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Industry hopes for healthier '92.

Industry hopes for healthier '92

The real estate industry is welcoming 1992 with some trepidation as well as hope that the future is brighter. REW queried members of the real estate community to see what real estate wishes they were making for the New Year.

Harvey Schulweis, general partner in Thom Rock Realty, which owns the IDCNY building, said he wished for an economic recovery in New York City. "That will take care of a lot of problems for real estate owners and lenders," he said.

Louis J. Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Congress, said he hopes for rent-paying tenants. "If that begins to occur, that will be a clear indication that firms are making a commitment to stay in New York and that perhaps things are looking to be a little better," he said.

These tenants, Coletti said, would stop "the hemorrhaging" of businesses leaving the city. It would also show, he said, that businesses are starting to experience some kind of expansion activity.

The success of the Building Congress-sponsored march on City Hall on Dec. 19 surprised Coletti (see page 7). "I never expected to have 50,000 people," he said. Now, he is very optimistic because the mayor's office has been in touch to set up a meeting that will probably take place sometime in January.

Pat Hetkin, president of District 7 Sanitation Council, said she is "looking forward to new construction that has plenty of space for dealing with recyclables." Hetkin said she would like to see any new or retro-fitted construction, including institutional and residential, have adequate space to handle recyclables. Hetkin said new institutions coming on line are not mandated to have the space. "Architects and planners realize this," she said, adding that the Building Department recommendations for changing codes are still being finalized.

Abraham Wallach, seniorvicepresident of First Capital Management, said he wished "that we face up to the realities and work together to try to solve them."

Wallach said there has to be an equal partnership, between the private sector and government, in order to change the status quo. Wallach suggested key corporate executives look at the companies they control and move those companies to New York. But, Wallach noted, "The rent taxes, the income taxes the mortgage taxes, make New York uncompetitive."

"Maybe the city needs to fire employees or retrain them," he added. "The city has to do a lot."

Although the city has always lived in crisis, 15 years ago, Wallach said, New Yorkers did not see people living in the streets. "It's incredible," he said. "Yet the president will spend billions of dollars on foreign aid."

Charles Rappaport, president of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives, said he wishes for two things. The first is "an understanding by legislators as to what co-ops and condos are about before they pass legislation that will affect them adversely, particularly in the area of real estate taxes."

Rappaport said his other wish is for the legislature to "once and for all eliminate the discrimination against senior citizens living in cooperatives as compared to senior citizen owners of condominiums and private homes with regard to the abatement of their real estate taxes." Rappaport said he believes the low-income senior citizens in co-ops should be treated equally and be given some kind of break on their real estate taxes.

John J. Gilbert, III, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, had a wish that also involved politicians. "My wish would be for elected officials to take the time to understand how difficult it is to operate in New York," he said, "and that these same politicians generate public policy that reflected that understanding and how important it is to New York's economic health and well being."

Gilbert said he also wishes the New York "spirit" would return. "A spirit that is full of hope and optimism for the coming year," he said.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:real estate industry
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:Availability up in Midtown South.
Next Article:Surprised owners receive code violations from NYS.

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