Sunday, December 15, 2013

Real Deal: Planning Commissioner Levin said to be front-runner to head CPC; would de la Uz get an administration job?

The Real Deal, on 12/1/13, published De Blasio’s short list for real estate jobs: As inauguration day nears, sources point to the contenders to take over posts key to the industry. The lead:
Indeed, on the short list for chair of the Department of City Planning (which arguably has the most direct impact on the real estate business) are three people who are on the 13-member City Planning Commission now under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to several industry sources. The candidates mentioned to The Real Deal are: Anna Hayes Levin, Michelle de la Uz and Kenneth Knuckles.
“The changes are not going to be nearly as great as people assume,” said Fred Siegel, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based think tank, who worked on Rudy Giuliani’s 1993 mayoral campaign.
...The [transition] team, which was announced last month and also includes developer Douglas Durst and Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, is expected to start naming commissioners in early December. But some positions might not be filled until after de Blasio takes office on Jan. 1, sources familiar with the process said.
Sources says Levin, a lawyer and appointee of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, is the front-runner.

Though de la Uz, executive director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, "could presumably help advance de Blasio’s goal of creating 200,000 affordable units," I'd point out that she's a public critic of the Atlantic Yards project and presumably would be vetoed by Gilmartin and de Blasio ally Bertha Lewis.

She's is also "said to be a strong favorite to lead the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the city’s affordable-housing-creation arm, which is expected to be more active under the new mayor, according to the Real Deal.

Other possibilities

Other names include Ken Knuckles, who heads the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and Meenakshi Srinivasan, chair of the Board of Standards and Appeals.

The Real Deal also says that another contender is Vishaan Chakrabarti, who once headed the City Planning Department’s Manhattan office, and now leads Columbia University's real estate school and is a partner at SHoP Architects, working on the Atlantic Yards project.

“If he could pull together all the pieces to a transformative project of this type [Moynihan Station], I could see him coming back,” a source told the Real Deal.

The article also addresses possible candidates to head the New York City Economic Development Corporation, including Andrew Kimball, the former CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and Council Member Brad Lander., though there are reasons to doubt either would take the job.

For the full article, click here.

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