The Real Deal New York

REBNY amps up campaign against Downtown Brooklyn landmarking

January 18, 2012 02:00PM

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From left: Steven Spinola, president of REBNY and 16 Court Street

The Real Estate Board of New York has pumped up its efforts to block the landmark designation of a swath of 21 commercial building in Downtown Brooklyn, Crain’s reported.

Last September the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the landmarking, known as the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District; it includes 16 Court Street, 191 Joralemon Street and 75 Livingston Street. 

All designations require final approval from the City Council and mayor within 120 days. The City Council will vote on the matter on Feb. 1. REBNY has just stepped up their campaign against the designation, mailing flyers to residents and writing a letter to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn urging her to vote against the district.

Steven Spinola, president of REBNY, called the proposed area “a district that most people with any common sense would agree is not worthy of landmarking.” [Crain's]

  • Professional_Anonymous

    For heaven’s sake. The buildings are beautiful, however the one which are overbuilt don’t need landmarking, and the smaller ones shouldn’t be.

    Forever this neighborhood will be a testament to those who tried to move downtown across the river and failed all those many years ago.

    at $29PSF for a fully operating Class B-/C+ bldg with a constant 25% vacancy rate; WTF are we landmarking here. Landmark places that need it.

    Alternatively, stop landmarking. this is New York, not paris or london. It’s a modern city!!!!

  • JeffGerber

    Anyone who knows anything about Steven Spinola, President of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), knows that he is a union-buster. In order to increase the profits for the developers that his organization represents, he wants the city to relax the rules for obtaining a license to operate a crane in New York City so contractors can bring in inexperienced, non-union crane operators who will work for less money than union crane operators. This may save the developers money, but it will drastically increase the likelihood of future crane accidents.

    Those recent accidents in Manhattan, which resulted in the deaths of Wayne Bliedner and Donald Leo, two members of IUOE Local 14, were caused by faulty equipment/rigging, not by operator error. Spinola and his fellow union-busters knows this, but instead of questioning the business practices of the owner of those cranes, they decided to use these accidents as subterfuge to push for the weakening of the requirements to obtain a NYC Department of Buildings Hoist Machine Operator license, which will greatly weaken the crane operator’s union by causing an influx of inexperienced non-union crane operators from out of state. REBNY doesn’t care about the extraordinary skill of union crane operators and Local 14′s exemplary safety record. All they care about is the additional money they will make if they successfully bust the crane operator’s union.

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