Digital NYC: REBNY sponsors a Hackathon for NYC Real Estate Tech Week

9/27/2018 Digital NYC | Marcos Dinnerstein, Editor (url)

Recently, I spoke with Ryan J. S. Baxter, V.P. at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to learn about the upcoming #REBNYTech Hackathon on Oct. 13 - 15, the final weekend of New York City Real Estate Tech Week.


Tell me about REBNY and your role there.


REBNY is the oldest and largest real estate trade association in New York State.  We turned 121 years old this year, and we are privileged to serve over 17,000 real estate professionals in New York City.  That includes some of the world’s leading owners, managers, developers, brokers, salespeople, lawyers, appraisers, bankers, general contractors, and most recently, PropTech companies. We foster community and advocate on behalf to the RE industry within the five boroughs. We promote pro-growth, pro-development policies, working with the city, state and federal government while also fostering the operations of our members.


At REBNY, I focus on the New York City Council, sustainability and real estate technology.


DNYC - Can you elaborate on what examples of sustainability?


Some of the work over the last few years has been co-leading NYC’s 80x50 Technical Working Group, which sought a path to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases emissions by 2050. We partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to launch the Commercial Office and Tenant Carbon Challenge, an expansion of the City’s Carbon Challenge. We recruited 98% of the 58 million square feet of commercial office space that agreed to carbon reduction goals, making the NYC Carbon Challenge the largest and most diverse municipal carbon reduction program in the world.


At the state level, we have been intervening at the Public Service Commission for the past few years in order to improve the business case for Combined Heat and Power equipment (CHP) within New York City.  Our advocacy played a large role in the Governor’s decision to extend for ten years the NY State Brownfield Cleanup Program--the state’s 2nd largest grant program.


And at the federal level, we work closely with the Real Estate Roundtable. Our members helped pass the TenantStar legislation, and are presently working with the U.S. EPA to understand heating sub-metering and its effect on tenant behavior...

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