REBNY’s Banks: One year in

With the 421a dilemma causing infighting, the head of the industry’s most powerful trade group has taken on the role of level-headed parent

John Banks
John Banks

From the May issue: Last month, with the future of 421a still unresolved, two titans of the real estate industry clashed over how to reinstate the tax subsidy. The two men, Real Estate Board of New York Chairman Rob Speyer, who heads Tishman Speyer, and Stephen Ross, the chairman of Related Cos., argued intensely, and depending on who you ask, nearly came to blows before reconciling by shaking hands (and by some accounts, hugging) outside REBNY’s Midtown headquarters.

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Nonetheless, the incident was a brief window into the inner politics of REBNY, the most powerful group representing the interests of developers in the city, and served to highlight one of the bigger challenges facing John Banks III, 54, who is entering his second year as REBNY’s president. [more]