Garodnick manages to win over real estate skeptics

From left: Dan Garodnick and Melissa Mark-Viverito
From left: Dan Garodnick and Melissa Mark-Viverito

City Council member and would-be Speaker Dan Garodnick, a thorn in the Bloomberg administration’s side during the failed Midtown East rezoning bid, is softening the real estate industry’s stance against him.

Up against Melissa Mark-Viverito for the speakership, Garodnick is beginning to convince industry insiders that he is the more experienced of the two contenders, Capital New York reported.

“Most if not everyone in the industry believes [Garodnick] is clearly qualified to do the job,” a Democratic lobbyist told Capital New York. “The issue is Mark-Viverito doesn’t have much experience with [land use decisions].”

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In a recent speaker forum, Mark-Viverito dubbed the Midtown East rezoning plan a “big giveaway,” the lobbyist said. “Now I understand one would argue there were flaws with the plan, but the rhetoric seems excessive.”

Mark-Viverito currently has Mayor Bill de Blasio’s backing, but Garodnick has won the support of real estate executives aligned with Democratic county leaders in Queens and the Bronx. And the Hotel Trades Council, despite Garodnick’s push for hotel worker labor agreements as part of the Midtown East proposal, is backing Mark-Viverito, Capital New York reported.

Garodnick had no comment for Capital New York’s story. [Capital NY]Julie Strickland