Person Place Thing with Marc Norman

Courtesy NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

From Skid Row to Syracuse, Marc Norman has worked with city agencies, banks, nonprofits, and developers nationwide to bring affordable housing projects to fruition. With experience in urban planning, finance, academia, and consulting, Norman has spent more than 25 years seeking out and implementing practical solutions to the affordable housing crisis. In his career as financier, he helped develop over 2,000 units of housing. Now, as the Associate Dean at NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, he trains students in an interdisciplinary approach incorporating social science, environmental studies, and history as crucial knowledge alongside the traditional business-centered curriculum. Norman’s work—as adviser, developer, and instructor—never loses sight of housing as space for humans, not merely an asset, a building, or a commodity.

On April 2, Open House New York and Person Place Thing presented a live, in-person conversation between Marc Norman and host Randy Cohen at 10 Grand in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Person Place Thing is a long-running public radio program series that asks creatives and leaders in diverse fields to talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them, yielding a new perspective on the featured guest’s work, life, and inspirations.

The program featured live music by Afro-Roots musician Kevin Nathaniel Hylton. Attendees also enjoyed a wine reception, generously provided by our hosts at the Neal Rosenthal Group.

About the Speakers:

Marc Norman is an internationally renowned urban planner and a veteran in the field of affordable housing and community development. He currently serves as Associate Dean at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate and is the founder of the consulting firm, Ideas and Action. Starting as an intern at the Planning Department of Los Angeles County, Norman’s career has followed an exciting and varied trajectory that led him to leadership roles at several financial institutions where he was responsible for a variety of complex economic development projects. He has worked collaboratively to develop or finance over 2,000 units of housing, totaling more than $400 million in total development costs. In addition to this, Norman sits on the boards of the MASS Design Group, New York City Housing Development Corporation, and the Trust for Governors Island.

Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Young Love Comics). His first television work was writing for “Late Night With David Letterman” for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s “TV Nation.” He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. For twelve years he wrote “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine. In 2010, his first play, “The Punishing Blow,” ran at New York’s Clurman Theater. His most recent book, “Be Good: how to navigate the ethics of everything,” was published by Chronicle. He is currently the creator and host of Person Place Thing, a public radio program.

Person Place Thing is produced with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and sponsored by WAMC Northeast Public Radio. An interview show, it is based on this idea: people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers.


10 Grand Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn