In this episode of Capital for Good we speak with Scott Rechler, the chairman and CEO of RXR, a leading real estate owner, investor, operator, and developer committed to building socially, economically, and environmentally responsible communities.
In this conversation, Rechler draws on his extensive business and civic leadership experience to assess the state of New York’s recovery from the pandemic. In addition to running one of the region’s largest real estate development and infrastructure firms, he also serves or has served on the boards of the Port Authority, the MTA, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Regional Plan Association, and played various roles in helping to rebuild lower Manhattan in the wake of the September 11 attacks. These different vantage points inform Rechler’s view that we have entered a “great recalibration.” Our recovery, he notes, has occurred faster than we would have expected in the depths of the pandemic: “the most important barometer of the health of our city is the talent, the people,” he says, “and we’ve seen an incredible rebound.” At the same time, he cautions that the public, private, and nonprofit sectors still need to adjust to the significant structural changes that have occurred in how and where people live and work — and what this means for our commercial corridors, residential communities, the infrastructure that connects and supports them, and “sustainable, equitable growth” going forward.
We also discuss what responsible business looks like in the context of real estate. Rechler explains that his firm’s motto, “doing good and doing well means doing better,” is about building more sustainable, socially responsible, and equitable communities. In addition to a focus on clean energy and decarbonization goals, RXR forges partnerships with local government, civic, religious, and labor organizations, and small businesses as part of every business plan and project.
We end with a discussion of New York’s future. Gone are the days of “winners and losers” and “city versus suburb,” Rechler says. New York’s status as a “superstar city,” depends on a healthy and symbiotic relationship with a “superstar region.”
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