Dear BOMA New York Members,
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer, staying healthy, and focused on the collective return to our respective workspaces – all while practicing social distancing. The middle of the summer, a midyear point for all, is traditionally the ideal time to focus on value and review what BOMA New York is doing to help the commercial real estate industry and your day-to-day professional life. While the real estate industry is back at work, and tenant occupancy remains below 15%, BOMA New York continues to add value. The following is a brief overview that highlights our activity since COVID-19 infiltrated our great city.
FROM VIRUS TO VALUE:
The pandemic changed life as we knew it and the early months brought some ambiguity. In March, BOMA New York collaborated with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, REBNY, and Proskauer Rose to develop an eight-part webinar series called, “Coronavirus and the Building Workplace: Are You Prepared?” This information packed program was just the beginning of our consistent effort to make a difference.
Since the beginning and in conjunction with scheduling relevant digital content, our primary focus has been tracking the issues related to the Coronavirus and sharing that information with members. We have several calls each week with OEM, DOH, and other relevant agencies. To date, we have emailed more than ninety Alerts to members informing them of best practices for staying healthy; changes to DOB and other agency procedures; information about employee benefits under federal, state, and local laws; and updates regarding critical work/employees. BOMA New York will continue to be at the forefront of all conversations and will share news and updates as they are available.
After sheltering in place for more than two-months, BOMA New York partnered with Business & Labor Union Leaders to issue New York City’s most comprehensive guidelines to facilitate the safe and healthy reentry into commercial office buildings. These strategies follow New York State’s issuance of commercial building safety practices and helped owners, managers and building workers comply with State guidance.
Our creative messaging has been on point with campaigns to thank building staff for keeping the essential buildings open throughout the pandemic and for ensuring a safe, secure, and efficient reentry. BOMA New York also participated in a national patriotic effort in honor of Flag Day called, “Light Up the Night”. This endeavor was in support of the National Flag Foundation and in partnership with over thirty (30) other BOMA local associations across the United States. As a unique display of national unity and respect, we remembered those who have perished due to COVID-19 and honored the men and women who have served during the pandemic to keep America safe.
Lastly, our programming has not missed a beat. We’re all digital and attracting hundreds of members to every webinar. From our monthly Lunch & Learns to our Green & Wellness content, BOMA New York is busy. Most recently, at our Q2 Virtual Seminar – “Adaptive Workplace Strategies: Planning for Today & Post-COVID” – we welcomed thought leaders from multiple companies to help guide building owners and managers forward. Approximately 180 members signed up for this virtual seminar.
We have plans for more engaging webinars that will review building operations, legal issues, the evolution of coworking, tech innovations and more. Please stay tuned.
BOMA New York is dedicated to the continued vibrancy of New York City. I wish all of you and your families good health and a fantastic end of summer.
Hani J. Salama, PE, LEED-AP
Chair & Chief Executive Officer
BOMA New York
We sat down with BOMA New York Board Member – Matthew McAvoy – Portfolio Manager at Vornado Realty Trust.
As with virtually every other aspect of life, the pandemic has disrupted governmental and legislative processes. Although the summer tends to be slow at the City Council (there were no policy- or legislative-based hearings in July, and none have been scheduled for August), things had already slowed down before the summer season. In part, the logistics of setting up and running virtual hearings limits the number the Council can have. And perhaps more importantly, the huge drop in revenue caused by the pandemic made for an unusually complicated budget season.
From a policy perspective, the virus is also shaking things up. For example, the lack of workers operating out of commercial buildings has significantly impacted the commercial carting business. That in turn is causing the City to push back its timing in implementing its commercial waste zone plan. So far, the City is calling this a temporary pause, but when initiated, the change in the commercial waste hauler industry will lead to other changes to the waste zone strategy.
Only time will tell if COVID-19-related issues and concerns force other policy amendments. For example, do expenses incurred by buildings complying with re-occupancy guidelines impact the effort and money they can afford to put into Local Law 97 emission reduction mandates? And how will significant budgetary shortfalls affect the City’s ability to meet its extensive administrative requirements related to LL 97 and other such pieces of legislation.
For now, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how legislative and government matters will play out. BOMA New York will be here the entire time to make sure the interests of the CRE industry are well represented.
Presented by Evolution Energy Partners, the presentation explored energy saving opportunities across multiple operations that can define efficiencies, bottom line savings, and minimize the outlay of capital through creative financing. Participants learned how to save critical capital while decreasing operating costs; reviewed the energy market during COVID-19; learned how to communicate sustainability goals as part of recovery; discovered what office users need to invest in to ensure the environment is safe for employees; and discovered options that can allow an organization to start low cost/no cost efficiency projects that drive direct impact to the bottom line.
July 7th – 9th
The BOMA International Conference & Expo was 100% virtual. Congratulations SL Green Realty Corp. and 420 Lexington Avenue, aka The Graybar Building, for receiving the prestigious International TOBY Award for Historical Building of the Year. The 2020 virtual competition featured 78 buildings from around the globe. The owner-occupied landmark is known for its place in history and for its innovation as a LEED Gold Certified building.
The webinar, moderated by Drew O'Connor, Senior Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield – opened with ”The Safe Six” and over-emphasized the importance of Communicating with Confidence. He touched upon the rediscovered need for the office and the collaborative plan for the pendulum to swing back towards greater occupancy. Mr. O'Connor regularly reminded the webinar viewers to focus on the fundamentals and also addressed the need to appreciate reality versus perception - saying that CRE thought leaders need to understand fear-based-perceptions in order to effectively welcome back tenants and visitors.
Adam Foster, EVP of CBRE, provided a comprehensive leasing update. He said that while many companies in NYC are downsizing or rightsizing - there have been no exits to date. He noted, not counting the 730k SF recent lease by Facebook, the majority of deals in 2020 have been renewals versus new deals and expects that trend to continue. Adam spent time reviewing the flex and agile segment of the industry - saying that "flex is here to stay." Keeping the message positive, Mr. Foster shared that there are new active searches in play for 6.85M square feet. He said that we will see a flight to quality with most new leases inking space in new construction that will likely offer the best indoor air quality.
During the comprehensive webinar, Haniel Lynn, CEO of Kastle Systems, reviewed the four pillars of SafeSpaces: Social Distancing; Touchless System; Screen In/Screen Out; and Contact Tracing. Mr. Lynn explained that Kastle has been focused on the touchless experience for the past five-years, saying that health and wellness is a huge part of the tenant experience. He also reviewed other efforts he and his company are working on to make all tenants and visitors feel more comfortable as they return to work.
Andrea Barragan and Jamie Wekerle, from Nouveau Elevator, described many efforts to eliminate cross-contamination on elevators and escalators. From touchless solutions to the use of UV lighting and other redundant technologies.
Andrew Mondell, PE, an engineer from Trane, simplified multiple action steps during the webinar that owners and managers can do to improve indoor air quality and reduce micro-biologicals. He discussed demand control ventilation (DCV); 100% intake of outdoor air; operating the ventilation system 24/7; best practices for full building air flush; using a MERV 13 or greater; and UVGI. He also reminded the tuned-in audience to be mindful of while solving one issue to make sure that the solution does not create another issue - either operationally or budgetary.
Christopher Prochner, a partner at Jaros, Baum & Bolles, reviewed different infection modes of COVID-19, as well as provided a high-level overview of how to optimize directional airflow during the webinar. He highlighted VAV systems, humidification levels and photo-catalytic oxidation (PCO). He said that while each method is effective, none are a silver bullet. He said that when operators combine technology properly, everyone still needs to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
Alana Genderson, an Associate from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, reviewed the legal component to building operations. With a continued focus on staying protected, Ms. Genderson discussed COVID-19 liability for employers and provided a review of the myriad of claims a company can face as a result of the virus.
August 17th @ Edgewood Country Club
Game On! The BOMA New York annual Golf Classic was limited to 144 golfers. We were blessed with a picture-perfect day. Thank you to the many golfers and our amazing sponsors.
Vornado Office Management – Collins Building Services, Inc. – Firequench, Inc. – W. H. Christian & Sons Inc. – Titan Construction Services – Edgewood Country Club.
Presented by David Ehrenberg, CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and Simone Robinson-Barnett, SVP of Property Management. They reviewed the history and mission of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; recent growth and an industrial rebirth; focused on manufacturing jobs; linked the local community to jobs at the Yard; and the recently released Master Plan – adding 5mm SF of additional development and 10k more jobs at the Yard.
Become a BOMA New York member by September 30, 2020 and receive three extra months at no additional cost. Individuals who join BOMA New York under the “15 for 12” initiative will become active members from October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. Potential members must apply by September 29, 2020. To apply, please CLICK HERE.
BOMA New York is accepting nominations for the 2021 Pinnacle Awards. To compete in the Pinnacle Awards, the owner or management company of the nominated building must be a BOMA New York member in good standing. All individuals competing for the Outstanding Local Member or Manager of the Year award must be a BOMA New York member of record in good standing.
We're proud to announce two new categories for the 2021 Pinnacle Awards:
> Security Professional
> Janitorial Professional
Please submit your nominations HERE.
The 2020 BOMI Calendar has transitioned to online courses. We have a diverse set of classes, organized in multiple formats. Please contact Becky Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
One of the most valuable and exciting aspects of your BOMA New York membership is the opportunity to affect change via one of our numerous committees. Collaborate with top industry executives and lead by example. Jump start your career and JOIN A COMMITTEE TODAY.
Presented by Donnelley Mechanical
September 17th at 12:00 PM
Save the Date
6-Week Evening (Tuesdays)
September 15 – Oct 20, 2020
3-Week Accelerated (Wednesdays)
September 16 – September 30, 2020
3-Week Accelerated (Thursday)
September 17 – October 22, 2020
3-Week Accelerated (Friday)
September 18 – October 2, 2020
3-Week Accelerated (Mondays)
October 5 – October 26, 2020
3-Week Evening (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
October 27 – November 12, 2020
6-Week Evening (Wednesdays)
October 14 – November 18, 2020