Key Real Estate Issues in NYC Politics

Recently, New York City (NYC) mayoral candidates got candid in a blog published on The Real Deal.com. The mayoral hopefuls gave varying appraisals when it came to the pro-development efforts of the Bloomberg Administration. Bloomberg’s legacy will be a hard one to follow, particularly with the momentum of completed and ongoing development projects that seek to transform the city. Mayor Bloomberg’s development strategy was designed “to attract and retain businesses and stimulate job growth” in all five boroughs of NYC.  Although successful in some aspects, the mayor’s efforts are being confronted by the mayoral candidates.

All of the candidates are concerned with the lack of reasonably priced housing, mixed-income neighborhoods, and area for small businesses to expand and prosper.  Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, was quoted as saying “Towering, glitzy buildings to global elite is not the type of development New Yorkers are looking for.”  But is that true?   According to Mayor Bloomberg, those towering, glitzy buildings create reasons for people and companies to invest their prospects and their money in NYC – most people who live in NYC will never see the inside of these buildings.

The Candidates on Real Estate

Almost across the board, the mayoral candidates are against Bloomberg’s plan to contract New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) land to developers for luxury housing.  With the exception of Joe Lhota, who agrees with the idea of the plan, the candidates believe that the public land should be used for commercial rental opportunities that provide essential services, jobs, and senior housing.

In response to the dynamic nature of the city, Mayor Bloomberg has taken on major rezoning during his time as mayor.  The candidates were questioned on Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to rezone Midtown East and other areas.  The consensus among the candidates was that rezoning will continue to occur in NYC.  The Bloomberg rezoning is being interpreted by most candidates as altering zones in a manner that is favorable to wealthy individuals and their increased prosperity.

Alternatively, the majority of candidates felt that rezoning centered on job creation, middle-class housing and affordable office space was necessary.  Mayoral candidate Catsimatidis spoke of his desire to continue to promote development, but only with incentives that developers create jobs and housing for middle and low income residents.

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