Who picked up the tab? Mayor Bill de Blasio had separate dinner dates with REBNY president John Banks and Vornado Realty Trust’s CEO Steven Roth, according to recently-released public schedules cited by Politico.
On May 6, de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray met with Roth and his wife Daryl Roth, a Broadway producer. Vornado is currently developing a luxury condo tower at 220 Central Park South and is one of the firms that bid to re-develop Penn Station and the James Farley post office building.
On May 26, de Blasio and Banks met for a 90-minute dinner conversation at Gracie Mansion. Politico speculates that the pair likely talked about the expired 421-a tax abatement program for rental development. At the time, Banks was lobbying state lawmakers to fine short-term rental site Airbnb over illegal listings.
De Blasio has repeatedly sought out face-to-face meetings with real estate leaders since he assumed office and reportedly has several friends in the industry – including Banks, Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer, Forest City Ratner Companies’ Bruce Ratner and Hudson Companies’ David Kramer.
[Politico] – Konrad Putzier