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One hundred years of building and serving NY.

This is REBNY's Centennial Year. The Real Estate Board's founding preceded the consolidation of New York's five boroughs by two years. The Board and modern New York have grown up together.

How many organizations have endured as long and continued to gain in vitality? Through war and peacetime, market booms, recessions and the Great Depression, the Board has been the industry's defender, its most widely respected source of information and business analysis, and its representative in civic affairs.

REBNY began as a forum where brokers exchanged information about transactions, but the Board's agenda lengthened. REBNY's mark can be found all over the colossal city it helped to create. For example, the Riverside Park-Henry Hudson project required government to purchase some of the land for the park and the highway from the New York Central Railroad; REBNY members, recruited by the Board, made the appraisal that sealed the purchase.

When the Zoning Resolution was shaped in 1916 and revised in 1961, REBNY convinced the City Planning Commission to promote the economic growth and housing production necessary to New York's evolution as the nation's capital of commerce and culture.

At the bottom of the late-1980's property market crash, a REBNY-organized coalition of businesses, homeowners, real estate investors and community organizations staged a citizens' protest that cut a proposed $646 million realty tax hike in less than half. This government-lobbying public relations campaign also won freezes in corporate and realty tax rates that helped to launch the city's recovery from a painfully severe economic downturn.

Throughout New York's history, the Board has kept the industry at the head of the march toward making this city a world capital in all senses. Every distinguished health care, educational, cultural and other significant non-profit institution has been nourished by real estate leaders' philanthropy. New York's greatness derives, in large part, from this concentration of excellence.

But the industry's philanthropy was only possible because of its success. The Real Estate Board's work has been the catalyst for that achievement. Whether winning tax abatement programs for commercial and residential development; turning back a proposed state tax on gross income that would have included rent, brokerage commissions and management fees; extending to five years after contract execution the deadline by which a commercial leasing broker can file a lien for an unpaid commission; winning point credits for work experience toward brokers' and managing agents' education licensing requirements; or, most recently, helping to design and win approval of the Lower Manhattan Plan, REBNY has enabled the industry to prosper, to expand New York's reach in providing employment and residences for its people, and to enhance the civic climate with unexcelled philanthropic enterprise.

In 1996, the Board will look toward its next one hundred years. We have created a REBNY endowment to be known as the Second Century Fund. The endowment's corpus is to ensure that, whatever the economy's condition, the Board will always be an effective guardian of the industry's interests and the city's capacity to provide jobs and housing for New Yorkers.

You'll be hearing more about the Real Estate Board's past, present and future throughout the year. We look forward to having all REBNY members participate in the celebration of our organization's history and our plan to perpetuate its invaluable legacy.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Annual Review and Forecast; Real Estate Board of New York
Author:Spinola, Steven
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 31, 1996
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