De Blasio defends choice to retain city’s development commish

Kyle Kimball
Kyle Kimball

New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, says it was “the right move” to keep Bloomberg administration veteran Kyle Kimball in his current job as president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Though de Blasio criticized exiting Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s development policies on the campaign trail, he said Tuesday that Kimball’s approach to the job was in line with the new administration’s progressive agenda.

“I needed someone who understood how to get the work done, who had the values and an ability to put those values into action,” de Blasio told the New York Observer. “[Kimball]’s been doing it with great distinction.”

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De Blasio stressed that Kimball would champion large development projects in the outer boroughs – such as the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory development – and would help create jobs in the emerging technology sector, the Observer said.

Kimball took over the role in July from Seth Pinsky, who moved on to a senior role at Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty.

“We will look at every tool [we] have to make sure we are introducing the right kind of economic development,” Kimball told the Observer. Kimball is also serving as temporary chairman of the city’s public housing authority, following the resignation of John Rhea this week.

Though the real estate community has expressed concern that de Blasio will be bad for business, his track record as a councilman suggests that he is more pro-development than he may appear at first blush, as The Real Deal reported. [NYO] — Hiten Samtani