New York building owners hashing out return-to-work plan

REBNY in talks with Cuomo administration on density guidelines

New York /
Apr.April 27, 2020 07:00 PM
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and REBNY president James Whelan (Credit: Cuomo by Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images, Whelan by Axel Dupeux)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and REBNY president James Whelan (Credit: Cuomo by Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images, Whelan by Axel Dupeux)

Owners of New York City’s largest office buildings are drawing up a plan for returning the city’s 1.5 million office workers to their desks.

The Real Estate Board of New York — whose members own properties such as the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center and Rockefeller Center — is in discussions with state officials about guidelines for reopening the city, sources familiar with talks told The Real Deal.

The talks, which were described as being in the early stages, are focused on what percentage of the workforce will initially be allowed to return to work as the state peels back its shelter-in-place order, and what levels of density are appropriate in buildings.

A spokesperson for REBNY confirmed the discussions and said the talks are ongoing. A representative for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York City’s office buildings have stood largely empty for seven weeks since Cuomo began ordering non-essential workers to stay home beginning in mid-March. About a week and a half ago the governor extended New York’s shutdown until May 15, but on Sunday laid out a game plan for reopening the state.

Cuomo has tapped three of his former top aides — Blackstone senior director Bill Mulrow, MacAndrews & Forbes vice president Steven Cohen and former secretary to the governor Larry Schwartz — to work on reopening, and has organized a coalition of seven East Coast states to coordinate the region’s efforts. His current secretary, Melissa DeRosa, is on that task force.

Deloitte is also working on the plan, Reuters reported.

In shutting down New York, Cuomo initially limited non-essential workplaces to 50 percent occupancy, then 25 percent, then zero. He has said the reopening would follow a similar path in reverse, along with social distancing and other measures to minimize spread of the coronavirus. That is the consensus of the return-to-work discussions.

It poses challenges in office buildings, such as how to keep people safely apart in common areas such as lobbies, elevators and bathrooms.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore
Governor Andrew Cuomo and 538 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law

Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law
John Banks

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

High expectations: A look at John Banks’ 4 years at REBNY
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and City Council member Mark Levine (Getty; City Council)

Parts of Manhattan, Staten Island enter lockdowns, but is it enough?

Parts of Manhattan, Staten Island enter lockdowns, but is it enough?
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

Real estate braces for new restrictions as virus cases surge

Real estate braces for new restrictions as virus cases surge
Chestnut Holdings president Jonathan Wiener (Photos via iStock; The Westchester Bank)

State investigation takes issue with faulty lease riders

State investigation takes issue with faulty lease riders
REBNY president James Whelan (Whelan by Evan Gutierrez)

Tax revenue from NYC property sales plunges $1.4B

Tax revenue from NYC property sales plunges $1.4B
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

Cuomo imposes new Covid-19 restrictions on restaurants, gyms

Cuomo imposes new Covid-19 restrictions on restaurants, gyms
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...