Press Release

Statement by Real Estate Board of New York President James Whelan Regarding the Withdrawal of the Industry City’s Rezoning Application and the Loss of Thousands of Jobs for New Yorkers


September 22, 2020

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Today, as a result of political posturing and pressure, the developers of Industry City withdrew their application to rezone the Brooklyn development site, robbing New York City of nearly 20,000 good-paying jobs at a time when 400,000 New Yorkers have lost their jobs due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) President James Whelan issued the following statement on this disappointing outcome:

“New York City has been failed by its political leadership across all levels of government. With unemployment approaching Great Depression levels and private investment and tax revenue dramatically plummeting, now was the time for negotiations to yield a ‘yes’ on the Industry City rezoning. One is left to consider how bad conditions in New York City must get before our political leaders realize that our recovery must be premised on job creation and private investment that will yield the tax revenue to pay for government services.”

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit