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Real Estate REality Check | Real Estate & Business Career Success Education and Training


Apr 29, 2019

Introduction:

Today it is my honor to have as our guest the founder and chairman of Douglaston Development, Levine Builders and Clinton Management - yes, my real estate brethren - the Brooklyn born and legendary ... and of course effervescent, Jeff Levine. A true renaissance man, Jeff is someone who not only has made a lasting imprint on the affordable, senior and market rate housing markets both here in New York as well as nationally, but also a man who strives for balance in life, given his commitment to family and the lasting impact he has made in the community. Playing off of a song title of The Rolling Stones, “Time Is [not] on My Side” to describe the seemingly countless awards that Jeff has received for making a difference, but with that said, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the Real Estate Board of New York’s 2016 recipient of the Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award.

Episode Notes:

At 2:14, Jeff Levine discusses growing up in Brooklyn, and how, by replying to a 2-line classified ad in the New York Times, he truly “started from the bottom.” At 4:23, Jeff talks about adding value, as well as creating relationships with vendors, lenders and professionals that “make it right.” At 5:47, Levine suggests that one must have a high threshold for aggravation in development, and must survive his or her (and not repeat) past mistakes. At 7:28, he touches upon the process of development being a 3-legged stool. At 9:16, Jeff speaks about passion, commitment and the sense of accomplishment he feels in creating something. At 10:24, Levine believes that reputation is something that is well deserved. At 11:53, he dives into the companies that sit under The Douglaston Companies umbrella: Douglaston Development, Levine Builders, and Clinton Management, as well as the importance in hiring the right people and delegation. At 14:59, Levine shares a few thoughts about his youth growing up living in NYC housing projects, and his thoughts on affordable housing. At 16:38, he talks about Sam LeFrak and shares a story from his childhood. At 18:11, Jeff notes the critical components needed in residential buildings in order to seduce and attract tenants. At 20:43, Levine mentions his respect for, and for those who put in, a hard day’s work. At 22:27, Jeff touches upon making a difference in the public housing sector. At 23:56, he discusses NYCHA. At 25:53, Levine touches upon owning neighborhood retail centers which serve the community. At 27:39, he provides his thoughts on Amazon recently backing out of its planned LIC headquarters. At 29:24, Jeff imparts his love of NYC’s unparalleled charm and diversity in culture. At 31:06, Levine dishes on why Douglaston Development has not made any acquisitions in NYC over the past 5 years. At 33:11, Jeff touches upon the correlation between hard work and good luck. At 34:58, Jeff conveys his thoughts on the connection between success and passion. At 36:36, Jeff Levine closes out the podcast with a message on how he would like to be remembered.