REBNY 2014

Members of the board reflect and look forward on the eve of the industry’s biggest night.

REBNY 2014

Postings: REBNY By the Numbers

The REBNY 118th Annual Award Banquet Photo by Steve Freidman

A jubilance not seen in years permeated the Real Estate Board of New York’s 118th banquet following a year characterized by several major victories for the industry, soaring rents and widespread development across the city. The politician-studded crowd at the Hilton included Governor Andrew Cuomo and new Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with a consortium of new faces in city government. All were treated to a REBNY banquet that once again boasted the feel, charm and spirit of the boom era’s glory days. Below are some facts and tidbits:   Read More

REBNY 2014

The Party Circuit: 118th Annual REBNY Banquet

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REBNY 118th Annual Award Banquet

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) rolled out the red carpet for its 118th annual banquet held at the New York Hilton on January 16. The exclusive event, touted as the industry’s most important networking event of the year, drew in many of New York City’s most influential industry leaders, elected officials and hundreds of the city’s top real estate professionals to celebrate 2013’s accomplishments and opine on the outlook for 2014, which promises to be another exciting year in real estate. Award winners at this year’s REBNY banquet were: Stephen L. Green, Chairman of the Board, SL Green Realty Corp.; Kenneth Fisher, Senior Partner of Fisher Brothers; Joel I. Picket, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Gotham Organization, Inc.; Robin Abrams, Executive Vice President of The Lansco Corporation; Thomas L. Hill, Senior Vice President of Boston Properties’ New York Property Management Department; and Robert C. Fink, Director of Leasing for The Winter Organization. 

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REBNY 2014

Loud and Proud: Spinola on Hosting the REBNY Banquet


While the venues and honorees may change for the annual Real Estate Board of New York banquet, some things remain constant. The raucous event, dubbed the Liar’s Ball, has developed and maintained a notorious reputation for its crowd, which carries on loudly over the on-stage speakers. Imagine the Blue Seats at Madison Square Garden circa 1982, only with tuxedos and more booze. Read More

REBNY 2014

REBNY Considers de Blasio’s City Hall

Bill de Blasio and Bill Bratton at Mr. Bratton's appointment as police commissioner. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty)

With the fate of millions of dollars in tax incentives and millions of square feet of office space in the balance, the city’s real estate industry is bracing for the impact of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cabinet appointments. But the left-leaning Democrat who won the election last fall by attacking inequality and his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, has thus far refrained from tapping any nominees hostile to new development. Read More

REBNY 2014

Home Sweet REBNY

217 Broadway for Commercial Observer

In its 118 years of existence as an industry powerhouse, the Real Estate Board of New York has called just six addresses home. Here are REBNY’s current and former headquarters, and a brief look at the history that was made in them. Read More

REBNY 2014

REBNY Banquet: The Rules of the Pregame

Michael Bloomberg and Mary Ann Tighe at the 2012 REBNY Foundation cocktail party. Photo: Steve Friedman

The formal dinner held in the Hilton’s cavernous Grand Ballroom is the centerpiece of the REBNY banquet celebration. But the preceding cocktail party in the Mercury Ballroom is just as lively despite its more intimate size—450 this year, compared to the banquet’s roughly 2,200. Indeed, invites to the cocktail hour are especially coveted by the wheelers and dealers in an industry that’s famously fond of status symbols. Read More

REBNY 2014

The Plan: The Posts of REBNY Past

REBNY BoardRoom

While Real Estate Board of New York chairpersons come and go—often after a brief, two-year stint—their names live on in the organization’s boardroom at 570 Lexington Avenue. Here are a few of the chairs, current and former, whose names grace seats around the conference table. Read More

REBNY 2014

Robin Abrams: Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award

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It is difficult to walk down any of New York’s major fashion corridors without seeing a retail store that was brokered by Robin Abrams and her team at the Lansco Corporation. Coming to the city in the late 1970s, Ms. Lansco has climbed the ranks within the firm and stands at the forefront of retail leasing in the city, bringing in some of fashion’s largest names. Read More

REBNY 2014

Robert C. Fink: Young Real Estate Man of the Year

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The real estate industry in New York is like the Wild West. 

“It’s commission, everything goes, and you do everything you can to get a meeting,” said Robert Fink. “Then you bring in a senior broker, and they take over. That wasn’t my style.” The endless hours of cold calling and steak dinners are nothing more than shots in the dark. Relationships with clients, if one were to emerge, existed as business transactions. There was little depth aside from the number crunching and lease signing, which Mr. Fink excelled at but didn’t fulfill his desire for substance and a cultivated product.   Read More

REBNY 2014

Thomas L. Hill: George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year

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Thomas Hill, a native New Yorker, started off in the real estate industry when he was a child shadowing his father, who worked for a large real estate developer. He would spend his holidays and summers working as an engineer’s helper, eventually completing trade school, climbing the ranks and switching to the managerial side. His career and narrative is a true American success story.  Read More

REBNY 2014

Joel Picket: Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award Winner

Joel Picket

Joel Picket, the chairman and chief executive of the development and construction institution Gotham Organization for nearly five decades, is more likely to wax nostalgic about American history than Gotham’s portfolio of 30,000 residential units and 2.8-million-square-foot retail and residential portfolio. When it comes to Gotham, he’s focused on the matter at hand. “Your favorite one is the one that you’re doing at the present time,” said Mr. Picket.

The leader of the 83-year-old, family-owned firm is this year’s recipient of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award for community service. Mr. Picket’s civic volunteer work at organizations such as Beth Israel Medical Center (where he has had a longtime role on the board) and charitable giving (like his support for the New York Philharmonic) reflect the way Gotham projects strengthen the city. And even though he has led the company since 1965, this history buff is still curious how he can help. Read More

REBNY 2014

Kenneth Fisher: Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker


Before opening to the public as a museum in 1982, the decommissioned U.S.S. Intrepid made its way up the Hudson River to New York City’s west side. Then better known as a hotbed for drugs and prostitution, the west side waterfront was a seemingly strange choice of location for a tourist destination.

It was Mayor Ed Koch who convinced Zachary Fisher—the real estate investor who had championed the conversion of the aircraft carrier into a museum—to dock the ship at 46th Street and 12th Avenue.

“The Intrepid was a catalyst behind the birth of the west side waterfront,” Ken Fisher, the late Zachary Fisher’s nephew, said in a phone interview. “Now it anchors Hudson River Park.”

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REBNY 2014

Such Great Heights: REBNY’S Year In Review


As the city and real estate market continued its post-recession surge over the past year, a number of significant milestones played out under the watchful eyes—and in some cases careful direction—of the Real Estate Board of New York that will shape the future of the city for decades to come.  Read More

REBNY 2014

The Shape of Things to Come: REBNY’s 2014 Agenda

Grand Central Terminal.

Last year ended in disappointment for the Real Estate Board of New York when the New York City Council struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sweeping Midtown east rezoning proposal. 

The plan, which would have transformed 73 blocks surrounding Grand Central Terminal, had been viewed as vital modernization of an area deemed structurally obsolete by many in the industry. 

REBNY is undeterred in 2014, however, and is as determined as ever to push through not only Midtown east rezoning but a number of other development projects and legislation it deems critical to the future of the city’s infrastructure.

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