Dan Garodnick to head City Planning

Former Council member played key role in Stuy Town deals, Midtown East rezoning

Dan Garodnick (Getty, iStock)
Dan Garodnick (Getty, iStock)

Mayor Eric Adams is expected to appoint Dan Garodnick as chairman of the City Planning Commission.

Garodnick, who was a Manhattan City Council member for 12 years, will also take over as director of the Department of City Planning, overseeing day-to-day operations and department staff. The commission and agency positions are always held by the same person.

He will succeed Anita Laremont, who stepped up from her position as executive director of the planning department three months ago after Marisa Lago took a role in the Biden administration.

Garodnick has been referred to as a “no-nonsense negotiator” and helped broker deals both within and outside his district. He helped negotiate Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s $5.3 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village in 2015, a deal that required the new owners to keep 5,000 of the complex’s apartments affordable for at least 20 years.

Questions have been raised about whether apartments can be deregulated in the complex, given changes to the 2019 rent law.

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The former Manhattan Council member also shepherded the rezoning of Midtown East through the city’s land use review process, after killing the Bloomberg administration’s proposal for it in November 2013. At the time, Garodnick argued that the plan did not go far enough to ensure that infrastructure updates in the district would happen.

In 2015, he helped the Economic Development Corporation and Council member Carlos Menchaca reach an agreement on the $115 million redevelopment of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, after a rift between the agency and the politician threatened to sink the project, according to City and State.

Most recently, Garodnick has served as the president and chief executive officer of the Riverside Park Conservancy. Politico New York’s real estate newsletter was the first to report that Garodnick was being considered for the planning role.

Not all of Garodnick’s political ambitions have come to fruition. In 2012 he dropped a bid for city comptroller and a year later finished second in the race for City Council speaker.

He later wrote a book titled “Saving Stuyvesant Town: How one community defeated the worst real estate deal in history.” Garodnick, whose account cast Tishman Speyer and BlackRock as villains, is a lifelong resident of the middle-class development.