The Real Deal New York

These two real estate execs bailed on
Gov. Cuomo’s Gateway tunnel tour

Steven Roth and Richard LeFrak previously served on Trump's infrastructure council
January 03, 2019 11:00AM

Steven Roth, Richard LeFrak, and a view of the Gateway tunnel (Credit: Getty Images and Curbed NY)

Real estate heavyweights Steven Roth and Richard LeFrak pulled out of a scheduled tour of the Hudson River rail tunnels last month.

The pair were planning to visit the tunnels as part of a series of inspections of infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Crain’s New York reported. It was arranged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Representatives for Roth and LeFrak didn’t respond to the publication’s requests for comment.

Cuomo has been battling President Trump to come up with $13 billion for a new pair of tunnels. Vornado Realty Trust’s Roth previously appeared to support President Trump’s decision not to pay for half of the Gateway tunnel project. In an email exchange with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and LeFrak, Roth responded to a story that noted that Trump nixed a proposal to split the $13 billion cost with New York and New Jersey.

Roth praised Chao in the emails. He later said he supported the project. In a conference call, Roth said, “Gateway is far and away the most important infrastructure project in our region and one of the most critical for our nation.”

Roth and LeFrak, earlier in the Trump presidency, served on a committee meant to advise the White House on national infrastructure spending priorities. [Crain’s] — Meenal Vamburkar