Thank you Fisher House Foundation

The generosity of New York City’s real estate community cannot be overstated.  For example, members of the real estate community can be found on numerous boards of, and play leadership roles on, charitable organizations throughout our City.  Among our many leaders and philanthropists, Kenneth Fisher deserves special recognition for the much-needed work of the Fisher House Foundation. 

Founded in 1990, the Fisher House Foundation constructs comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel and veterans, allowing them to stay free of charge for as long as their hospital stay.  The Foundation consists of 62 houses at military bases and VA Medical Centers throughout the US and Europe, which aid more than 19,000 guest families each year saving them more than $200 million in travel and lodging costs since its inception.  Continuing the vision of the family’s two previous generations, exemplified by founders Zachary and Larry, and then by Arnold Fisher, Ken serves as Chairman of the Foundation.

Recently, the Fisher House Foundation demonstrated the profoundness of their commitment to the families of our nation’s heroes.  Last month, the shutdown of the federal government forced the Defense Department to suspend the payment of death benefits for the families of fallen troops.  Typically, families receive about $100,000 within a few days of a soldier’s death.  The Foundation proactively volunteered to provide a stopgap by making the benefit payments from its own funds.  Their tremendous generosity ensured that families, who have sacrificed so much in the name of our Country, did not have to sacrifice more during the shutdown. 

The Real Estate Board of New York lauds the Fisher House Foundation for going above and beyond their mission to support America’s military.  We thank Ken and the Foundation staff for standing as exemplars of true philanthropic character.  Indeed, our City owes a great deal to the entire Fisher family for their dedication and kindness over the last century.

REBNY will be presenting Ken with the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, which is presented to members of our community for their invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare and the real industry, at our 118th Annual Banquet.  We thank Ken for this opportunity to recognize and praise him and his entire family this coming January. 

In other REBNY News:

The Residential Upper Manhattan Committee will host its annual dinner and panel discussion On Wednesday, Nov. 20th at Mist Harlem Events in the Kalahari at 46 West 116th Street from 5:30-9pm.  The discussion panel, titled “2013: Harlem The New Reality 2.0”, will feature Gregory Heym of Terra Holding, William Gumb and Jeffrey Szymanski of Wells Fargo Mortgage Company, Dana Gordon of the Andrews Organization, Barry Deonarine, Esq, Wayne Benjamin of the Harlem Community Development Corporation, Scott Metzner of Janus Property Company, and William Wallace IV of the Continuum Company LLC.  For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

The Commercial Division Holiday Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in the Vanderbilt Room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel from 12:00pm-2:00pm.  Jonathan D. Gray, Global Head of Real Estate of the Blackstone Group, will be the guest speaker.  Tickets are $95 per person, to register please visit the events calendar on REBNY’s website.  Seats are limited; act now to reserve your spot!  For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

REBNY will host its 118th Annual Banquet on Thursday, January 16th at 7pm at the New York Hilton.  Join us for the event of the year as we honor six great New Yorkers: Stephen L. Green, Chairman of SL Green Properties, Kenneth Fisher, Senior Partner of Fisher Brothers, Joel I. Picket, Chairman and CEO of Gotham Organization, Robin Abrams, EVP of The Lansco Corporation, Thomas L. Hill, SVP at Boston Properties, and Robert C. Fink, Director of Leasing for the Winter Organization.  For tickets or advertising information, contact Maryann Aviles at

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) requested we remind REBNY members of the Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) they issued for 14 development sites on 8 developments in Manhattan, south of 110th Street, and that proposals are due by November 18, 2013. You may download needed documents by going to and clicking on “Preserving Public Housing.” Then click on “Land Lease Opportunity” and then “RFEI”. For more information, contact REBNY’s Michael Slattery at