REBNY 2023 and the State of New York Real Estate


In one of Friedrich Nietzsche’s more heavily quoted maxims from Twilight of the Idols, he wrote: “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”

It’s possible that the traditional banquet thrown by the Real Estate Board of New York every January had to endure the mighty blows of COVID-19 in order to come out better in the end.

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Two words from the previous sentence —  “traditional” and “January” — in fact already look positively anachronistic when talking about the REBNY gala.

Last year, REBNY opted to re-create its Oscars-of-the-CRE soiree in June, not January. And, rather than the rubber chicken atmosphere of the Midtown Hilton, the board made the decision (an intelligent one, if we may editorialize) to move to the sleeker, more western venue of the Glasshouse at 660 12th Avenue. The party cut down on the speeches, amped up the chatter and gossip, and offered food served by luminaries such as Daniel Boulud.

It looks like the calendar change away from January will be permanent. REBNY’s 2023 gala is scheduled for April 20, again at the Glasshouse.

But those of us attached to old ways sort of liked having a big REBNY party in January because it gave us an excuse to start the year musing on the issues that affect New York real estate. (Even if, yes, the changes to the party were extremely positive.) It’s a good way to assemble the myriad political and business topics in one place and put it all together.

It seemed a shame to skip it in 2023 … until we figured, hey, we don’t need a REBNY banquet to publish a REBNY issue.

Why not look at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new proposals for housing, as Aaron Short did?

Why not examine the alliance of two pro-development public figures (Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Hochul) in a city where the last governor and mayor hated each other’s guts? Rebecca Baird-Remba’s did that.

Why not sit down with city officials such as Jessica Tisch, who has one of the more important (and perhaps least glamorous) jobs in city government: sanitation commissioner? (The city’s rat problem? Yeah, that’s in Tisch’s portfolio. Find out here.)

Why not have a talk with REBNY’s head of technology, Chris Beach, and ask about REBNY’s priorities, as Philip Russo did?

Why not look at the legal fallout from all the spoiled leases of the last three years that are still wending their way through the courts, as Celia Young did?

Why not check in on REBNY’s fellowship program in 2023 and get a taste of this year’s fellows, as Larry Getlen did?

Why not put the hopes and dreams of office-to-apartment conversion under the microscope and examine just how realistic or illusory the grand plans are, as Patrick Sisson did?

Why not look at the nitty-gritty of Local Law 97’s enforcement, as Short did? (Also, learn what local laws are driving carbon reduction in other cities, as Anna Staropoli did here.)

By the time April rolls around, we’re sure there will be another big slate of stories concerning REBNY, but for now these are the important issues facing New York City real estate.