New York

A day in the life of Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

 

5:45 a.m.  I set the alarm for 6, but I wake up naturally right before it goes off. I don’t eat breakfast most days, just coffee, but when I have breakfast meetings out, I order a feta, tomato and spinach omelet. I love those Greek omelets. If I get to choose the place, I pick Café Centro, which is in my office building at 200 Park Avenue. For people coming in from Connecticut or Westchester, it’s also close to Grand Central. Mornings are also for papers; online news just doesn’t do it. I like the feel of the newspaper, turning the paper and picking up little tidbits. I read the New York Times and the Daily News at home, and the Journal and Post later in the office. I like the Post for gossip.

7 a.m.  I used to be a gym rat; I’d do something every day. But now I work out just a couple of times a week. I prefer the Equinox in the Graybar Building, since I can get there underground from my office. I will do the treadmill, some light weights and some crunches for about 40 minutes.

8:15 a.m.  If I go to the gym, I’ll be in the office around 8 or 8:15. But once or twice a week, my car and driver will pick me up at home around the same time and I’ll go directly to the World Trade Center site for a lease meeting. Building 7 is all leased up, but there are still 6 million square feet available between buildings 3 and 4 [CBRE is the exclusive agent for all three buildings].

12:30 p.m.  A couple of years ago, I became a member of the Friars Club. On Thursdays they serve what I call “high-school chicken chow mein,” so I stop at a Chinese restaurant on the way and grab hot mustard packets. I offer a dollar, but they say, “Just take it, take it.” I don’t drink alcohol, so I have a Diet Coke with two limes. I have to tell the waiters “the green ones” or they will bring me lemons. Yesterday, I had lunch with Lee Neibart [global CEO of AREA Property Partners, formerly called Apollo Real Estate Advisors]. We’ve been friends for 30 years, since his days as a leasing agent in Westchester. When Apollo [and Jamestown] sold 1290 Avenue of the Americas in 2006 to a group of Hong Kong investors for $1.25 billion, I was an agent on the deal. A year later, the investors sold the building [to Vornado for about $1.3 billion], and I was on that deal, too.

2 p.m.  The afternoons are for calls and e-mails. I also try to see my daughter, Cassandra, who’s in CBRE’s “Wheel Program,” a 12- to 16-month program for recent graduates to experience different jobs at the firm. She graduated from Dartmouth last year as an environmental science major and said, “Let me try business before I save a whale.” I text her, “Do you have two minutes to meet me at the elevator for a hug?” A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon out in Brooklyn with my son, Jared, who launched his own development firm in January, Siegel Development. We went to look at a small project, an apartment building with 10 or 12 units. He wanted to buy it and rehab it, but there was an existing contract on it. It was our first deal out of the box, and we needed a cleaner deal, so we let it go.

6 p.m.  I go out three to four nights during the week — there are a lot of charity events. My charitable streak probably came from my mother, who was a school crossing guard in the Bronx for 16 years. She would bring home kids who had no lunch and feed them a cheese sandwich. One of the big events I was involved in recently was for National Jewish Health, one of the best hospitals for respiratory and immunology in the world. We raised $1.75 million at an event in December. It was amazing. [My wife] Wendy did 80 percent of the planning for the event from a hospital room, since she was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago. I said, “Wendy, you don’t have to do this,” and she said, “Yes, I do.” Not only did she show up, she danced at the party. At the moment, she’s in remission, and, God willing, that’s where she will stay.

10 p.m.  I love sports and will watch anything, though baseball is my first sport. I’m a partner in a minor-league team, the Tri-City ValleyCats, in Troy, N.Y., that used to be affiliated with the Mets, but now is with the Houston Astros. I actually hate the Yankees, even though I grew up in the Bronx. My dad was a New York Giants [baseball] fan, and when they left for California, we switched to the Mets because they were also a National League team.

11 p.m.  When Wendy and I are at events, we’re running around, so at 11 we finally have time to catch up on the day and watch conventional television, like “Law & Order” or “Homeland.” I don’t usually fall asleep till 1 a.m. Five hours of sleep is enough for me; six is a luxury.

COMPANIES AND PEOPLE

Tags
New York

A day in the life of Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

Stephen Siegel

 

5:45 a.m.  I set the alarm for 6, but I wake up naturally right before it goes off. I don’t eat breakfast most days, just coffee, but when I have breakfast meetings out, I order a feta, tomato and spinach omelet. I love those Greek omelets. If I get to choose the place, I pick Café Centro, which is in my office building at 200 Park Avenue. For people coming in from Connecticut or Westchester, it’s also close to Grand Central. Mornings are also for papers; online news just doesn’t do it. I like the feel of the newspaper, turning the paper and picking up little tidbits. I read the New York Times and the Daily News at home, and the Journal and Post later in the office. I like the Post for gossip.

7 a.m.  I used to be a gym rat; I’d do something every day. But now I work out just a couple of times a week. I prefer the Equinox in the Graybar Building, since I can get there underground from my office. I will do the treadmill, some light weights and some crunches for about 40 minutes.

8:15 a.m.  If I go to the gym, I’ll be in the office around 8 or 8:15. But once or twice a week, my car and driver will pick me up at home around the same time and I’ll go directly to the World Trade Center site for a lease meeting. Building 7 is all leased up, but there are still 6 million square feet available between buildings 3 and 4 [CBRE is the exclusive agent for all three buildings].

12:30 p.m.  A couple of years ago, I became a member of the Friars Club. On Thursdays they serve what I call “high-school chicken chow mein,” so I stop at a Chinese restaurant on the way and grab hot mustard packets. I offer a dollar, but they say, “Just take it, take it.” I don’t drink alcohol, so I have a Diet Coke with two limes. I have to tell the waiters “the green ones” or they will bring me lemons. Yesterday, I had lunch with Lee Neibart [global CEO of AREA Property Partners, formerly called Apollo Real Estate Advisors]. We’ve been friends for 30 years, since his days as a leasing agent in Westchester. When Apollo [and Jamestown] sold 1290 Avenue of the Americas in 2006 to a group of Hong Kong investors for $1.25 billion, I was an agent on the deal. A year later, the investors sold the building [to Vornado for about $1.3 billion], and I was on that deal, too.

2 p.m.  The afternoons are for calls and e-mails. I also try to see my daughter, Cassandra, who’s in CBRE’s “Wheel Program,” a 12- to 16-month program for recent graduates to experience different jobs at the firm. She graduated from Dartmouth last year as an environmental science major and said, “Let me try business before I save a whale.” I text her, “Do you have two minutes to meet me at the elevator for a hug?” A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon out in Brooklyn with my son, Jared, who launched his own development firm in January, Siegel Development. We went to look at a small project, an apartment building with 10 or 12 units. He wanted to buy it and rehab it, but there was an existing contract on it. It was our first deal out of the box, and we needed a cleaner deal, so we let it go.

6 p.m.  I go out three to four nights during the week — there are a lot of charity events. My charitable streak probably came from my mother, who was a school crossing guard in the Bronx for 16 years. She would bring home kids who had no lunch and feed them a cheese sandwich. One of the big events I was involved in recently was for National Jewish Health, one of the best hospitals for respiratory and immunology in the world. We raised $1.75 million at an event in December. It was amazing. [My wife] Wendy did 80 percent of the planning for the event from a hospital room, since she was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago. I said, “Wendy, you don’t have to do this,” and she said, “Yes, I do.” Not only did she show up, she danced at the party. At the moment, she’s in remission, and, God willing, that’s where she will stay.

10 p.m.  I love sports and will watch anything, though baseball is my first sport. I’m a partner in a minor-league team, the Tri-City ValleyCats, in Troy, N.Y., that used to be affiliated with the Mets, but now is with the Houston Astros. I actually hate the Yankees, even though I grew up in the Bronx. My dad was a New York Giants [baseball] fan, and when they left for California, we switched to the Mets because they were also a National League team.

11 p.m.  When Wendy and I are at events, we’re running around, so at 11 we finally have time to catch up on the day and watch conventional television, like “Law & Order” or “Homeland.” I don’t usually fall asleep till 1 a.m. Five hours of sleep is enough for me; six is a luxury.

COMPANIES AND PEOPLE

Tags