In July, Seth Pinsky, then the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, announced he would soon shift from the public sector to the private sector. In his decade-long stint at the EDC, Mr. Pinsky boosted his reputation citywide by helping to secure a number of high-profile development projects, including Atlantic Yards, Hudson Yards and the Cornell Tech campus, and by initiating the response to areas of the city hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. In his next chapter, Mr. Pinsky will spearhead RXR Realty’s Emerging Markets platform, which aims to identify growth opportunities in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area. Mr. Pinsky, who joined RXR last month as executive vice president, spoke with The Commercial Observer last week at the developer’s Midtown offices and spent time discussing his tenure at the EDC and his new role.
Imagine, if you will, the landscape of New York City 15 years hence. A drive to Citi Field in Willets Point takes you past a pleasant if overpriced cluster of residential buildings, rather than seedy chop-shops. Roosevelt Island is home to a sprawling $2 billion applied-sciences campus spinning out an army of developers to populate ping-pong-table-clad start-up clusters from Dumbo to Union Square. On Manhattan’s far West Side, the rezoned stretch of Hudson Yards offers millions of square feet for office space, housing and retail and 14 acres of open public space. You can already see traces of a more built-up, scrubbed-down New York in Luna Park’s freshly-painted Scream Zone, the first new roller-coasters Coney Island has seen in 80 years, and the rapidly-metastasizing arena at Atlantic Yards, which will soon play home court to the rebranded Brooklyn Nets.
It’s hardly a scenario Seth Pinsky could have imagined in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed just seven months into his tenure as president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a not-for-profit arm of the Mayor’s office charged with fostering economic growth across the five boroughs.
At the time, Mr. Pinsky was a 36-year-old former lawyer and investment analyst, only a few years removed from a private sector gig refinancing real estate deals for the big banks as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb. He had one big win under his belt—jump-starting the World Trade Center redevelopment project—but he didn’t have “a political bone in his body,” as one insider put it. “People kept saying to me, ‘Wow, you’re the head of the Economic Development Corporation? We’re in an economic meltdown!’’ Mr. Pinsky told The Observer.
“At the time it meant, ‘You must be really crazy.’”
When It's Not Your Money
In addition to getting a request from Deloitte for a $20 million subsidy package Thursday, the city’s Industrial Development Agency is also slated to present a reworked subsidy package for Reuters, which was given up to $26 million in incentives from the Giuliani administration. [Clarified]
In short, Reuters received the $26 million incentive Read More
Tensions are rising over living wage.
The Bloomberg administration’s plan to study the effects of living wage laws came under attack today from a set of Council members and City Comptroller John Liu, who called the effort a “sham.”
The issue came under fire as the city-controlled Industrial Development Authority authorized $1 million to fund Read More
You can’t have a park at Pier 42 without first having parking, apparently.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation plans to use around 100,000 square feet adjacent to the pier for storage space for movie studios, as well as up to 150 parking spaces, the agency said in a presentation last night to Community Read More
World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, Queens developer Jeff Levine and Related Cos. chairman Stephen Ross are among those seeking to develop Willets Point, the polluted, 62-acre auto repair district next to Citi Field, according to city records.
The names are part of a list of 29 firms released by the Bloomberg administration in response Read More
In the past month there’s been a fair amount of deals closing at Willets Point, with the Bloomberg administration finishing up the acquisitions that it negotiated with some of the property owners on the industrial site by Citi Field that’s slated for a major redevelopment.
In the run-up to a City Council approval of Read More
The planned new Nets arena in Brooklyn is anticipated to result in a net loss of money for the city, a new report from the city’s Independent Budget Office has found, a change from the agency’s last report in 2005 that found a small financial gain. The report, released Thursday, comes a day after the Read More
City spends $1,360 to bus in supporters of its Coney Island plan to a City Council hearing. Read More
The Bloomberg administration wants to dress up the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with some greenery.
Long an eyesore, the BQE runs through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill just south of Downtown Brooklyn, slicing the two neighborhoods off from residential blocks to the west. Now the city’s Economic Development Corporation is looking for a design team to Read More