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Rob Speyer And Stephen Ross Nearly Come To Blows Over 421-a At REBNY Meeting

New York

Passions run high in the upper echelons of New York real estate, especially when it comes to the contentious 421-a tax abatement.

Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer and the Related Cos’ Stephen Ross (snapped above) reportedly came close to blows over the 421-a program at a recent meeting of REBNY’s executive committee.

Witnesses told Crain’s that Rob, REBNY’s chairman, asked if anyone at the meeting wanted to attempt to restart negotiations over 421-a, which have been stalled since the program expired in January.

“Only you,” want to restart the talks, Stephen reportedly replied.

After the meeting Rob reportedly walked over to Stephen and began arguing with him. Things quickly became heated.

The pair were quickly separated before the argument escalated further. Eyewitnesses said such a confrontation was nigh-unprecedented in that setting, particularly between two of the most powerful, and wealthiest, real estate tycoons in the city.

“REBNY meetings often feature passionate and frank exchanges, especially on issues as important [as 421-a]," Rob and Stephen said in a joint statement. “And at the end, we always depart as friends and respected colleagues. Our most recent meeting was no different.”

Looks like we might be waiting a bit longer on a 421-a deal. [Crain’s]