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NEW YORK CITY- There’s no doubt that New York City post 9/11 is a changed place and that security issues have become paramount to developers, landlords and tenants. Now they are beginning to address the costs associated with new security measures.

“The federal and state governments can’t have the solutions to our security needs. Concerns will translate into significant changes in building structure,” said Barry LePatner, founder of Barry B. LePatner & Associates LLP, who moderated the forum,”Protection, Survival, Readiness: Project Strategy in the Post 9/11 World,” Wednesday. “We need to not only reconstruct high-rises and schools, but society.”

Architect Eugene Kohn, principal of KPF Associates; former New York City police commissioner Howard Safir, CEO of SafirRosetti Omnicom Group; structural engineering authority Richard L. Tomasetti, co-chairman, Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers; Barry M. Gosin, vice chairman and CEO, Newmark & Co. Real Estate; and Chris Mauthe, tax advisor from Deloitte & Touche, headlined the executive seminar.

Safir noted, “Most people are not wiling to spend the resources to protect themselves because they feel in their hearts there will not be another terrorism attack. They’re wrong.”

He cited a May 13 Al-Queda message interception that mocked Americans view of security proclaiming Al Queda was way ahead of us. “The reality is: the same group, some of the same planners were involved in the 1993 and 2001 WTC attacks. They’re patient, well-trained and well-financed and they’ll be back.”

He noted that terrorists would love to hit the New York Stock Exchange, but it is secure due to the fact that a lot of resources were because it was deemed to be a target.

Why is it the building owner or developer’s responsibility to secure properties? “It’s the right thing to do. And courts will establish due diligence rulings where a building owner could be held liable.”

“Technology is the best way to provide security,” he said. “The best security works and has to be an unobtrusive as possible.” Security is not just an option.

He expects there will be multiple attacks on a smaller level than WTC that could involve chemical and biological weapons.

“We are seeing larger companies move jobs out of New York City to have continuity.The market can’t afford it (increased security measures) but I guess it will have to,” Newmark chief Gosin noted. “The costs will be absorbed.”

Technology such as turnstiles and card key access do work and costs depend upon the building ranging from 10 cents to $1 per sf. He feels security at high profile buildings will get better, making smaller buildings more of a target.

Kohn lamented how the interactive lobby with a retail base became changed since September 11. He spoke of the enormous differences in code requirements in other countries. “Our codes are very lenient,” He cautioned. Other countries require firefighter’s lifts and some even require refuge floors that are fireproof with their own communications and air systems.”Would you pay 10-20% extra?” he asked the crowd.

His suggestions for existing structures in Manhattan include increasing, but not widening, fire stairs and adding firefighter’s lifts. He did note that such actions would decrease the amount of available space. However, tax advisor Mauthe added that tax benefits could be received for instituting such measures.

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