A political-lobbying group founded by real estate developers and business executives closely allied with Governor Andrew Cuomo received a total of $2 million from a gambling interest group last December, the New York Times reported. The group, the Committee to Save New York, is led by REBNY President Steven Spinola and Tishman Speyer President Rob Speyer, and received the money as Cuomo worked on a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York. [more]
Posts Tagged ‘steven spinola’
An advocacy group largely supported by the city’s real estate industry raised more than $12 million for Governor Andrew Cuomo, and $17 million overall, in 2011, its first full year of operations. A review of the Committee to Save New York’s finances conducted by the New York Times found more than two-thirds of the $17 million to have come from donors giving $250,000 or more, and three donors combined to give $6.25 million. By donating to the advocacy group, which has funded television and radio ads in support of Cuomo, these wealthy contributors can bypass the $60,800 state limit on direct donations to candidates. [more]
The contentious living wage bill, which the Hudson Yards is exempt from, will likely not affect more than 500 workers total in its current form, the New York Times reported. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that she was done revising the measure this week, and figures from her office show the total number of workers affected — meaning they will have to be paid $10 per hour and receive benefits, or $11.50 per hour without — between 400 and 500. [more]
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. [more]
From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Real Estate Board of New York President Steve Spinola and Tishman Speyer President Rob SpeyerDuring the quiet month of December in an off-election year, a political lobbying group led by REBNY President Steve Spinola and Tishman Speyer President Rob Speyer has spent $2.8 million praising Governor Andrew Cuomo in television ads, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The ads, approved by the three-person executive team of the Committee to Save New York (the third member is Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City), claim that despite challenges Cuomo is “getting things done,” including creating a solid jobs plan and lowering taxes…. [more]
The City Council will hold a hearing on the proposal to institute a new landmark district for Downtown Brooklyn tomorrow and could vote to modify or disapprove the designation, the Wall Street Journal reported. The upcoming hearing has prompted New York City’s real-estate industry to intensify its efforts to stop the landmark designation, which, it claims, will result in nearly $5 million in additional costs for property owners over the next few years.
As The Real Deal previously reported, the creation of the district would mean a spate of newly-landmarked buildings, including the Franklin Building at 186 Remsen Street, which was completed in 1887, the 13-story Temple Bar Building at 44 Court Street and a 22-story limestone, granite and brick Colonial Revival style building at 32 Court Street…. [more]
From left: Council member Gail Brewer, a Duane Reade and Bank of America on the Upper West Side and REBNY President Steven SpinolaTired of chain drugstores and banks replacing mom-and-pop shops on the Upper West Side, City Council member Gail Brewer has been trying to implement zoning laws that would restrict larger stores from moving into the area, the New York Post reported. She said the trend is compromising retail variety for residents of the area.
Brewer has been meeting with the Department of City Planning to devise legislation that works towards that goal, including laws that set a minimum number of stores per block and maximum amount of ground-floor frontage along key Upper West Side corridors. … [more]
Supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement have now begun targeting the Real Estate Board of New York on social media and then in turn by phone, following news reports that REBNY seeks to submit a proposal to the city limiting the public access hours of privately owned public parks. In response to an opinion article in today’s New York Times by Jerold Kayden, a professor of urban planning at Harvard University, on the legal gray area of such privately owned public spaces, and the news reports of REBNY’s plans, a Twitter user called @OccupyMyCat this morning posted, “Announcement! It’s time to Occupy REBNY, the Real Estate Board of New York!”
Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for the board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to approve the consolidation of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s operations into the Port Authority, according to a statement released today. He is also recommending that Patrick Foye, currently the Governor’s Deputy Secretary of Economic Development, serve as executive director of the Port Authority, replacing the recently resigned Chris Ward.
“Too many different agencies doing the same or closely related work makes little sense,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The Port Authority is best situated to oversee the development at Moynihan Station and the orderly wind down of the LMDC and these changes will consolidate responsibility within the [Port] Authority.” -- Miranda Neubauer… [more]
From left: Related’s Bruce Beal speaks at the launch of the new DOB development hub and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DOB commissioner Robert LiMandri give a demonstration of the new software
Related Companies Executive Vice President Bruce Beal made an appearance this afternoon at a Department of Buildings event announcing a new system for reviewing building plans. Filing an application for a residential tower at 500 West 30th Street, Beal was one of the first to use the new system.
Called the NYC Development Hub, the new platform aims to accelerate the approval process for construction projects by allowing architects and engineers to submit plans and resolve issue digitally. DOB employees will be able to video conference with applicants while simultaneously reviewing their plans online, the department said. Other city departments, such as the Landmarks Preservation Commission and City Planning, will set up their own miniature hubs so they can participate in the process…. [more]
Though two dozen construction unions’ contracts were renewed this summer with revised terms, according to Crain’s the biggest changes are yet to come.
Operating engineers, painters and steamfitters, among other unions, agreed to unprecedented concessions amidst the faltering economy, helping to ensure that owners will continue to call upon them for construction work.
But Real Estate Board of New York members and others are upset that wages for carpenters and concrete workers were cut 20 percent only for residential and hotel projects of up to 16 and 20 stories, respectively. … [more]
Developers are increasingly including affordable units within luxury
rental buildings as part of the 80/20 program, the New York Times reported.
Steven Spinola, the president of the Real Estate
Board of New York, says at least six 80/20 projects are being planned
in Manhattan that will add some 1,500 affordable and rent-stabilized
developers of market-rate residential buildings included affordable
housing in exchange for tax incentives, the affordable units were
often in another complex or even in another borough altogether. But in
2008, the city changed regulations in a way that made it almost
impossible for developers to include the affordable units outside the
luxury buildings…. [more]
The Real Estate Board of New York strongly criticized a tentative deal
between concrete workers and an industry association that averted a strike last night, saying that the agreement won’t be enough to
stem a tide towards non-union construction, Crain’s reported. REBNY
also said that the agreement wouldn’t offer enough cost-savings for
developers. The deal involves wage increases of approximately 8 percent over three years and a 20 percent wage reduction on hotel and residential buildings of 16 or fewer stories, according to Crain’s…. [more]
Concrete workers that abandoned some construction sites in the wake of their expired labor contract were ordered to return to their jobs Tuesday night. Crain’s reported that an arbitrator ruled that concrete laborers at West 57th Street, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and Tower 2 of the World Trade Center were in violation of a no-strike provision in labor agreements at those sites.
The Cement and Concrete Workers District Council plans to appeal the ruling, Crain’s said, as it will argue that the no-strike agreement is not applicable since the contract expired in June. But by Wednesday workers at all four sites were back on the job. A similar hearing is scheduled today for walkouts at the new Weill Cornell Medical College on East 69th Street. … [more]
From left: Steven Spinola, president of the REBNY; Eric Anton, executive managing director at Eastern Consolidated; Debra Shultz, managing director at Manhattan Mortgage; David Heiden, a principal at W Financial and Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group
As the debt ceiling debate nears a critical juncture in Washington D.C., real estate executives in New
York are concerned that absent a final resolution, the fragile recovery will be short circuited by a sudden
spike in interest rates.
Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the 12,000-member trade organization,
said the industry’s main concern is the impact a debt ceiling default could have on projects financed
with tax exempt bonds.
“If there is no agreement and our credit rating goes down, what will that do to interest rates?” Spinola
Over three-quarters of New York brokers believe that next quarter’s values and sales will be better than or the same as last quarter, according to a second-quarter survey conducted by the Real Estate Board of New York and released today. The survey found that 77 percent of respondents reported closing rental transactions at or above asking rent in the second quarter, up 16 percent from the quarter prior. Additionally, 13 percent more brokers reported closing rental transactions and 4 percent more reported closing sales compared to last quarter. Ten percent more brokers reported closing sales at or above asking price compared to what brokers reported in the second quarter of 2010. – Miranda Neubauer… [more]
New York City home sales prices inched upward, while sales activity blossomed in the second quarter of 2011, according to a report released today by the Real Estate Board of New York.
Sales activity increased 10 percent from the first quarter of 2011, but is down four percent from the same period a year ago due to “unseasonable fluctuations” caused by the looming expiration of the homebuyer’s tax credit, according to Steve Spinola, REBNY’s president. Meanwhile, sales prices increased 2 percent from last quarter and 3 percent from the same period a year ago. In the second quarter “we saw a return to normal cyclical market patterns,” Spinola said. – Adam Fusfeld… [more]
Retail rents in Lower Manhattan jumped 23 percent in the spring of 2011
compared to the fall of 2010, according to a report released today by
the Real Estate Board of New York, and apparently that’s because of the news coverage World Trade Center construction has garnered. “Lower
Manhattan has been receiving national and international attention as a
result of the progress at the World Trade Center site. The rise in
asking rents for retail space shows that retailers are looking to
capitalize on the increase in pedestrian traffic expected there in the
years to come,” said Steven Spinola, REBNY’s president. TRD… [more]
Real Estate Board of New York president Steve Spinola appeared on Capital Tonight (see video above) to discuss the role he played with the Committee to Save New York, an advocacy group that raised $10 million to support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget. But now that the budget has passed with relatively little controversy, Spinola said the organization still has about half of that money, which it plans to spend to fight the millionaire tax. Spinola also discussed rent regulation, saying that while he supports the extension of the current laws, he doesn’t want to see any additional protection for rent-stabilized units. … [more]
No one heeded his advice last year, but Steve Roth still wants the city
to upzone Park Avenue.
The Vornado Realty Trust chairman, who traded lighthearted jabs
at the Real Estate Board of New York’s quarterly luncheon this
afternoon with his decidedly more staid development rival, Related
Companies boss Stephen Ross, paused mid-sentence, momentarily
holding his tongue so as not to offend what was likely a room full of
Park Avenue landlords, brokers and investors.
“Oh, I don’t give a shit,” he ultimately decided, to roars of laughter.
Most Park Avenue office buildings are currently “hanging on by
their fingernails to being technologically obsolete,” Roth continued,
proposing that the city council rezone the thoroughfare so that older,
existing buildings could be torn down and replaced with larger, newer