Real Estate Weekly
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Airport improvements are crucial to region’s future

By Steve Spinola

New York City is always improving upon itself. Whether that means developing new neighborhoods, attracting new talent, constructing more efficient buildings, or renovating existing structures, New York is and has always been leading the way when it comes to embracing the future.

Steven Spinola
Steven Spinola

Governor Cuomo recently highlighted a project that is crucial to the region’s future, the importance of redesigning La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports, an investment which he said would help sustain our vital transportation and foster strategic growth in New York.

We cannot underestimate the importance of air travel. Our airports are New York’s gateways to the world. They are the very first thing that visitors encounter when they travel here from anywhere else. La Guardia and JFK International are both routinely cited for their poor quality of design and passenger experience, yet they handle a combined 80 million travelers per year, support approximately 350,000 jobs, provide $18 billion in wages, and produce over $50 billion in economic activity.

Among the governor’s proposals for optimizing these airports was the growth of cargo capacity at Stewart Airport in the Hudson Valley. By transforming this airport into a regional distribution hub, congestion would be relieved in other airports, allowing more space for foot traffic and shuttle carts. Along the same lines of creating an improved customer experience, Governor Cuomo also proposed the construction of an AirTrain at La Guardia, similar in design to the rail line at JFK International Airport. By connecting this new AirTrain to the No. 7 line and the Long Island Rail Road at Willets Point, access in and out of La Guardia should become easier than ever before.

REBNY has always been an advocate of improvements to our transportation network, which I have always maintained is one of, if not the most important and necessary aspect of life in New York. Last week, we hosted a meeting with United States Representative Grace Meng of Queens. The proposed Air Train would run through part of her district. The Congresswoman said,

“During my meeting with REBNY, we had an important discussion about modernizing New York’s airports, in particular constructing an AirTrain to LaGuardia. This is a project I’ve long advocated for in my calls for improved mass transit access to the airport, and this initiative is a bold step towards accomplishing that critical goal. We all know how vital of an economic engine LaGuardia is for New York. I’m proud to enthusiastically support this ambitious proposal and I’m thrilled that an effort is finally underway to make it a reality.”

Although the MTA does an incredible job transporting over 8.5 million New Yorkers daily to their destinations, much of the infrastructure is over a century old, and needs to be maintained and improved.

There are very few things more important to the future growth of New York than ensuring that people can move easily to and from LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports and that our mass transit system remains one of the most effective and efficient systems in the world.

In other REBNY news:

SPOTLIGHT ON TRANSPORTATION: Don’t miss our recent educational video on the critical role transportation infrastructure plays our region’s overall economic health and development. Visit to watch our Chairman Rob Speyer and New York’s leading transportation experts discuss the role mass transit plays in the metropolitan area, major projects underway, and future challenges facing our transit system.

Sales Brokers Deal of the Year submissions are February 11th at 5 p.m.! Be sure to read the contest rules and submit your applications by that date, and remember – the deal need not be large to be considered. The 3 awards for Most Ingenious Deal of the Year will be announced at the Annual Sales Brokers Cocktail Party on April 28th at 101 Club, and more details can be found at

REBNY’s Residential Sales Agent Boot Camp, Cost of Doing Business: Put Your Hand In Your Pocket And Build Your Net Worth,” is February 19th! This event, sponsored by Bank of America will be taking place in the Mendik Education Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and is free for all REBNY members. Registration is required, and more information can be found by emailing

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