Cuomo reforms state’s approach to real estate

May 08, 2012 02:00PM

Andrew Cuomo has successfully pushed large public projects such as the Tappan Zee Bridge construction and the Fulton Street Transit Center conversion using a no nonsense approach to real estate, according to the New York Observer.

Cuomo has rejected much of Albany’s backroom deals with developers for a decidedly pro-business approach. For instance, soon after assuming office, the governor formed 10 regional economic development councils that allowed counties to vie for public funding within a transparent forum. But at the same time Cuomo hasn’t been afraid to discipline developers that break the rules, helping to reach large settlements against Vantage Properties and releasing buyers from contracts with Extell Development

“The theory has always been to do the job properly, call things straight, exhibit leadership, and that in the end, people will respect what you did,” said Steven Cohen, former secretary to Cuomo. “I think that’s where we ended up with the real estate community.”

Cuomo believes keeping real estate transparent, competitive and active is essential to the state’s economic success, an idea he formed serving as the head of both the Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The thing that makes Andrew very effective is he’s very operational,” a former colleague of his said. “He makes a list of what needs to get done to achieve a goal and he assiduously makes sure everything on his list is done in order to achieve that goal.” [NYO]