SOURCE: The Real Estate Board of New York

The Real Estate Board of New York

January 27, 2010 11:16 ET

REBNY Urges That Terror Trial Move to Alternate Location

Cites Dramatic Consequences for Lower Manhattan

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 27, 2010) - The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city's oldest and most influential real estate trade association, today publicly called for moving the trial of 9/11 terror suspects out of Lower Manhattan, citing dramatic consequences for the neighborhood, which is the country's third largest business district.

Prior to today's announcement, REBNY has for more than eight weeks privately urged federal officials to move the trial to alternative locations in the Southern District and has encouraged state and city officials to join in the effort. The group has also launched a Web site,, to enable the public to take action.

"Holding the terror trial in Lower Manhattan is like proposing that a nuclear power plant be opened there. It is an outrage that it is even being considered as a possible location. The trial will wreak havoc on the surrounding community with the extensive security requirements and massive disruptions like permanent street closures," said Steven Spinola, REBNY President.

"Lower Manhattan has a total of 140,000 residents, nearly 100 million square feet of office space with approximately 315,000 workers, is visited by eight million people a year and is served by 16 train lines. The impact of holding the trial there would be an unfair burden on a traumatized community. Further, the federal government simply cannot expect the people of Lower Manhattan to live in a virtual lock-down mode for a trial that could last for years. Haven't the businesses and residents of Lower Manhattan already suffered enough damage at the hands of terrorists?" he said.

To date, REBNY has spoken to numerous high-level officials in the Obama administration including: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House Deputy Chief of Staff James Messina, and Senior Presidential Advisor David Axelrod. In addition, REBNY has been in contact with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor David Paterson, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and other City officials.

REBNY is calling upon its 12,000 members and the general public to voice their opposition against holding the trial in Lower Manhattan and is encouraging them to visit the site The site allows the public to reach out to federal, state and local officials urging them to reconsider the trial location by utilizing a form letter readily available, or to create one of their own. The site also features links to articles and information detailing the issues.

REBNY has proposed alternative locations in the Southern District where security measures can be more easily met with less impact on the surrounding community. Facilities such as Ossining Correctional Facility or the Sullivan Correctional Facility, both maximum security facilities, or the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, a medium security facility, should be considered. Governor's Island is a far better option than Foley Square, but still sits in the heart of our great urban center, which raises serious concerns.

The Real Estate Board of New York is the city's leading real estate trade association with more than 12,000 members. REBNY represents major commercial and residential property owners and builders, brokers and managers, banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, contractors and other individuals, and institutions professionally interested in the City's real estate. REBNY is involved in crucial municipal matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes and legislation. In addition, REBNY publishes reports providing indicators of market prices for both the residential and commercial sectors.

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