Property lobbyists expect to gain ground under de Blasio

Melissa Mark-Viverito
Melissa Mark-Viverito

Lobbyists – including those representing real estate interests — are hopeful of greater influence in the de Blasio administration, after 12 years of the famously-unswayable Michael Bloomberg.

Some lobbyists perceived to be close to the city’s new political ruling class are expected to reap big rewards. The Advance Group, for example, was retained last fall by Pledge 2 Protect, a wealthy group looking to pressure de Blasio to pull the plug on the Upper East Side waste-transfer station. Advance’s president Scott Levenson, is thought to be close to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

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Conversely, lobbying firms such as the Parkside Group, which was the brains behind the real estate industry’s play in City Council races last year, may have a tougher time with the speaker’s office than it did when the office was occupied by Christine Quinn, according to Crain’s. Quinn received a great boost from the Queens Democratic Party – which is close to Parkside — when she won the position.  But the party didn’t supply votes for Mark-Viverito’s campaign, according to the magazine.

“I wish I could say getting clients was really about the right strategy, or knowledge, or having the right team,” a top lobbyist told the magazine. “But a lot of it is the perception of your relationships with elected officials.” [Crain’s]Hiten Samtani