Published on March 13, 2015
I recently had the opportunity to interview Gene Boniberger of the Rudin Organization, one of NYC’s largest Real Estate Owner/Manager/Developers. Gene is responsible for overseeing the day to day management of the company’s 15mm sf Real Estate portfolio. Gene has been with Rudin for 38 years. He started his career in 1977 as an Engineer’s assistant and worked his way up the company ladder to his current role as Senior Vice President- Director of Building Operations, for the Rudin Commercial and Residential portfolio.
During our conversation I learned that Rudin Management is a 110+ year old, fourth-generation family business. They are investment owners who both build and then manage Class A Commercial Office buildings and large multi-family residential properties. An interesting fact I learned is that Rudin Management has never sold a single one of its buildings that they built.
To see a complete list of Rudin’s commercial properties, click here Rudin Commercial Properties.
What do you love most about your role at Rudin?
“I love working with the people at Rudin Management. I started as in the Engine Room as an Engineer’s Assistant and have worked in every role within Building Operations Department during my career. Even though the nature of my work is extremely busy and “on call 24/7”, it’s exciting, interesting and I still learn something new every day. I especially enjoy working with our teams in the Engine Rooms, where a lot of the real work is done.”
What are some accomplishments that you are proud of?
“There are many things that I am proud to have been involved with over my years at Rudin Management. I started in the Engine Room on my first day and was a bit lost in what seemed like a maze of pipes and machinery. Since then, with the help of a lot of great people, I have been able to rise through the ranks of this firm tackling every aspect of Building Operations. I am now very proud to be able to lead the team of professionals at Rudin, that keep our buildings safe, clean, efficient and reliable, every day across our real estate portfolio. That includes disaster recovery when things happen that are out of our control, whether they be man-made or caused by nature. I have also been involved in the ground up construction of every new property we have built since 1980.”
How do you manage new construction projects at your properties?
“At Rudin Management, we have established Standards for Construction that covers everything from pre-authorized Contractors who have been qualified and approved to work in our buildings to the setting of expectations for behaviors of contractors on the job at our buildings and the implementation of green construction practices. We like to act as advisors to our tenants when they undertake a new renovation or alteration project. We review plans, make suggestions based on our experience, and help them to supervise the actual construction and commissioning of their project.
Our tenants include high visibility people and firms in our residential and commercial buildings. Our commercial tenants include AIG, KPMG, NFL, Blackstone and Blackrock to name a few. When one of our tenants undertakes a renovation or fit out, we work hard to balance their construction project with the needs of our other tenants to in order to complete the project with the least amount of disturbance to our other tenants.”
What is DiBOSS and how is it changing how Building Operations work at Rudin?
“I worked with John Gilbert (Rudin COO/EVP), Dr. Roger Anderson of Columbia University and Arthur Kressner of Con Edison to develop Di-Boss (Digital Building Operating System) because we wanted to manage our buildings more efficiently and provide a higher level of comfort for the people that occupy those buildings. We needed to create a product that did not exist in the marketplace.
Di-Boss is a machine-learning software based integration platform, designed from the Engine Room out, by the people that actually operate the buildings. It aggregates data from all of the originally disparate building systems to create a real-time “cockpit” view of these building systems from a single point of command and control. This virtual control room provides real time guidance to the operator by centralizing data collection and management, represented in easy to understand, intuitive graphic displays, allowing us to view; actual versus forecast HVAC loads and capacities, energy consumption, and occupancy levels, all with a goal to maintain comfortable temperatures at all times in the leased spaces at each of our building properties, while operating as efficiently as possible. There is also the functionality to view this data across every building in our real estate portfolio with the Executive view. Di-Boss helped us reduce our energy spend at 345 Park Avenue in the first year deployed by 9%, or $980,000 in steam and electric cost savings. We have been realizing similar savings in our other properties as we continue the product roll-out.”
Tell me something no one knows about you.
“I have a mechanical background and have always liked tinkering around with cars and other mechanical things. I have been a licensed private pilot for the last 30 years and used to own a private plane that I enjoyed flying. In addition to my general aviation pursuits I am a U.S. Coast Guard Master Licensed Captain and I enjoy boating and fishing in the waters off Long Island’s South Shore with my family.”
Written by Annemarie Fleming of MovePlan Group, IFMA NYC Communications Committee Member.