Affordable housing developers count on government — Ron Moelis counts on
Alicia Glen

Emails obtained by Crain's highlight close relationship between Deputy Mayor and L+M Development Partners co-founder

New York /
Jun.June 12, 2017 01:25 PM

When New York City’s Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs, she focused on urban investments and affordable housing finance. She also happened to strike a dozen deals and set up a $100 million investment fund with a developer named Ron Moelis, whose for-profit L+M Development Partners TRData LogoTINY is one of the most active partners with city government on affordable housing projects. That doesn’t sit well with liberal tenant activist groups, who say the city is giving short shrift to housing nonprofits that could offer deeper affordability to low-income residents.

Through personal email correspondences, Crain’s detailed the close relationship between Glen and Moelis that continued once Glen entered office. Since Glen became Deputy Mayor, L+M has embarked on 13 different affordable housing projects, and Glen regularly helped Moelis gain access to other parts of the city government on issues regarding L+M business.

In one instance, Moelis, through Glen, was able to connect with the venture capitalist Alan Patricof for some deal making on an East Harlem project (“Just here to help!” Glen wrote). One thing the investors needed help with was relocating a New York Police Department parking facility so Moelis could build on the site, something the then-police chief, Bill Bratton, was open to, but said would require additional funding. Glen told Moelis and Patricof that she would put a word in with with Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris on the matter. According to an L+M spokeswoman, the effort was unsuccessful.

When L+M discovered a deed restriction at its Greenpoint Landing development site, where it looked to bring 5,500 apartments, the company’s COO Lisa Gomez, wife of REBNY boss John Banks, asked Glen to ask the state to waive it away. The state did so, though Glen’s office maintains it had nothing to do with her.

The email correspondences reveal a number of other instances in which Glen would connect Moelis to top aides to Mayor de Blasio or other city official to discuss everything from garbage pick up to redevelopment proposals. However, some of the matters on which Glen assisted Moelis did not end up falling in L+M Development’s favor, Crain’s notes.

But it’s a level of access that smaller, nonprofit builders complained they have never had. According to a review of her City Hall schedule during her first two years in office, Glen regularly made time for real estate and finance interests but rarely met with nonprofit housing representatives. “We don’t have access at the mayor, deputy-mayor level,” Andrew Reicher, executive director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a non-profit co-op developer, told Crain’s.

Beyond favors and networking, a deeper familiarity and friendship between Moelis and Glen comes through in less transactional exchanges. While returning from a trip to China, Glen confided in Moelis, a friend for 19 years, that she was “dying for a hamburger and bottle of Montrachet.” [Crain’s]Will Parker


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Eric Adams (Getty, iStock)
City program could supplement state rent relief — if next mayor signs off
City program could supplement state rent relief — if next mayor signs off
The tenants who won the affordable housing lottery at 15 Hudson Yards say the units are in an “entirely separate part of the building and with a different address.” (Hudson Yards, District Court of New York)
Lawsuit claims 15 Hudson Yards discriminates with “poor doors”
Lawsuit claims 15 Hudson Yards discriminates with “poor doors”
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
Jared McClain of NCLA and Gov. Phil Murphy (Photos via iStock, NCLA, Getty)
NJ tenants can pay rent with security deposits: court
NJ tenants can pay rent with security deposits: court
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, around 11.5 million Americans were behind on rent last month. (Getty)
Four landlords allegedly pushed out 5,000 renters during moratorium
Four landlords allegedly pushed out 5,000 renters during moratorium
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Surfside condo (Getty, iStock)
After Surfside, NY state lawmakers call for tighter inspection protocols
After Surfside, NY state lawmakers call for tighter inspection protocols
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...