The Daily Dirt: Real estate biting nails in these primaries

A roundup of elections to watch Tuesday

Here Are the New York Primaries Real Estate is Watching
From left: Assemblymember Stefani Zinerman, Eon Huntley, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto and Jonathan Soto

With Tuesday’s primary election at hand, here are the races real estate professionals are watching.

Through contributions directly to campaigns and to political action committees, several industry folks have aided state Assembly candidates facing challengers backed by the Democratic Socialists of America.

A number of developers have contributed to a pro-Israel political action committee, Solidarity PAC, as well as New York Women Who Lead and Hudson Valley Voters. All of these groups, whatever their stated focus, have targeted primaries with DSA-endorsed candidates.

Some groups are more explicit than others in their aims. For example, political consultant Jeffrey Leb changed the name of his independent expenditure committee from Voters of NY to “Defeat the DSA.”

His committee has spent money on ads supporting the campaigns of Assembly members Edward Gibbs and Stefani Zinerman, as well as Kalman Yeger’s bid in Assembly District 41 and Jordan Wright’s in Assembly District 70.

Vanbarton’s Richard Cole, Eastdil Secured’s David Lazarus, Apollo’s Aaron Welsh and Benjamin Gray, and GFP Real Estate’s Brian Steinwurtzel are among the industry players who have contributed to Leb’s entity.

Meanwhile, pro-housing group Open New York, which supports good cause eviction, has dedicated $100,000 to its committee, Abundant New York, and spent money on ads supporting Assembly member Sarahana Shrestha, who is backed by the DSA, as well as fellow Assembly incumbent Demond Meeks in Rochester and candidate Gabriella Romero.

Open New York executive director Annemarie Gray says her group supports candidates who recognize that housing scarcity is the source of the state’s housing crisis, while also prioritizing tenant protections.

“We’re seeing pro-housing candidates alongside a candidate who is not committed to solving the problem in a real way,” she said in an interview on Monday.

Based on campaign donations and the activities of industry-backed independent expenditure committees, these are the state primaries that real estate folks are most invested in (an asterisk signifies the candidate favored by the industry):

Assembly District 103, Hudson Valley 

Incumbent Sarahana Shrestha, endorsed by DSA 

Gabi Madden*

Assembly District 56, Brooklyn

Incumbent Stefani Zinerman* 

Eon Huntley, endorsed by DSA 

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Assembly, 50th District, Brooklyn
Incumbent Emily Gallagher, endorsed by DSA
Anathea Simpkins*

Assembly District 37, Queens
Incumbent Juan Ardila
Claire Valdez, endorsed by DSA
Joanna Carmona*

Assembly District 69, Manhattan
Melissa Rosenberg, real estate lobbyist
Micah Lasher, former policy director for Gov. Kathy Hochul*
Eli Northrup, public defender, endorsed by outgoing Assembly member Danny O’Donnell  Carmen Quinones, NYCHA resident association president
Jack Kellner, physician

Assembly District 82, Bronx
Incumbent Michael Benedetto*
Jonathan Soto, endorsed by DSA

Assembly District 68, Manhattan
Incumbent Edward Gibbs*
Xavier Santiago
Tamika Mapp
William Smith

What we’re thinking about: What primary races are you watching tomorrow? Send a note to

A thing we’ve learned: Bradley Tusk commissioned a poll of 1,424 registered Democrats to gauge support for Council member Chi Ossé’s Fairness in Apartment Rental Expenses, or FARE, Act. The poll, which was conducted between June 14 and 18, found that 66 percent of voters favor the bill, which Tusk supports.

One of the poll’s questions is sure to rankle brokers. It also makes clear where Tusk stands: “Is it fair to make renters pay 10 to 15 percent of their annual rent in fees when they can get the exact same information for free on the internet?”

Of those polled, 63 percent said they would be less likely to vote for their Council members in future elections if they vote against the FARE Act.

Tusk Philanthropies also spent $25,000 on a digital ad campaign to support the measure.

Elsewhere in New York…

Police arrested a 30-year-old man on Sunday in connection to a stabbing incident that left one person dead and two others injured, NBC New York reports. Alejandro Piedra faces charges of murder with depraved indifference and attempted murder with depraved indifference. A 38-year-old man died after he was stabbed in the neck near 14th Street and Avenue A in the East Village. During the attack, a woman was stabbed in the leg and another man was stabbed in the back.

A New Jersey town is paying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services $45,000 to kill roughly 60 geese, Gothamist reports. Officials of Peapack-Gladstone, located in Somerset County, say the gaggle must be wiped out because the birds have been pooping in Liberty Park, which surrounds a one-acre pond in the town’s center.

— The city’s Education Department is launching the Division of Inclusive and Accessible Learning, or DIAL, to support students with disabilities and those learning English as a second language, Chalkbeat New York reports. Christina Foti, who serves as chief of special education, will lead the new division.

Closing Time 

Residential: The priciest residential sale Monday was at One Manhattan Square’s 252 South Street for $5.4 million.

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $37.3 million for a 42,000-square-foot yeshiva and an adjoining commercial space at 7801-7815 Bay Parkway in Gravesend.  New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $65 million for a 10,875-square-foot condominium unit at 50 Central Park South. Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing. — Matthew Elo

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