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Mayor’s office should stick to original plan for cutting emissions

JOHN-BANKS-REBNY-WATCH-300x180On Earth Day last week, the Mayor’s office published a progress report on its efforts to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent by the year 2050.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the city’s total GHG emissions comes from buildings. The rest comes from transportation (21 percent) and waste (5 percent).

To help with this important initiative, the Administration formed advisory groups composed of industry leaders and other stakeholders for each of the above-mentioned GHG emission categories.

REBNY is part of the Buildings Technical Working Group to advise the Administration on what reasonable, cost-effective steps can be taken by the building owners, managers and developers to ensure that the Administration’s ambitious goal is met.

From the beginning, the Administration’s plan was to set ambitious targets for GHG reduction through voluntary energy conservation measures. And if significant reductions were not achieved, mandated measures would be imposed. However, the progress report released last week veered in a sharply different direction.

Among other initiatives, the report calls for requiring large and mid-size owners to repair and improve heating distribution systems within the next ten years; upgrade lighting in non-residential and exterior areas to meet current Energy Code standards by 2025; and seal roof vents in elevator shafts.

To be clear, reducing GHG emissions is vitally important for the future of our city, our country and indeed, our planet. Many leaders in the real estate industry have already taken the initiative to retro-fit and build energy-efficient, low-waste buildings.

But as many of them will attest, each energy conservation measure must be environmentally- as well as economically-sound.

This goes doubly so for builders, developers and managers of affordable housing. For these buildings, it will be the tenants who will ultimately feel the impact in their monthly rent bills.

The progress report calls for mandates that will immediately impact large- and mid-sized building owners without any mention of how costs will be offset or even what the pay-back schedules will be for undertaking each requirement. Furthermore, the report fails to take into account 1-4 family homes which constitute 82 percent of New York City’s building stock.

The Building Owners and Managers Association, the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums, and the Rent Stabilization Association are among those who share our concerns.

Nevertheless, REBNY remains supportive of the Administration’s laudable ultimate goal of getting our city on track to reduce GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050. But we need to stick to the original plan and find ways to create incentives and other funding sources to underwrite these important measures. REBNY will remain at the table, adding our diverse membership’s voice to these important discussions.

In other REBNY News:

REBNY’s next Residential Rental Clinic Seminar will be held on April 29th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Mendik Education Center. Moderated by Daniel Marrello of Town Residential, the panel discussion will offer “Tips from Top Rookies,” and feature panelists: Katie Bahan of DSA Realty, Timur Mone of Platinum Properties, and Joseph Ulam of Halstead Property. Join fellow REBNY members at this free seminar that will teach you how to expand and improve your residential real estate business. For more information, contact Yesenia Dhanraj at

REBNY’s next Commercial Negotiation Seminar will be held on May 3rd in the Mendik Education Center from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This free seminar will feature moderator Michael Laginestra, CBRE, and panelists Adam Endick, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman; Ross Silver, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Norman Sturner, MHP Real Estate Services; and Andrew Sussman, CBRE, who will discuss what brokers should look for when negotiating a lease on behalf of a tenant or landlord.
The registration fee is $5 for REBNY members and $15 for non-members. For more information, contact Ossie Shemtov at

On Thursday, May 12 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., we will be hosting a Residential Top Brokers Seminar titled, “Who Are Today’s Buyers, Where Are They Coming From?” which will feature Vickey Barron of Douglas Elliman. The Bank of America-sponsored event will be held at Buckley’s Restaurant, located at 2926 Avenue South in South Brooklyn. For more information, contact
We will be honoring outstanding leaders in the field of Commercial Property Management at our upcoming Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

At this breakfast, we will be presenting the John M. Griffin Community Service Award, the On-Site Manager of the Year Award, the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award, the Small Buildings Engineer of the Year, the Large Buildings Engineer of the Year, the Security Professional of the Year, the Porter of the Year, the Rising Star of the Year and the Best Engine Room Award.

To register, visit or contact Cindy Ramotar at

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