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REBNY helps shape greatest city in the world.

With another year complete and still fresh on our minds, it is fitting that we take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments before launching into the new year.

2005 marked a particularly successful year for the Real Estate Board of New York, highlighted by a number of legislative, philanthropic and major planning achievements and their resulting contributions to our city's economic vitality and growth, and the well-being of its residents.

Among the top priorities of 2005 was the rezoning of several key areas of New York City. With our help, NYC witnessed the passage of the rezoning of the Far West Side and the Brooklyn waterfront.

This rezoning will transform large, under-utilized industrial areas into vibrant neighborhoods by providing much needed affordable housing, as well as office space, open space and parks. In addition to reclaiming a large part of our waterfront, this will allow for the expansion of midtown's Central Business District. This was a major victory, as the re-zoning will prove immensely beneficial to New York City.

The Hudson Yards and Greenpoint-Williamsburg were not the only places that received rezoning approval. Our support also helped facilitate the rezoning of West Chelsea and the Far West Village, which will preserve development opportunities in two vibrant and culturally rich areas.

In the past year, REBNY has made great efforts to ensure that new legislation serves the best interests of the people of New York City. We supported several pieces of legislation that passed successfully, including the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 and the Private Activity Bond Allocation Act.

We also fought legislation that would have been detrimental to the city, and achieved success in this area as well--defeating legislation that would have increased the publication requirements for LLC's and sub-chapter-S corporations, and a budget amendment that would have adjusted the balance of power between the executive and legislative braches of government.

In maintaining our commitment to dedicated service to our members, REBNY has remained active in the process of revising the city's building code to include requirements that are effective, prudent and economically responsible.

Throughout 2005, we worked with the Department of Buildings and the Fire department to create practical and thorough rules that contribute to the improvement of the safety of New York City buildings. We held numerous meetings with the Building Contractors Association and the Contractors Association of Greater New York to ensure that the interests of our members are represented by both groups in a unified manner.

Our member services all proved to be successful this past year. Last January, we officially launched the Commercial Listing Exchange--a weekly service that enables members to exchange their exclusive office space listings. Over the course of the year, service membership grew from six to 36 firms.

Our monthly panel discussions, "Inside Secrets of Top Brokers," enjoyed a great deal of popularity, and our broker licensing courses continued to boast high attendance figures--undoubtedly a result of REBNY's many gifted teachers.

We held three major sold-out luncheons in 2005, each of which presented leading individuals in the real estate industry, who offered insight on the market and their business philosophies. In the first luncheon, Mayor Bloomberg delivered a major policy speech on the administration's economic development initiatives.

Finally, we continued to offer a wealth of information and resources on our website, including property information, a map function and information on new residential and commercial projects. By providing these services, we have worked hard to ensure that our members have all the tools and information they need at their disposal.

While we are thrilled to share these accomplishments with you, it gives us even greater pleasure to share our contributions in another area where REBNY has excelled. With the generous support of our members, the REBNY Foundation contributed to a number of worthy causes in 2005.

We held two major fund drives for the victims of the Tsunami in southern Asia and for those of Hurricane Katrina. The foundation itself, as well as individual members of REBNY contributed more than $2 million in aid to those areas destroyed by natural disasters. In addition, the Residential Brokers Division held its annual gala and deal of the year awards. Proceeds from the event were donated to numerous charities, including The American Cancer Society, Project Find, and the REBNY Foundation--Katrina Relief Fund and Member in Need Fund.

We at REBNY are grateful for a successful year. Our accomplishments were the result of strong and active support from our members. The Board of Governors, the Divisions' Board of Directors and the Committee Members generously gave their time and energy in support of the Board's many activities and undertakings. The staff worked tirelessly for our members in this extremely busy year. They have our thanks and gratitude.

We look forward to remaining a strong, effective and respected voice for our members, our industry and the good of the city in 2006.

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Title Annotation:Real Estate Board of New York: Special Supplement
Author:Spinola, Steven
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 18, 2006
Previous Article:$14.5m Summer sale.
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Proud to play a part in building the greatest city in the world.

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