By all accounts, Eliot Spitzer never imagined that Spitzer Enterprises would be his life’s work. His father Bernie’s real estate empire, the one he built from scratch, would finance Eliot’s ambitions. Not circumscribe them.
But that was then. This is now. And apparently, the deposed governor is adjusting.
Mr. Spitzer, who just a few months ago was said to contemplate White House ambitions, now ascends every weekday to the top of the Crown Building, according to sources familiar with the Spitzers. More precisely, the ex-governor reports to the 22nd floor of 730 Fifth Avenue, the French Renaissance-style masterpiece his father co-owns with the Winter Organization.
It’s apparently the closest thing to a nine-to-five job Mr. Spitzer has had since his hypocrisy and lust transformed him from a left-wing hero into the left’s own version of the Rev. Ted Haggard—a man guilty of doing that which he so publicly condemned.
But what, precisely, is Mr. Spitzer doing in his father’s office?
Mr. Spitzer wouldn’t tell us. A call to Spitzer Enterprises at 2:30 on Monday afternoon revealed he was there and in a meeting. He never called back.
But a real estate insider close to Bernie Spitzer said the family was trying to suss things out.
“This is a whole new game for Eliot,” said the insider, who, like nearly everyone in this article, asked to remain anonymous, so as not to alienate the powerful family. “What I hear from my sources is that he walks around and makes suggestions, or discusses ideas. I don’t think anyone knows if any of these ideas will work. Time will see if there’s a niche for him there.”
Bernard Spitzer’s real estate holdings include 985 Fifth Avenue, the luxury rental building where his son and family live for free; 210 Central Park South; 1050 Fifth Avenue; 800 Fifth Avenue; and 150 East 57th Street. Bernie Spitzer also developed the Corinthian condo development at 330 East 38th Street.
This isn’t the first report to emerge that Mr. Spitzer was considering a full-time gig in real estate. The Daily News reported in April that the former governor was looking after his father’s $500 million holdings while his dad was in the hospital, ailing from Parkinson’s disease.
But Bernie Spitzer is now back at work, according to the real estate insider, and the family’s trying to find the prodigal son a role.
“Bernie’s whole life is Eliot,” said the insider. “Is he going to make a place for him there? It seems so. But it’s only a few weeks in.”
THERE ARE OBSTACLES.
No one who spoke with The Observer, however, thought Mr. Spitzer’s taste for illicit sex was one of them. (As one prominent broker put it: “He may have been client number nine. But I’m sure there was a one through eight and a 10 through 100. We just don’t know who they are.”) Rather, the greatest obstacle may be the former state attorney general’s entirely legal yet awfully acrimonious relationship with Wall Street.