2023 Year in Review: Donald Leistman, Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP

What was your greatest professional accomplishment or most notable project, deal, or transaction in 2023? Aside from obtaining large tax assessment reductions for commercial property owners, I predicted in the pre-season that Aaron Rodgers would be injured by the third NY Jets game and out for the year. Instead, it happened four plays into the season. When you are a NY Jets fan you can never be pessimistic enough.

How has your career path changed in 2023? It hasn’t — my law practice involves reducing property tax assessments for commercial property owners. Government overvalues property when times are good and overvalues it when times are bad. It’s like death and taxes. Death can be put off with the right lifestyle. Taxes have to be dealt with every year. They can’t be completely avoided but they can be lowered.

What emerging trends will drive investment and development in 2024? Property owners that were constructing office buildings and shopping centers 20 years ago are now developing rental apartment complexes and senior assisted-living facilities. Eventually, those new markets will reach a saturation level and by that time there will be a need for new offices as a new generation realizes it is good to get the hell out of the house.

Originally published in the December 26, 2023 New York Real Estate JournalReprinted with permission.