Doctoroff on Doctoroff

In late October, I sat down with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff for an interview, discussing the past and future of the Bloomberg administration’s economic development plans. (At the time of the interview, I was a reporter at The New York Sun, and wrote an article on the city’s shift toward a strategy of implementation.)


Here’s some excerpts that seem to offer a view of Mr. Doctoroff’s development policy philosophy:

"Initially when we came in, we were really motivated by the fact that we saw New York … was really reeling in an increasingly viscous competitive fight with other global cities and that New York was largely unprepared to at least be as successful as it could be."

On large projects such as the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station and Governors Island:

"In each case—and this has been true of almost everything we’ve looked at—we tend to view things as investments—you’re putting up money upfront in order to get people to invest in the area that surrounds them. And if we don’t feel like we’re getting that sort of return, typically, we don’t make that sort of investment."

On worries of a slowing economy:

"The city is cyclical, it always has been cyclical, things always come back—they always come back stronger than they were—what’s important is that when you enter in a period of net economic difficulties, you continue to invest through them, so I would hope that our successors will employ that wisdom."

On the completion of the administration’s projects after 2009:

"We can never 100 percent ensure that what we’ve put in pace will be continued, but what we can do is make sure that there are people that are supportive of it that will hold our successors accountable for the failure to do so. We’re spending a lot of time thinking about issues of accountability and ensuring that our successors are held accountable."

On the Olympics as a catalyst for city-led initiatives:

"If you go back and look at the Olympic plan, it was the blueprint that we followed for the first several years—the Olympic plan highlighted very specific areas of the city that we believed needed focus in order to ensure the long term future of New York … In every single one of those cases, initially spurred out by the Olympic effort, we have our plans well underway, so it’s not necessary anymore, but it served a very useful purpose."

Doctoroff on Doctoroff