By Orlando Rodriguez
As a testament to the strength of emerging technology jobs in New York City, real estate magnate William C. Rudin says that the “Knowledge Economy,ˮ driven by young companies, will be the future of the city’s fortunes, not financial services.
“We know New York resurgence over the past several years has contributed to our success,” Rudin said.
“Mayor Bloomberg’s investments, like the campus of Cornell on Roosevelt Island, and his support of the tech industry and knowledge economy has been very significant for our city.
“As financial services continue to contract, it is my belief that New York should no longer be known as the financial capital of the world, although that is probably very important. We should also be known as the knowledge capital of the world.”
Speaking at the February luncheon for the Young Men/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York at the University Club in East Midtown, the vice chairman and chief executive of Rudin Management said that the mayor’s rezoning of former industrial areas has led to more workers wanting to settle in the city, as opposed to ‘suburbs’ further away.
This desire to remain in the city, he said, is attracting more companies to set up shop here.
“Companies are coming here because the workers are here,” said Rudin. “Whether its Facebook or Google, they are coming here because families want to be here.”
However, Rudin warned that in order to keep this momentum going, it is imperative that the next mayor continue to improve the quality of life for residents and keep business taxes low.
“We have to make sure crime stays low,” he said “We can’t raise our taxes so that people can’t afford to be here.”
Rudin, who is a fourth generation New Yorker, told the story of his great-grandfather, who came to New York in 1883, escaping religious and economic persecution. Like in his great-grandfathers time, the city’s welcoming social policies, Rudin said, like gay marriage and gun control, create a safe environment and economic opportunities that grow jobs.
“The reason [my grandfather] left Belarus was because he couldn’t own real estate and he couldn’t practice his religion,” he said. “People throughout the history of New York have come here seeking freedom and embracing economic and social opportunities. That continues today.”