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CRE Giant Scott Rechler Joins MTA's Board Amid Crisis

RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler

Scott Rechler is now a board member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority after being confirmed by the New York State Senate on Monday.

Rechler, the CEO of RXR Realty and one of the biggest investors in New York City commercial real estate, was nominated to serve on the board of the state-run transit organization by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Rechler served as vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey from 2011 to 2016, giving him powerful credentials for the job, Crain's New York reports.

After stepping down from the Port Authority in 2016, Rechler was named chairman of transit lobbying group the Regional Plan Association, in addition to his duties at RXR Realty. He joins the MTA at a time when its public image is perhaps as bad as it has ever been as widespread, sometimes catastrophic, delays mount and progress remains slow on massive capital improvement. It is a problem Rechler compared to the city's crime numbers in the 1970s and '80s.

Rechler signaled an intent to focus on cost overruns in his capacity as board member.

"How does it cost the MTA four times as much to build a mile of subway in New York City than it [costs] to build in Tokyo and Paris?" Rechler said to Crain's. "What is the MTA doing differently? From what I know, the complexity of the procurement process increases the time and costs to get something done."