Muss Development Company
Muss says developers need to be up for the long haul.
What one factor is most important to success?
Persistence. You can never give up.
What do you look for in an employee?
They have to be good at what they do, and they have to enjoy what they do.
What’s the best way to save money?
Not to spend it. I guess, for me, the best way to save money is to place it into real estate development. If you can survive the initial three to five years of pain, then I suppose eventually you’ll make it.
What’s the best way to spend money?
I haven’t found that out yet, I really haven’t. I guess-I can’t think of a good way to spend money. Except through certain projects, but truthfully it’s the first answer, I really haven’t figured it out yet. But I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.
What’s your greatest pleasure?
My family, my grandchildren, and the ability to spend time with them. Especially my grandchildren.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I guess it’s by saying my morning prayers. It gives me a little guidance, a little appreciation, a little focus.
How do you deal with stress?
Well, my favorite recreation is golf, although golf probably creates more stress sometimes than it relieves. But I muddle through that stress. One day I’ll be a great golfer, when I learn to shave about twenty strokes off my game.
What one lesson do you hope to pass on to your children?
Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Everybody, without exception.
How do you bounce back from adversity?
I guess I go into denial. There’s no such thing as no, there’s no such thing as it can’t happen. Or, conversely, I go onto the next project.
What’s your favorite thing about Queens?
I suppose it’s too soon to say the Olympics, right? I know my favorite thing in Queens, and there’s no question-my office. We’re at the corner of Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard, I’m on the 16 th floor, it’s a great location. I can get there from my house quickly, I can go anywhere in the metropolitan area quickly, I can look out my window and see the skyline of Manhattan and the beautiful Flushing Meadow Park and the lake. It’s a great place to spend the day.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Muss joined the family business (begun by his grandfather) in 1965. Headquartered in Forest Hills, Muss Development Company has expanded to become one of the largest ongoing development companies in New York City. Earlier this year Muss announced a $600 million residential, commercial and retail development for the east side of the Flushing River, which will look over the new Mets stadium.