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Mayor names real estate, construction advisory council

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has named a Real Estate Advisory Council tasked with helping the sector re-open in the midst of the COVD-19 pandemic.

The 30-strong group includes a number of affordable housing experts who work in the construction, funding, greening and management of city housing projects.


It also includes some of the industry’s most powerful players, including Bill Rudin, Dan Tishman, William Zeckendorf, Jeff Blau and Lawrence Benenson.

The group  is one of several so-called Advisory Council’s appointed by de Blasio as the city prepares re-opening plans.

The Council’s cover everything from non-profit and social services to education and transportation.

“These councils will provide real world guidance to ensure our plans to reopen the city make sense and keep people safe. We are facing an unprecedented crisis, but by working together, we will come out stronger than before,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Construction and Real Estate Sector Advisory Council includes green energy entrepreneur Donnel Baird, founder of BlocPower, a company that works with the city helping buildings reduce their energy usage; Susan Camerata of NYCHA management company, Wavecrest;  and Ron Moelis, founder of one of the city’s biggest affordable housing company’s, L&M Development Partners.

Also at the table will be former NYS HCR commissioner James Rubin, who now leads the New York office of Paris-based infrastructure investment company Meridiam, which specialized in finding private money to fund public road, bridge and rail projects.

Luis Tormenta, who was the founding commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, will also be on the council. He now runs The LiRo Group, a construction company that worked on the post-9/11 rebuilding of Lower Manhattan and, more recently, the Number 7 Subway Line Extension and East Side Access.


Eight women on the group include CBRE president Mary Ann Tighe, architects Laura Ettelman, SOM, and  Hana Kassem, KPF, and builder Ericka Keller, Brisa Builders.

According to the mayor, each of the advisory councils will be led by a deputy mayor or head of a city agency and are in addition to several coronavirus task forces that include a racial inequity coronavirus taskforce to ensure that city’s hardest-hit get what they need. 

A fair recovery taskforce responsible for putting together a recovery roadmap includes former Lieutenant Governor of New York State, Richard Ravitch, and Carl Weisbrod, senior advisor, HR&A Advisors.


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