Ready to rumble: Ross, Speyer nearly come to blows over 421a

Developers eventually settled their differences

TRD New York /
Mar.March 21, 2016 08:00 AM

Two of New York real estate’s toughest players recently almost got into a fist fight — or at least a shoving match — over the future of 421a.

Rob Speyer, head of Tishman Speyer, and Stephen Ross, chairman of the Related Cos., had to be physically separated when their argument at a Real Estate Board of New York meeting looked it might escalate, Crain’s reported, citing several unnamed witnesses.

During the meeting, Speyer attempted to rally support for restarting wage-rule negotiations with constructions unions, in hopes of bringing back the 421a tax abatement program, Crain’s reported.

“Only you” are interested in resuming the talks, Ross told Speyer, according to Crain’s.

The 421a tax abatement — which grants property tax abatements of up to 25 years to developers who fulfill affordability requirements — expired in January following the breakdown of negations between REBNY and the construction unions over prevailing wage requirements.

Per the Crain’s report, Speyer approached Ross afterwards, and the two got into it. Ross leapt from his chair and cried, “This isn’t the NFL. I’m not going to be pushed around,” the news publication reported.

Ross owns the Miami Dolphins. Speyer is the REBNY chair.

The two were forcibly separated by the aptly-named real estate attorney Leonard Boxer of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, who had been sitting with Ross, according to Crain’s.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” a witness told Crain’s.

Tempers eventually cooled; the developers hugged it out just a few minutes later, on the street in front of REBNY’s 570 Lexington Avenue headquarters, according to the Crain’s report.

“REBNY meetings often feature passionate and frank exchanges,” Ross and Speyer said in a joint statement, “especially on issues as important as the future of affordable housing in New York City. And at the end, we always depart as friends and respected colleagues. Our most recent meeting was no different.” [Crain’s] Ariel Stulberg


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios

Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways

John Banks

High expectations: A look at John Banks’ 4 years at REBNY

John Banks

John Banks to step down as REBNY president

Clockwise from the top left: Jackson Park at 28-40 Jackson Avenue, 240 Willoughby Street in Fort Greene, 664 Pacific Street in Brooklyn, and 247 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg (Credit: StreetEasy, Google Maps, Pacific Park Brooklyn, The Pod Hotel)

These were the top 10 outer-borough loans last month

Senator Brian Kavanagh and REBNY president Jim Whelan (inset) (Credit: Getty Images and Facebook)

Legislature eyes changes to “just cause eviction” bill

(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

From left: REBNY president Jim Whelan, the Downtown Alliance chairman Ric Clark, and the NYC Hospitality Alliance president Melba Wilson (Credit: Facebook, iStock, Melba's Restaurant)

Business groups seize chance to amend commercial waste bill

Jackson Park at 28-40 Jackson Avenue and Tishman Speyer's Rob Speyer (Credit: StreetEasy and Tishman Speyer)

Tishman Speyer locks in $1B in financing for Jackson Park

arrow_forward_ios