By Linda O’Flanagan
One of the region’s biggest property owners is set to lead a call to action to protect New York from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
Joseph Sitt, chief executive office of Thor Equities, said, “The importance of getting the political establishment to listen to the business community cannot be over-stated.
““By failing to spend money on secure infrastructure in the past, Hurricane Sandy is likely to cost New York $70 or $80 billion. Some-one has to deal with it, and deal with it now.ˮ
Sitt will join a panel of leading real estate and government officials who will lay out proposals for both the recovery process and planning for future disasters.
The forum is being hosted by accounting firm EisnerAmper and Real Estate Weekly and will take place on Thursday, December 13, from 8 to 10:15 a.m. at the NYC Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street.
As the owner of the some of the largest tracks of land in Coney Island and Red Hook, as well as a major downtown Manhattan property owner, Sitt said he got a “front row seatˮ of the carnage caused by Sandy.
“The experience has definitely allowed me to see the many issues that we need to address, from flood barriers to the installation of electrical supply systems,ˮ he said.
“We are hoping this forum will allow us to present some of our ideas and get the politicians to pay attention.ˮ
Scott Rechler, vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority and a major Long Island property owner, will also take part in the debate, which will be moderated by former Governor David Paterson.
“In the post-Sandy world, taking a step back and evaluating where we invest and how we invest in our transportation infrastructure is vital to our future,ˮ said Rechler, pointing out how a breakdown in mass transit and supply chains virtually froze the city’s economic engine in the days following the storm.
“”We have to look at where we harden our systems and which are the most critical steps to take.
“Governor Cuomo has taken an aggressive approach to trying to understand how we should behave in the future but, from an owners perspective, we can articulate how the storm impacted business, what it means to the markets and how people have to change how they operate their buildings to make them more prepared for the future.”
Another confirmed panelists at the free forum will include developer Steve Witkoff.
For information on this free event, contact Harry Dublinsky, CPA, program chairman at 212-891-8781 or email@example.com