The Real Deal New York

Category: TRD in DC

  • Shermichael Singleton (Credit: Twitter)

    “Politics has been my life since I was in middle school,” said Shermichael Singleton, the 26-year old conservative political consultant, who up until his ouster last week was likely the youngest “senior adviser” to ever serve the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Singleton’s life in Republican politics started early, but he didn’t get into it to be popular. “Republican just wasn’t a favorable thing,” said Singleton, who grew up in Dallas, Texas. “But I’ve stuck with the party ever since.”

    He began to stand out in right-wing politics as a student at the nation’s only historic all-male black college, Morehouse College in Georgia, where he was among few Republicans. [more]

  • Jamie Gregory

    The National Association of Realtors is not only the largest real estate lobbying force on the Hill, but one of the largest lobbying groups period.

    A trade association of more than 1 million members, the NAR functions in part as a regulator of the brokerage industry, setting the rules for how brokers use Multiple Listing Services. (In New York City, REBNY, which seceded from NAR in the 1990s, maintains its own service.) NAR’s membership is mainly composed of residential and commercial brokers, but its lobbying arm is active on just about every political issue that touches real estate. According to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics, the group spent more than $64 million on lobbying activities in 2016, the second most of any group in any industry.

    Jamie Gregory is NAR’s deputy chief lobbyist and has worked for the organization since 1994. As the majority-Republican Congress winds up to make big legislative changes with President Trump in the White House, Gregory and his team are focused on three major issues that they expect will dominate the real estate agenda in Washington for the next two years. [more]

  • From left: Trump Bay Street, Liz Krueger, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump (Credit: Trump Bay Street and Getty Images)

    When the EB-5 visa program debuted in 1992, members of Congress said it would spur job growth and whip up a significant amount of capital investment from overseas. But despite vigorous support from the real estate industry and a largely supportive Congress, opposition against the program continues to mount. Critics have taken aim at Ponzi-style schemes, murky sources of funding, and vague job creation results as reasons to pull the plug on the dollars-for-visas program.

    Now, there’s another argument you can toss into that anti-EB-5 political salad: the program is a big, beautiful door through which President Donald Trump can both enrich himself and those around him, according to several New York State Democrats. [more]

  • From left: President Barack Obama, Angelique Brunner and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

    Just before President Obama left office, the Department of Homeland Security proposed some serious rule changes to the EB-5 visa program, which awards green cards to foreign nationals investing in job-creating U.S. projects. The government currently gives out 10,000 of these visas a year, the overwhelming majority of them to Chinese investors investing in real estate development projects.

    In the wake of a number of scandals related to fraudulent investment activity, dirty money, and skepticism about how many jobs the program really creates, the Obama administration proposed raising the minimum investment threshold to more than double what it is now, shallowing the pool of eligible investors.

    While some advocates of the program have been quiet about what those changes might mean, Angelique Brunner, head of Washington’s EB5 Capital regional centers and spokesperson for the EB-5 Investment Coalition, a major lobbying group, said the proposed rules would spell the end of the program as we know it.  [more]

  • In Trump we trust

    February 14, 2017 07:00AM By Will Parker

    From left: Donald Jr. and Eric Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

    During a heated press conference right before the inauguration, then President-elect Trump said he was stepping away from his sprawling business empire through a trust agreement with his two adult sons and a longtime company executive, Allen Weisselberg.

    But documents recently obtained by ProPublica showed that only Donald Jr. and Weisselberg were named trustees. Trump’s younger son, Eric, was named chairman of the advisory board that’s supposed to work with the trust. And though both sons claim to have equal control over the Trump Organization, corporate lawyers said the structure in place provides little clarity about who’s in charge of the assets held by the trust. [more]

  • Bill Killmer

    After the collapse of the housing market, the Obama administration and Congress took a regulatory hammer to the world of real estate finance. The country saw the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put into government conservatorship, essentially nationalizing the secondary mortgage market.

    Congress also passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill in 2010, the largest overhaul of its kind in decades. Some of its provisions are just now kicking in. Many banks and financial institutions say many of the new rules make lending too expensive or limit access to debt too much. These groups don’t always agree on which protections in Dodd-Frank they’re willing to live with and which ones they are not, but President Trump has made it clear he aims to take an hatchet to the regulations as quickly as he can.

    Enter Bill Killmer, senior vice president of legislative and political affairs at the Mortgage Bankers Association, one of the most prominent real estate trade associations on the Hill. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the MBA was the third-biggest spender on real estate issue lobbying last year, after the National Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Roundtable. It has more than 2,000 members, mainly loan originators, servicers and underwriters. And it’s Killmer who’s charged with taking their agenda to the Capitol. The Real Deal recently caught up with him to discuss what he’s up to. (The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.) [more]

  • When Jared Kushner came to dinner

    February 08, 2017 01:00PM By Will Parker

    Clockwise from left: Jared Kushner, RPM Italian, Tosca Ristorante, the Capitol Hill Club and Founding Farmers (Credit: Getty Images RPM, Tosca, Founding Farmers and Capitol Hill Club)

    It was less than two months ago that Jared Kushner, the White House’s Trump-whispering adviser, was spotted in Williamsburg with wife Ivanka Trump, putting fork to pasta at Lilia, an acclaimed Italian joint on Union Avenue.

    The December outing in Brooklyn would seem a departure from Kushner’s usual haunt of Prime Grill—the stuffy Madison Avenue kosher steakhouse where he could regularly be spotted meeting clients—if it weren’t for top guns from Goldman Sachs, whose alumni now pack Trump’s cabinet, dining at a table next to him. [more]

  • From left: the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. and Tim Horne (Credit: Trump Hotels)

    President Donald Trump has already made most of his critical cabinet and senior official appointments, and many of them are facing closely-watched confirmation hearings on the Senate floor. But there is one obscure appointment that could this time around become as politicized as any: Administrator of the General Services Administration, or GSA. [more]

  • 666 Fifth Avenue and Jared Kushner (Credit: Getty Images)

    UPDATED Jan. 31, 02:47 PM: Jared Kushner sold his equity stake in 666 Fifth Avenue, once the most expensive office building in America. According to a spokesperson for Kushner Companies, the stake was sold to a family trust, but the company declined to comment on who exactly would control it. [more]

  • President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

    President Donald Trump began moving his New York City real estate portfolio into the “Donald J Trump Revocable Trust” on Dec. 31 and New Year’s day, according to an analysis of city property records by The Real Deal. [more]

  • From left: Ben Carson, Robert C Weaver Federal Building and Rick Lazio
    (Credit: Getty Images and Library of Congress via Wikipedia)

    The White House is expected to appoint former New York Congressman Rick Lazio as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sources familiar with the decision told The Real Deal. [more]

  • From left: Steven Mnuchin, a NYC construction site and Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images)

    Amidst all the political maneuvering and grandstanding on 421a—or “Affordable New York” as it’s now called—it’s easy to forget about another program that is much more consequential for the construction of affordable housing in New York City: the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

    But the expectation that Trump and Congress will cut corporate taxes is already making the tax credits worth less to investors, experts say. And that could mean more than 16,000 units of affordable housing a year won’t get built across the country. [more]

  • Ben Carson and Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

    Shortly after being sworn into office, Donald Trump’s administration overturned the Obama administration’s decision to lower the cost of buying a home for low-income Americans. [more]

  • Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

    Surrounded by family and a few pals from the real estate industry, Donald J. Trump on Friday became the 45th President of the United States — and the first developer-in-chief. [more]

  • From left: Steve Witkoff, Donald Trump and Howard Lorber

    The Witkoffs had just flown into Washington, D.C., on their private plane and sat down to lunch at the Café du Parc. [more]

  • Michael Cohen and his family

    Michael Cohen, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and longtime consigliere to Donald Trump, has a new gig: personal attorney to the incoming president of the United States. [more]

  • From left: Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo, Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich (Credit: Getty Images)

    Donald Trump indirectly provided “an assignment” to New York Republicans on Thursday: kick Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo out of office. [more]

  • The Real Deal heads to Washington

    January 19, 2017 10:30AM

    From left: Uncle Sam, Donald Trump and the U.S. Capitol

    Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, and The Real Deal will be there to cover the historic event.

    It’s a big moment for New York City real estate: a real estate mogul is moving into the Oval Office, and a number of developers are expected to wield considerable influence nationally. We’ll be chatting with some of Trump’s friends in the industry who are in town for the 58th presidential inauguration and covering the events of the next few days.

    Are you in D.C.? Attending a ball or event you think we should cover? TRD wants to hear from industry professionals at the inauguration. Send tips and comments to and

  • From left: Steven Roth, Howard Lorber, Donald Trump, Richard LeFrak and Steve Witkoff (Credit: Getty Images)

    When Donald Trump raises his right hand and puts his other on the the Lincoln Bible, his real estate friends from New York City will be standing nearby. [more]