Thanks to deft maneuvering, EDC regains lobbying capabilities

July 16, 2012 10:00AM

Rather than ceasing to lobby following Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s finding that the city’s Economic Development Corp. illegally lobbied to win redevelopment projects, the agency is restructuring to allow them to comply with the law, a spokesperson for the EDC explained (correction appended).

Crain’s reported that the EDC has split into two entities, the New York City Economic Growth Corp. and the New York City Land Development Corp. By Aug. 1, the EDC will merge with the EGC, the advocacy arm, allowing the EDC to lobby for the first time since the attorney general launched the investigation.

The maneuver would allow the EDC to work around U.S. laws that prohibit land development corporations, which are non-profits that can win land from local governments without being subject to the bidding process, from lobbying. “EDC is taking the technical steps necessary to ensure that it can both comply with the law and do what it needs to do to promote economic development,” an EDC spokesman said.

Though the EDC will need to be more transparent in its lobbying practices, opponents slammed the move and used it as evidence that the attorney general’s investigation was essentially meaningless. The investigation centered around EDC’s dealings with Willets Point and Coney Island redevelopment, and hampered its ability to win recent projects, such as the Kingsbridge Armory. [Crain’s]