A pair of deals mayoral candidate Bill Thompson oversaw as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority that aid Lower Manhattan developers has helped line his campaign coffers while stripping the city of much-needed revenue, according to the New York Daily News. Thompson stepped down from the post this month to focus on his mayoral campaign, but in the last year he’s helped overturn scheduled fee increases for Battery Park City condominium owners and secured valuable rent breaks for Brookfield Office Properties’ planned redevelopment of World Financial Center retail.
Thompson was instrumental in axing rent increases Battery Park condo owners would’ve paid to the city, which owns the land beneath the structures. The rent hikes would have amounted to a $400 per month fee per condo unit, as opposed to the current $225 per month charge, which is directed towards an affordable housing program fund. The Daily News noted that as the owner of 585 Battery Park City condos, Milstein Properties Chairman Howard Milstein was the biggest beneficiary of Thompson’s lobbying. In January, Milstein, and his wife and son, each donated the $4,950 maximum to Thompson’s campaign.
Under Thompson’s stewardship, the authority also gave Brookfield $22.3 million worth of rent breaks with its promise to upgrade the World Financial Center in Battery Park. Lobbyists who worked on behalf of Brookfield and the firm’s chairman, John Zuccotti, gathered thousands more dollars for Thompson’s campaign. [NYDN]