Michael Bloomberg was the 108th mayor of New York City, and is one of the worlds wealthiest business men. Since first winning election in 2001, Bloomberg has reshaped New York Citys zoning laws. His City Planning Commissioner, Amanda Burden, oversaw114 rezonings in areas like the Hudson Yards and Willets Point, covering almost 37 percent of New Yorks land area. Prior to becoming mayor, Bloomberg founded Bloomberg L.P., a financial news and information services media company.
Central to the Bloomberg administrations approach to real estate was the 2007 release of PlaNYC 2030. By 2030, New York Citys population was expected to grow to 9 million people, and to prepare for the new residents, Bloomberg released a 127-point agenda to make us use fewer fossil fuels while absorbing a million new city residents.
A number of green proposals are central to PlaNYC, including cutting the citys greenhouse-gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. The plan calls for planting more trees and converting taxis to less-polluting hybrid vehicles, and putting windmills on top of skyscrapers. (In 2011, furthering these policies, the city unveiled a set of 20 new green zoning guidelines aimed at removing obstacles to sustainable building practices.)
Bloomberg focused on creating denser, more transit-oriented development, paving the way for homes to be built into once-industrial swaths of land, notably along the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn. Bloomberg has vowed to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by 2014.
During the Bloomberg years, the city attempted to make its zoning laws easier to access and understand. For instance, in 2011, the city launched a new web application that allows New York City residents to find zoning and land use information pertaining to a particular property or a wider geographic area. The same year, Amanda Burden released a 168-page book aimed at demystifying NYC zoning rules.
As of 2011, Bloomberg was the second richest person in New York City, and the 30th richest in the world, with a net worth of $18.1 billion. He owns millions of dollars worth of Manhattan real estate, including a five-story townhouse at 17 East 79th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues. He purchased the Beaux-Arts mansion in 1986 for $3.5 million; it has recently been appraised at a reported $16 million. Other Bloomberg properties include two $40 million townhouses on East 78th Street and Madison Avenue that he bought for the Bloomberg Family Foundation. In 2007, he paid $41 million for the James Graham & Sons gallery building at 1014 Madison Avenue.