Borough leaders will talk reopening on TRD Talks

The Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island borough presidents will discuss the future of real estate in their boroughs

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, borough presidents Gale Brewer of Manhattan, James Oddo of Staten Island and Eric Adams of Brooklyn will join Erik Engquist of The Real Deal to talk politics, development and restarting the city’s economy.

Each of the three elected officials has carved out an important place in the political establishment.

Brewer is something of an institution in Manhattan, having ascended to the City Council from the 1990s staff of the first public advocate, Mark Green, and then to the borough presidency, succeeding Scott Stringer. She is expected to take the unusual step of returning to the City Council when term limits prevent her from seeking re-election next year. Brewer is known for taking a dim view of proposals for tall buildings and can be a thorn in developers’ side, but — secure in her popularity among Manhattanites — shows up like clockwork at the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala.

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Adams is one of three major contenders for mayor in 2021, along with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Stringer, the city comptroller. A former NYPD captain, Adams switched to politics with surprising ease, winning a state Senate election and then the borough president’s post, succeeding Marty Markowitz in both seats. Insiders consider Adams the most receptive of the three mayoral favorites to the real estate industry’s argument that it contributes to the city rather than exploits it.

Oddo, presiding over the city’s smallest (by population) borough, might have its biggest personality. Never reluctant to share his opinion, the Republican backed a de Blasio administration rezoning for his borough, then condemned the City Council — where he once served as minority leader — for removing middle-class housing from the plan. Oddo refused to embrace the notion that housing for people with teachers’ and firefighters’ salaries was gentrifying and bad for the city.

In this episode of TRD Talks, we will hear from each leader about what their boroughs need to reopen and what role real estate will play in the post-shutdown era. Register here.