area of Manhattan and create a vibrant, amenity-rich environment ready to welcome back-office workers and visitors looking to reconnect and engage in a post-pandemic city.
Vornado CEO Steven Roth has described the PENN District (the area around the station) as Vornado’s “moonshot,” offering the highest growth opportunity in its portfolio, and it’s not hard to understand why. It projects confidence in the future of New York and will be an exciting development to watch in the coming years.
Revitalization is the theme of another article in this issue, a profile of the new direction chosen by Veris Residential, Inc. (NYSE: VRE), formerly Mack-Cali, which rebranded at the end of last year to underscore its focus on Class A multifamily.
One of the hallmarks of the REIT industry’s success has been its ability to adapt and evolve to new market forces, and Veris is proof that one of the most established names in the industry is not wedded to the past.
Meanwhile, for a comprehensive, easy to digest overview of how key sectors of the REIT industry are positioned for 2022 look no further than our feature article, Sector Sweep, where we share the insights of REIT analysts across multiple property segments.
Judging by the contents of this issue, the REIT industry continues to be an important contributor to innovation and renewal across the built environment and a key component of the nation’s economy.
Editor in Chief