Paul Massey would model mayoral campaign on Massey Knakal territory system

CushWake exec says entrance into race is just around the corner

Paul Massey
Paul Massey

Paul Massey intends to model his campaign strategy for the 2017 New York mayoral election on Massey Knakal Realty Services’ famed territory system, the brokerage’s co-founder said on Sunday.

The territory system, as used by Massey Knakal, divided New York City into about 50 regions each headed by a broker. It’s this divide-and-conquer approach that Massey plans to use to engage voters, he told The Real Deal at an ICSC event Sunday.

“We’ve done business in every neighborhood, in every community,” Massey, now president of investment sales at Cushman & Wakefield, said. “And those are the relationships we would look to.”

He also spoke about his fundraising strategy, saying he would tap into an extensive network of business leaders to raise cash for his run. “We’re going to raise boatloads of money,” he said.

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In January, Massey formed 1NY Together, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit that is allowed to raise funds to lobby lawmakers. But on Sunday, he told TRD he is shutting it down, something he had signaled his intent to do earlier this month after seeing the fundraising controversy Mayor Bill de Blasio is embroiled in.

Though Massey has yet to formally declare his candidacy, he said an announcement was just around the corner. He referred to Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “the model,” and said he was trying to secure a meeting with the billionaire technocrat to get his advice on running. Several real estate players at the Wynn European pool came by his cabana Sunday to inquire about his potential run and offer their endorsements.

Don Peebles, head of development firm Peebles Corporation, is another prominent real estate executive who’s seriously considering a challenge to de Blasio. Earlier this month, he told reporters that the mayor personally asked him for a $20,000 donation to a nonprofit promoting his universal pre-K initiative.

Katherine Clarke contributed reporting.