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Articles in the Opinion Category

Construction & Design, REBNY Watch »

[15 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
Next month, the state will enact some important changes to the approved methods of testing for vermiculite which will continue to protect the public’s health and safety and avoid costly testing.
These changes are the result of the close collaboration of government officials, the world’s most respected scientists in the area of vermiculite and members of our industry.
Vermiculite is a mineral found in sheet rock, insulation, and other building materials and was commonly used for fire protection on structural steel buildings, once the danger from asbestos was recognized and …

REBNY Watch »

[9 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
The Durst family made headlines recently when they announced plans to create a new residential development on the Queens waterfront.
This new complex will be located in what is now an isolated and underutilized section of Astoria known as Hallets Point.
The project will include seven apartment buildings with more than 2,000 apartments for residents of varied income levels, a public esplanade, a school, and a supermarket.
Hallets Point marks one more step forward in an entirely new vision for the Queens waterfront.
Just next door, at Astoria Cove, plans for 1,700 …

Featured, REBNY Watch »

[2 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
REBNY: Pied-a-terre tax would be a big faux pas for industry

Last week, The Fiscal Policy Institute and State Senator Brad Hoylman separately announced a proposal to tax non-primary resident owners of condo and co-op apartments and Class 1 properties (1-3 family homes) in New York City with a market value of $5 million or more.

REBNY is vigorously opposed to this proposal and says it will continue to express its serious concerns about the impact of the proposal on the industry and city.

Opinion, Property Managers »

[24 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Ian Marlow, CEO of FITECH,
It’s no secret that leases require a lot of administrative details and attention, which can sometimes hamper efforts to maintain strong occupancy rates and revenues. Issues such as lease renewals, notification dates, and tenant or landlord obligations may be inadvertently overlooked; files might be hard to locate; and employee attrition and departments accustomed to working separately (without technology integration) can all chip away at productivity and profits.
However, real estate investment and property management firms can build a stronger administrative structure by implementing industry-specific software that …

REBNY Watch »

[24 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
If Horace Greeley were around today, urging folks to “Go West, young man” these days he would be talking about exploring the West Side of Manhattan over the Western United States.
It is fitting then that Greeley Square sits just east of the largest development in the history of the United States between Broadway and Sixth Avenue on 33rd Street. An entirely new neighborhood is taking root on Manhattan’s far West Side. Add in the High Line, the Whitney Museum, and the number 7 subway line, it seems everything …

Opinion, Retail »

[17 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, The Retail Group,
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
After one of the most beautiful summers I can recall, everyone is now facing the most important time of year (at least in my beloved retail sector): the fourth quarter.
As I write this in early September, we also are in the midst of Fashion Week, which will give a hint not just of how retail will do for the holidays, but also what retailers we may see in the not-too-distant future.
After attending some half-dozen shows, I can report that luxe is …

REBNY Watch »

[17 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
Amidst the issues New York is faced with every day, it is easy to lose sight of those which affect not only our city, but the world.
When New York City hosts next week’s United Nations Climate Summit 2014, there are many examples of global leaders of sustainable construction right here in New York City’s real estate industry.
The Real Estate Board of New York’s members are taking concrete steps to reduce emissions, and strengthen climate resilience.
For example, Related is performing construction on Hudson Yards on a platform 40 feet …

Photo Gallery, REBNY Watch »

[12 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

The Real Estate Board of New York hosted its 27th annual Pro-Am Tennis Tournament on September 3, 2014 at Sportime located at Randall’s Island.  Members who participated in the tournament spent “a day with the champions”, paired with professional tennis players. Following the competition, guests were invited to join in for the afternoon tennis clinic.
The proceeds from this annual event went to The Gift of Life Foundation in honor of our friend and well respective REBNY Member Steve Siegel’s wife, Wendy Siegel. Wendy has been fighting leukemia.  With the help …

Opinion »

[10 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

NGKF vice chairman Brian Waterman and developer Brad Blumenfeld will lead a team in the annual Light of the Night Walk taking place in Manhattan on September 18.
The walk – organized by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) –  is part of  Blood Cancer Awareness Month and commemorates the more than one million Americans affected by blood cancers every year.
Both Waterman and Blumenfeld have been touched by the heartache of the disease.  Brian’s brother Stephen died from  non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012.
David Blumenfeld – Brad’s brother – continues to battle chronic …

Opinion »

[10 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

By Harry L. Langer,  HL Langer & Co. 
The selective use of UPZONING is the most effective and efficient way to get AFFORDABLE HOUSING:
1. Any inner city vacant lot over 4000 square feet in low or moderate income areas (particularly those owned by the municipality) should be upzoned 4:1 to 10:1 land to building ratio (FAR).
 2. This new special zoning category would be exclusively targeted for and restricted to the construction of affordable housing based upon the determination and definition of poverty levels for families and individuals as set by the …

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