REBNY warms up to De Blasio at private sit-down

Mayor eases some industry worries -- for now
February 19, 2014 05:54PM

Real estate industry leaders were singing the praises of Mayor Bill de Blasio today at the finish of a closed-door meeting between the leading industry trade group and the left-leaning Democrat, who many in real estate have worried would put a clamp on development in the Big Apple.

Developers and investors have also been wringing their hands the last few months over de Blasio’s push for more affordable housing and a universal pre-K pitch that could raise taxes for New York City’s elite.

Nevertheless, members of the Real Estate Board of New York said de Blasio was received “with open arms and applause” and they found him “very balanced,” the New York Observer reported. Back in November, industry leaders warned de Blasio that he should stay friendly with the business community — or business might leave the city.

While the stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss his free early childhood education initiative, the real estate community was also looking to gauge his level of cooperation with the industry.

Howard Rubenstein, whose firm handles public relations for many developers, has faith de Blasio will work with the real estate industry and is looking forward to working with him, he told reporters.

Stephen Ross, founder of the Related Companies, said de Blasio had “good things” to say regarding affordable housing. [Politicker] — Angela Hunt