Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Times Real Estate page interviews McKissack CEO on Atlantic Yards, more; her campaign contributions show she plays both sides of aisle

From a New York Times Real Estate page "30-minute interview"--as is typical, quite gentle--with Cheryl McKissack Daniel:
Ms. McKissack Daniel, 51, is president and chief executive of McKissack & McKissack, a New York company involved in several infrastructure projects, including Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, the World Trade Center and Columbia University’s expansion....
Q. Let’s talk about your involvement in some of these projects, starting with Atlantic Yards.
A. We handle all of the infrastructure. The arena is built on top of what used to be the storage area for trains during the day. And so we had to move all those tracks and put them in a temporary location, which is where the trains are being stored now. It involved moving the Carlton Avenue Bridge. In January 2014 we start building the permanent yard. We’re the prime contractor for the work that we’re doing.
That's a tad superficial. The arena is built only in part on top of what used to be a storage area. At least half of the arena block was city streets, public and private property, etc.

The process of "moving the Carlton Avenue Bridge" was supposed to take two years. It took nearly five years. The permanent yard is also going more slowly than promised.

A leg up?

Here's another exchange that deserves unpacking:
Q. Have the minority- and female-owned company designations helped the business?
A. They help getting a business off the ground in a new location. We get a new client as a subcontractor, and then convert that into a prime relationship.
They sure do help. Remember how, in 2005, the Brooklyn Eagle reported that then-Forest City Ratner executive Jim Stuckey "didn’t know whether McKissack was chosen by a bidding process, but stressed that his firm has known of McKissack’s rail experience for quite some time."

Connections

Let's not forget Ms. McKissack's campaign contribution to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and her role on the board of Bertha Lewis's organization, The Black Institute.

And, in fact, under her birth name and previous name (Cheryl McKissack Felder), she's made numerous campaign contributions, from both sides of the aisle. 

Notable: in 2006, she gave $11,000 to the Spitzer/Paterson campaign for Governor, while she gave $5,000 to Brooklyn Republican state Senator Martin Golden. 

Golden, of course, has been a champion of Atlantic Yards.



She's also given to the campaigns of Bill de Blasio, Letitia James, and William Thompson.


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