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ENOUGH WITH COMPLACENCY

ENOUGH WITH COMPLACENCY
Mother Nature’s assault didn’t discourage the 200 of you who joined us this morning for Bisnow’s Breakfast & Schmooze at the New York Bar Association.
New York City Economic Development Corp. prez Seth Pinsky (left) and Source Communications’ Ken Frydman speak at Bisnow event
Of course, having a distinguished headliner like NYC Economic Development Corp. prez Seth Pinsky (left) helps. Moderated by Source Communications’ Ken Frydman, he discussed the City’s position in the recession, noting that with the rise of other economies and global cities, we’re facing the challenge of transforming ourselves both physically and economically to compete. This includes a need for new infrastructure and amenities, as well as encouraging entrepreneurship, helping legacy industries, and fostering future industries like bioscience, new media, and technolog y. (He joked that perhaps new parks and schools would also encourage LeBron James to join the Knicks.)
Fried Frank’s Melanie Meyers, Forest City Ratner’s MaryAnne Gilmartin, Columbia University’s Vishaan Chakrabarti, and Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Paul Katz at Bisnow Event
It’s important to think about building during recessionary times, so you’re ready for the upswing, says our panel of Fried Frank’s Melanie Meyers, Forest City Ratner’s MaryAnne Gilmartin, Columbia University’s Vishaan Chakrabarti, and Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Paul Katz. But right now, Vishaan notes, the government is the spender of last resort, and we need them to put money towards projects; we’ve also grown complacent in our patience, which has led to slowed projects like the WTC site and Moynihan Station. The cities we compete with are ahead of us developmentally, and we need to raise public awareness of this, Paul urged. Patience is not for our business; think speed and moving forward.
Crowd at Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze at NY Bar Association
They also discussed how a fractional government and some agencies may hurt development; Melanie believes preservation has its place, but overzealous landmarking has hindered development. We need to focus on process and policy and align the interests of the public and private, MaryAnne adds. Vishaan suggested a larger entity, like a redevelopment authority, that would replace meeting with 45 different people in order to get things done.