Stephen Ross dishes on Trump, NYC mayoral race

Related’s billionaire chairman regrets backlash from fundraiser

Related chairman Stephen Ross with President Donald Trump and Hudson Yards (Photos via Getty Images)
Related chairman Stephen Ross with President Donald Trump and Hudson Yards (Photos via Getty Images)

Stephen Ross, the billionaire developer of Hudson Yards and Miami Dolphins owner, has some things to get off his chest.

In a rare interview, the Related Companies chairman told the New York Times he’s not impressed by the leading candidates in New York City’s 2021 mayoral race, but is eager for Mayor Bill de Blasio to leave. He also said he would have thought “differently” about hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump last summer if he had known it would cause such a backlash. And he shared where he agrees and disagrees with the president.

Ross, who battled construction unions over Hudson Yards, lamented the high cost of building in New York City and said organized labor holds too much sway over mayoral contenders Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

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Ross also expressed regret that his Trump fundraiser cost his business partners money, an apparent reference to the bad publicity for Related and affiliated companies such as gym chain Equinox. But Ross would not reveal whom he would vote for in November and claimed he had not decided; the fundraiser, he said, was more about currying favor to get things for New York, such as transit funding.

“I’ve gotten requests from the governor and people in different parts of the administration to help raise money for New York with the people that I know in Washington,” the developer said.

Although Ross called Trump’s stance on climate issues “divisive,” he lauded some of the president’s pro-business policies and said “nobody else could have done it but him.” [NYT] — Georgia Kromrei