Development projects that keep a talented, young workforce from moving are key to Long Island's economic future, Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, said Wednesday.
"You have to start with the talent," said Rechler, addressing Stony Brook University's annual Real Estate Institute fall luncheon, held at the Milleridge Cottage in Jericho.
Constructing affordable housing, with connections to major transit hubs and cultural amenities that appeal to millennials, is the first step to compete in an economy that has shifted from manufacturing to more technologically driven, "idea-based" global enterprises, he said.
New York City, he added, can take advantage of changing business models by leveraging its quality of life to attract talent, and in turn attract companies looking for skilled workers.
"While Long Island is an island, we're not immune to what's happening in the rest of the world," he said.
Recent RXR projects include a high-end condominium development in North Hills, the revitalization of a former industrial brownfield at Garvies Point in Glen Cove, and two downtown developments, in Huntington Station and downtown Hempstead, being done in conjunction with Renaissance Downtowns of Plainview.
The company, one of the region's largest developers, holds interests in about $9 billion of assets, including 46 commercial office properties containing nearly 6 million square feet of space on Long Island.