On Wednesday, Steven Spinola, the president of the Real Estate Board of New York, was sorting out some of the final details before the organization’s annual banquet tonight, the event of the real estate world. (Some have also taken to calling it the “liars’ ball” for all the tall tales real estate types regale each other with at the formal affair.)
“I’m working on who is sitting next to who on the dais, and that gives me the most headaches,” Mr. Spinola said.
One thing that’s not giving him headaches, despite the economic doldrums:
“We’re setting up for 2,300 people, which is amazing in this market, and the room can’t handle more than 2,400,” said a pleasantly surprised Mr. Spinola, who had been anticipating an attendance closer to 2,000. “There were 2,412 last year. It’s an amazing accomplishment. We actually are still getting phone calls.”
Tonight’s event, in the Mercury Ballroom at The New York Hilton, has been dominating discussions in the real estate world for the past week. “Will I see you on Thursday night?” “You wearing a tux or a suit?” “Do you remember that woman last year with the skin-tight white gown and the conspicuous thong?”
REBNY has been holding this gala for 113 years. Per usual, there will be filet mignon, and lots of real-estate famous people. Bill Rudin has RSVPed. So has Rob Speyer and Burt Resnick. On the bureaucratic side, the mayor said he’ll stop by. As did Christine Quinn, Betsy Gotbaum and Sheldon Silver. Senator Schumer will show for cocktails.
Mr. Spinola, for his part, is stoked. And busy.
“We’re setting up for 2,300,” he said. “I did not expect that.”
And perhaps most importantly, “It will make a ton of money for us.”