The Real Deal New York

Art Society official named City Council land use director

Raju Mann to head Land Use Division amid Midtown and affordable housing controversies
May 20, 2014 01:25PM

Raju Mann, a 34-year-old Municipal Art Society official, is taking the reins as the City Council’s land use director.

Mann, who in the past fought to limit Madison Square Garden’s lease to 10 years and to undo Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Midtown East rezoning plan, will take on the role as future plans for Midtown and Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative move forward.

“The City Council’s land use process is a critical way for New Yorkers to have a voice in the future of the city, and I’m looking forward to working to help create critically needed affordable housing, smarter developments and more livable communities,” Mann told the New York Daily News.

Mann opposed Bloomberg’s Midtown plan last year because of concerns about funding for Grand Central Terminal improvements and protection for several of the area’s old buildings, according to the Daily News. He is, instead, for “smart development,” Community Board 5 district leader Wally Rubin told the paper. [NYDN]Julie Strickland