The folks at Extell Development are apparently fans of Christine Quinn.
Late last month, Lela Goren, a business partner of Extell’s who does extensive work with the company, held a fundraiser in the West Village for Council Speaker Christine Quinn that was attended by many executives from Extell. Ms. Quinn is eyeing a run for mayor in 2013.
A spokesman for Extell, George Arzt, said the event was Ms. Goren’s, and it also included her friends and other supporters outside of the real estate industry.
“This wasn’t an Extell event,” he said, although he did acknowledge that numerous Extell executives and others from the real estate industry attended.
Real estate donations are nothing novel in campaigns, but this fundraiser happened at the very time that Extell is seeking zoning approval from the City Council for its mega-Riverside Center residential development, which is envisioned to hold 2,500 apartments.
Of course, this act—real estate developers holding fundraisers as their projects need Council approval—is also customary in the political world, and, indeed, Ms. Quinn has received large bundles of donations from real estate firms like the Related Cos. or Two Trees Management when they have been up for various approvals. Still, it’s notable given that the speaker, who reported $2.7 million on hand in mid-July, has made a priority of campaign finance reform. In 2007, she pushed through legislation that limits the amount that those who do business with the city (or seek zoning changes) can give to candidates.