|REBNY in the Times|
But perhaps the biggest sign of its clout was the budget to publish a 16-page special section in the New York Times on 1/19/17, complete with discreet praise for "Rebny's Tradition of Supporting Candidates" via "an independent expenditure committee," Jobs for New York, and advocacy to ensure that changes to the rules regarding EB-5 immigrant investor visas continue "to bring much-needed foreign investment to New York City projects and developments."
Gilmartin steps up
The Commercial Observer quoted Chairman Rob Speyer about new members of the Executive Committee: “MaryAnne [Gilmartin], Jed [Walentas] and Marc [Holliday] will help REBNY fulfill its primary goal to fully engage and expand our membership. They are also involved in refining our policy agenda, including promoting incentives for the creation of housing at all income levels.”
Incentives, huh? That means tax breaks, which some might even call "free stuff."
Apparently Forest City Ratner, which Gilmartin heads, sees itself as an outlier, which, in part, it is:
“[Speyer] came to me and said, ‘We need you,’ ” [Gilmartin] recalled. “I talked about how I wasn’t so certain that it really was an organization that responded to the things I cared about and the things that were important to me and us as a company.”But not really speaking to Central Brooklyn there, are they?
Speyer told her that REBNY had to be an organization that did reflect the needs of her company, Gilmartin said. A whopping 60 percent of the company’s executives are female; the company’s vice president of leasing was born in Iran and raised in Canada. It had to be a group that represented the changes within the real estate industry, as well as one that was responsive to how the city was changing.
In the video below, from Bisnow, Gilmartin at about 1:33 of the video does declare, "Brooklyn's in the house."
To REBNY, dominated by white guys, Gilmartin is an outlier. According to the Real Deal, Gilmartin dedicated her lifetime achievement award to "all the women whose talents and ambitions were overlooked and underrated by our industry." She even successfully prevailed on changing the dress code at the gala, so black tie wasn't required.
Below, at 2:19, she talks to the Real Deal about Forest City as a real estate investment trust, or REIT.
By the way, check out the enigmatic, not-quite-smiling photo of Gilmartin the Real Deal took.
The press release
From the 11/1/16 press release announcing the awards:
MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, the New York office of Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., will receive The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award for her exceptional accomplishments in the profession, leadership, and service to the real estate industry over the course of her distinguished career.
MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), a New York-based real estate development company, has been point person in the development of some of the most high profile real estate projects in New York City including the Barclays Center, The New York Times Building, and New York by Gehry, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to these projects, Gilmartin has managed the commercial portfolio at MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Most recently, Gilmartin led the efforts to build out Pacific Park Brooklyn as well as the Bridge at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. Among her philanthropic contributions, Gilmartin served on the New York City Ballet Advisory Board and currently serves as a Board Trustee for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); a member of REBNY’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors; and as a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the MS Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a member of the Board of Directors of global investment banking firm, the Jefferies Group LLC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Radio.Also, Carl Weisbrod, the outgoing Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning, received The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award, which was presented for the first time at REBNY’s 121st Annual Banquet.