The love fest between Albany and City Hall was on full display at a Wall Street power breakfast on Wednesday, as the mayor and governor attempted to clearly break away from their predecessors in a show of solidarity — not just with each other, but also with New York’s ailing business community.
Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced a pro-business shared vision for a “new” post-COVID-19 New York City at the Association For a Better New York event in the Cipriani Financial District.
Adams, 62, took the opportunity to vigorously get behind the business community and let wealthy New Yorkers know he was on their side – a departure from his predecessor Bill de Blasio, who famously took high earners for granted and whose spokesman told billionaires in the early days of the pandemic to “kick stones.”
“Continuously attacking high earners where 50% of our taxes are paid by 2% of New York… It blows my mind when I hear people tell me how to leave,” the mayor said.
“No, you go! I need my high earners right here in this town,” Adams said to applause.
Meanwhile, in a preview of her upcoming state of the state address, Hochul said the current era is a “great opportunity” to ensure the city’s beating heart “never goes on life support” while she discusses the still’s redesign spoke to a largely vacant Midtown business district to make it more attractive to remote workers.
“I don’t want to go to 2023-2030 and say, ‘Boy, I wish we did something earlier,'” said Hochul, 64.
“Take the same building that’s 40% occupied, I’m looking, can people live there? Can there be a day care center there? Can there be a nice restaurant? Can we have coworking space? Can we just do something creative? Got a tech hub, you know, bring in student dormitories.”
The governor also alluded to tax breaks for businesses and landlords before a business-friendly audience of honchos, lobbyists and PR staff.
“There’s a million things we can do, but I guarantee you there’s a barrier or a law or a regulation that says, ‘No, you can’t.’ And there would have to be financial incentives, because the conversion of office space, commercial space, into housing. Install all bathrooms and showers: That is expensive.”
New York City was shedding vacancies to deal with a $2.9 billion budget deficit, and the mayor’s pro-business rhetoric was a departure from past financial crises, when the city sought to raise taxes to shore up its coffers .
Adams compared the present moment to the city’s efforts to build the Empire State Building in a year’s time during the Great Depression or to speed up the country’s rebuilding after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“We’re America’s city, and New York is going to America,” Adams said.
“We have been the epicenter of terrorism and we have been the epicenter of COVID but we will rise again. We will show the country why we are New York, and this new New York conversation will show how, together, we are firing all the cylinders on the same engine to reclaim our economy, reclaim our city, and leave no one behind.”
Both Democrats took many smug opportunities to welcome the fact that, unlike their predecessors Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio, they had a working relationship.
Despite promising to announce a “combined reconstruction agenda,” politicians spoke in platitudes, not details, about ABNY’s 159-page “New New York” plan, that of Dan Doctoroff, former Deputy Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Richard Burey Jr., CEO, was written by the Robin Hood Foundation.
The unspecified plan aimed to boost office occupancy and subway ridership, which were just 40% and 62%, respectively, of pre-pandemic weekday levels. The loose agenda was reflected in meandering moments on stage.
Hochul said turning the page on the pandemic would give officials an opportunity to address “poverty, racism” and “the wage gap,” while mentioning that she spends her weekends on the phone with Texas business owners to lure them to the Empire State New York’s lack of abortion restrictions.
Adams echoed a frequent refrain of his, chiding the media for reporting crimes on the subway which he claimed put people off the system, and insisting the vast majority of commuters were safe.
He also called again for Albany’s bail bond reform bill to be repealed.
“I’ll be honest with you, if we didn’t have COVID, asylum seekers, crime, economic challenges, if we didn’t have all those things, I wouldn’t want this job. I want it because it’s hard,” he said.
“Winners want the ball when it comes to the game. Give me the ball.”
https://nypost.com/2022/12/14/kathy-hochul-and-eric-adams-tout-pro-business-midtown-revival-at-power-breakfast/ Kathy Hochul and Eric Adams promote Midtown revitalization at Power Breakfast