Real Estate Weekly
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Industry takes time to honor the legacies of real estate leaders

By John Banks

Last week, the real estate industry lost one of its giants — John E. Zuccotti.

John served this city in both the public and private sector, and in the various capacities that he served, he always left an indelible, positive imprint.

Few members of our industry served New York City over such a wide spectrum as John.

After earning his law degree from Yale and serving in the Army Reserve, he worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development at a time when the federal government played a central role in the City’s housing policy.

Later, he went on to serve as chair of the Planning Commission and then First Deputy Mayor to Mayor Abraham Beame. His role as First Deputy Mayor, and his credibility with the financial institutions that held sway over the city’s future during the 1970’s, was a critical factor in ensuring the city did not fall over a fiscal precipice at that time.

John’s public service did not end when he left government. He served in a range of labor relations activities, serving for nine years as impartial arbitrator between the MTA and locals of the Transport Workers Union and Amalgamated Transit Union.

As a member of the real estate community, first with Olympia and York and then with Brookfield Properties, John was a big presence. He served for decades on REBNY’s Executive Committee, including a distinguished tenure as chairman.

During some of our city’s darkest days, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, John was the leading voice organizing the public and private sector alike to focus on Lower Manhattan’s recovery.

In honor of his tireless efforts in both the public and private sectors, John was awarded REBNY’s highly prestigious Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award in 2003.

We will honor and remember John’s contributions and accomplishments at REBNY’s 120th Annual Banquet, which will be held on Thursday, January 21.

The REBNY Annual Banquet is the New York real estate industry’s biggest night of the year. For our 17,000 members, it represents an opportunity for REBNY members to gather, network and celebrate the incredible achievements and outstanding impact of the awardees.

This year’s banquet will present another new milestone — for the first time, The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award will be awarded not to an individual, but to a family.

The Stacom Family — the late Matthew Stacom, former vice chair of Cushman & Wakefield; Tara Stacom, executive vice chair of Cushman & Wakefield; and Darcy Stacom, chair and head of the Investment Properties group at CBRE – will be receiving the Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award for their contributions to the real estate industry over the course of their distinguished careers.

This award is presented to REBNY members for a lifetime of dedicated leadership and exceptional dedication to New York City real estate. The Stacom Family is collectively responsible for more real estate transactions and development in New York City than can be listed in the amount of space I have available.

I would like to specifically highlight the contributions and achievements of Matthew Stacom, who passed away last year after a distinguished 67-year career at Cushman & Wakefield.

Matthew played an integral role in the development, sale, and leasing of commercial properties not only in New York, but in several major cities throughout the country.

His career accomplishments included representation of some of America’s finest corporations, developers, and owners, including HBO and Ebasco Service, Inc.

He also served as the exclusive leasing and management agent of what was then the world’s tallest building – The Sears Tower.

What set Matthew apart from other influential developers and agents were his activities outside of his professional accomplishments.

An active supporter of the Greenwich Historical Society and Greenwich Library, he was also a founder of the Whitby School, and was highly active at Greenwich Academy and the Brunswick School. Matthew understood that it was not only important to help develop and sell buildings, but to also nurture the relationships those buildings will have with the community after each transaction was completed.

As a New Yorker, I owe a debt of gratitude to leaders like John Zuccotti and Matthew Stacom. Their tireless efforts, extensive contributions, and significant achievements helped shape New York into the leading world city that it is today. I greatly look forward to honoring their legacies at our upcoming banquet, as well as recognizing the accomplishments of the evening’s other distinguished awardees.

In other REBNY news:

REBNY’s Annual Commercial Brooklyn Cocktail Party will be on December 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Navy Yard – Green Manufacturing Center. Hosted by the REBNY Commercial Brooklyn Committee, the evening will include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and networking.

To register for this REBNY commercial member-only event, contact Desiree Jones at REBNY’s Residential Upper Manhattan Committee will be hosting its next panel discussion December 7 at MIST Harlem from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information on this upcoming event, visit

Request for Housing for Veterans in Need: New York City is seeking housing for homeless veterans, with the greatest need being for studios and one-bedroom apartments.

The City has committed to ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and has worked to ensure that all veterans have a rental subsidy.

There are also landlord and broker incentives available for those who place veterans in housing.
Learn more about the program, or if you have an apartment you’d like to make available, please visit

For information on how to make a donation, visit or contact Johann Hamilton at 212-616-5251.

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