Mayor Bloomberg made it official just a couple of hours ago, announcing that he would, in fact, seek a third term as mayor, provided New York’s term limits law can be changed enabling him to do so. And you know who’s loving that? Real estate developers. And why wouldn’t they? Bloomberg’s policies have been quite favourable to New York’s condo creators.
NY Observer: New York’s real estate community doesn’t just love Mayor Bloomberg. It lurves him…
So what gives? Why all the love for Massachusetts’ own, Michael Bloomberg?
First off, he’s been a very pro-business, pro-real estate mayor. The expansion of 421a development tax abatement exclusionary zones aside–(Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal and another mayoral fan, pointed out no one is perfect)–the powerful Real Estate Board of New York has long held Mayor Bloomberg in a favourable light.
And, given recent events on Wall Street, real estate types would prefer a businessman like themselves take care of New York City. (Far easier to trust a businessman, after all, than an activist or, even worse, a lifelong politician.)…
New York real estate overwhelmingly and profoundly hearts Mike.
Mr. Trump summed it up nicely: “Fourth term? Absolutely! I think it would be great.”
And they’re not the only ones backing a Bloomberg re-election. Other influential New Yorkers like Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Henry Kissinger, Henry Kravis, Marty Lipton, Dick Parsons, Tim Zagat, and Mort Zuckerman lent their support by purchasing a Variety-esque ad in the New York Daily News this morning, according to NY Mag’s Daily Intel blog.
But the real agent of Hizonner’s re-election: PR maven Howard Rubenstein.
Daily Intel: [E]arlier in the week, before Bloomberg‘s intentions were known, there was a smaller and more tight-knit group of movers and shakers who were vocally backing a third Bloomberg term — and they all had one thing in common: PR maven Howard Rubenstein.
According to one source close to Bloomberg, the biggest corporate pusher of the third term has been developer Jerry Speyer, a top Rubenstein client. And, not surprisingly, the boldface names quoted in the Times article that broke the story, such as Steven Ross, of the Related Companies, and others, are also signed on with Rubenstein. And, perhaps most fitting, it was Rubenstein who arranged the breakthrough breakfast meeting between Bloomberg and former term-limits booster Ron Lauder, who gave an exclusive interview earlier this week to, of all places, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, another Rubenstein client.
“No question, Howard played the kingmaker on this one,” says one source in the development industry who discussed Bloomberg‘s third term with Rubenstein and just so happens to be repped by him. “We’re all clients.”
Two weeks ago, when Lehman went under and AIG seemed on the verge of implosion and the economic darkness was coming upon us, Rubenstein’s megawealthy clients were panicking. And so was he. “I lived through a lot of bad times,” he said.
So Rubenstein, as he’s done for the last 50 years in business, decided that by putting the right people together, he might be able to help. It wouldn’t be all that hard, considering the right people were his clients. There was only one who posed an obstacle: Ronald Lauder, who fought for term limits in the first place. “Ronald has been a client off and on for years,” Rubenstein said. He organised a breakfast between Lauder and Bloomberg, where Bloomberg was able to sway him by writing a “sunset provision” into the law (which decreed that if a candidate wanted to change the limits again, they’d have do it two years in advance, and by referendum).
Bloomberg wasn’t too hard for Rubenstein to get a hold of, either: “His company” — Bloomberg LP — “has been a client for years,” he said. And that’s, more or less, how it happened. “They’re all clients,” he said.
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