Developers can expect de Blasio to mirror Bloomberg

Ex-housing commissioner saw mayor, public advocate take similar stands
September 13, 2013 08:27AM

Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat who wants to govern New York City, will be more like outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg on real estate matters than voters might guess, claims an ex-housing official who has worked with both men.

Rafael Cestero worked a little more than two years with Bloomberg and de Blasio as housing preservation and development commissioner, and saw the men take the same position on many economic development and housing issues. Both supported the Lightstone Gowanus project as well as polarizing ones such as Atlantic Yards and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“The city is growing, people aren’t leaving,” Cestero told the New Yorker. “And Bill is a pragmatic progressive. I wouldn’t expect that much of a difference.”

De Blasio, who narrowly won Tuesday’s primary but still might face a runoff again Bill Thompson, has not outlined many specific proposals on the campaign trail. In July, though, the public advocate told an audience at New York University that maximizing development would be the first of his four-point plan to create more jobs and boost the affordable-housing stock.

During his dozen years in office, Bloomberg has made several big development moves, including the Midtown East rezoning plan, park expansions and rapid restoration of historic sites. [New Yorker]Mark Maurer