big and tall
Mayor Bill de Blasio today praised some of the biggest names in the real estate industry and told them he has no qualms about building large in the name of affordable housing.
“I’m looking forward to building upon on a lot of the relationships that I’ve already had the honor of having with folks in this room and getting to know people more deeply in the years ahead and working together,” Mr. de Blasio told the group, according to audio from the closed-door meeting released by his office.
Members of the well-connected Real Estate Board of New York praised Bill de Blasio this afternoon after the mayor attended a closed-door meeting with the group.
While many in the business community had been nervous about the left-leaning mayor and his plans to up taxes on the rich and force developers to build more affordable housing, members of the group’s board left today’s sit-down offering nothing but praise.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s long-time spokesman, Jamie McShane, is headed to the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mr. McShane, a former television producer who left WNBC six-and-a-half years ago to work for the council, has been tapped as the board’s senior vice president for communications, effective January 1.
Though the city lost hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism revenue following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a steady rebound in tourism and the closely tied retail market has occurred, perhaps best personified by the rebirth of Lower Manhattan.
“There’s a lot going on Downtown that shows it is stronger and better Read More
Rob Speyer will be just 43 years old when he takes over as chair of the Real Estate Board of New York in January. That will make him the board’s youngest-ever chair. Impressive though that achievement is, even more noteworthy is Mr. Speyer’s pedigree. He will become a third member of his family to serve as the board’s leader.
Perhaps the best way to describe Angela Pinsky’s advocacy for the real estate industry is by saying that when she joined the Real Estate Board of New York almost two years ago, she didn’t see her job as much different from the one she was leaving in the mayor’s office.
“I work on a lot of the same issues,” said Ms. Pinsky, who married Economic Development Corporation head Seth Pinsky last summer. “The thing about the real estate industry, it’s very civic minded. Many owners are family businesses and there’s this strong tradition in the industry of wanting projects and policies that are best not just for the industry’s own interests, but for the entire city.
It was a typical evening at the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala as John Cardinal O’Connor stepped up to the dais to address a crowd of several thousand of the city’s most ambitious commercial real estate brokers and owners.
But in a ritual repeated more or less each year, the archbishop of the New York archdiocese’s 2.37 million Catholics and one of the Vatican’s most forceful spokesmen in the United States during the 1980s, was summarily ignored by a brokerage community far more interested in making deals than in hearing the Gospel.
Throughout my career, I have been active in many different trade organizations and have always made networking a significant component of my annual brokerage business plan. Networking can take many forms. In 2011, I chalked up 264 such events, or more than one per business day on average. Clearly, this aspect of my business plan is something that I focus great attention on, as business opportunities frequently seem to be generated from these interactions.
While there are many wonderful trade organizations out there, one of the best, and one of the most beneficial and productive for my firm and I has been the Real Estate Board of New York.
Since it started with a roll call of 27 members in 1896 with the goal of “facilitating transactions in real estate,” the Real Estate Board of New York has indisputably been the city’s most influential real estate organization, with its annual gala being to brokers what the Vanity Fair Oscar party is for Hollywood: If you’re there, it means you’re somebody.
Sure, some may lovingly write it off as a veritable men’s club (men are thought to outnumber women five to one), chide it as “The Liar’s Ball” (each year is a broker’s best year, no matter how wretched the marketplace) and speak ill of the food (nearly everyone avoids the chicken and filet mignon).
But the REBNY gala is as essential to a real estate person’s reputation and status as the buildings and bricks he works with. A dozen of the city’s most legendary players spoke to The Commercial Observer about the blurry nights and boom years that helped make the event what it is today.
As the partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan credited with essentially designing the law firm’s real estate practice, Leonard Boxer has worked with the city’s largest real estate owners and developers. As REBNY’s general counsel, meanwhile, the 72-year-old attorney has been advising the group in the rent-regulation debate. Last week Mr. Boxer spoke about Read More