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Let's increase the value of New York City.

One of the surest ways to maintain the value of real estate is to maintain the value of the city it is located in. Building owners and investors use many strategies when working to increase the value of their properties -- tighter asset management, controlling the costs of building services, and renovations.

However, we must begin looking beyond our own property lines in order to affect the real Value of our assets.

In New York especially, it is critical that we seek out ways to increase the value of the city. The real estate industry has a great deal at stake in New York's success and must provide a strong voice on local, state, federal and even international levels to keep the city strong.

Manhattan's Central Business District includes more than 340 million square feet. This figure is larger than the nation's next six largest business districts - Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston and Boston combined.

On the international level, for example, Manhattan has twice the commercial space as London and nine times as much as Tokyo.

New York also surpasses these two cities on cost competitiveness, has significant foreign investment and a diverse labor pool.

On these levels alone, New York City is well-positioned to compete as America's premier city and as a truly worldclass city. Yet New York finds itself in fierce competition just to keep businesses from leaving town.

As a business, the real estate industry is the foundation on which all other businesses rely. By becoming more of an advocate for business and the city, our own objectives will be met and New York will be the beneficiary. We all share a common concern for wanting a better quality of life in New York.

Commercial property owners have already taken the lead by supporting Business Improvement Districts which offer creative solutions to dealing with many of New York's quality of life issues. BIDs infuse a considerable amount of money into the city for extra services including additional security and sanitation.

The Times Square, Penn Plaza and Grand Central BIDs alone have had a significant impact on these highly-trafficked, touristrelated neighborhoods. Streets are noticeably cleaner and offer a heightened security presence.

Commercial property owners must continue in the forefront of efforts to improve New York's image urging reinvestment in the infrastructure 'roads, bridges, railroads, harbor and airports. In order to remain competitive with other metropolitan areas, New York must maintain first-class transportation systems.

More than ever, we must continue to call for local tax policy reforms, enhanced services and business costs, new investment, and incentives for job retention and creation. Only when jobs are created and businesses expand will commercial property absorption rates see any significant increase.

One area that must also be revisited is the city's current tax structure that does more to impede business in some cases than it does to encourage business. The real estate industry must work for a fairer, more progressive tax structure and other incentives to retain and attract tenants to New York.

New York, for example, is the only city with an occupancy tax. Such regressive taxes must be phased out to make the city more competitive. Direct benefits to tenants should be offered for lease signings and job creation.

To assist property owners, incentives for renovations and for capital improvements should be offered regardless of building location, in addition to a lengthening of the benefit period, change of use incentives for obsolete buildings, and permitting benefits to mixed-use buildings.

New York City is one of the world's great cities and has the world's foremost commercial real estate market. In order to keep this real estate marketplace strong and viable for generations to come, we must renew our commitment to New York and work to increase its commitment and value to business, finance and other industries.
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Title Annotation:Review & Forecast, Section IV; value of New York, New York real estate is affected by economic strength and success of city itself
Author:Greenbaum, David R.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
Previous Article:Opening the window of opportunity.
Next Article:Perceived bottom leads to sales rush.

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