Gotham Gazette

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Economic Development

Economic Development

  • Alicia Glen on Her Legacy as Deputy Mayor and the Future of New York City

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    Alicia Glen (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After more than five years as New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen recently left City Hall, having spearheaded a major affordable housing plan, efforts to diversify the city economy, and other aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, which she helped shape.

    Glen oversaw the city’s troubled public housing authority, the implementation of a new ferry system, investments into public land to spur business development and the rezoning of East Midtown,

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  • The Business Imbalance is Bad for the City

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The political imbalance in New York City between business and “anti-business” forces is becoming untenable.

    What is happening here has been in the works for many years and was not difficult to predict. Rising income inequality and the perception of a corrupt ruling class brought us the Tea Party movement, Occupy Wall Street, and the 2016 presidential candidacies of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

    As the nation gears up for the 2020 presidential race, rhetoric pitting “corporate

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 5, with former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 69 -- 5, with former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen[You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    Alicia Glen was Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development under Mayor Bill de Blasio for more than five years, until she recently left the administration after being the chief architect of its signature affordable housing plan, a broad variety of economic development initiatives, and more. Glen joined the podcast (for the second

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  • City Council Examines De Blasio's 'New York Works,' Said to Have Produced 3,000 Jobs of 100,000 Goal

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    EDC President James Patchett (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to create 100,000 “good-paying” jobs, with annual salaries of $50,000 or more, within 10 years, giving New Yorkers a pathway to the middle class. On Monday, City Council members held an oversight hearing on that plan, attempting to more fully gauge how the de Blasio administration is doing on its promise.

    Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres, chair of the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigation, co-led a

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  • One Way to Keep Good, Middle-Class Jobs in New York

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    (photo: Wikimedia Commons)


    Long gone are the days when a family could live comfortably with a minimum wage job. In 1968, a worker making the federal minimum wage could support a partner and a child above the poverty line. Today, you can’t even support yourself and a child on it. Even with the recent increase to the minimum wage, hitting $15 an hour in New York City, it’s impossible for families in many parts of the state to live

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  • Amazon Was Never Going to Create 25,000 Jobs in Queens

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    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Now that Governor Amazon Cuomo is grovelling for Amazon to come back to New York, it’s important to remember that the original sin of the “HQ2” deal is still true: Amazon was never going to bring 25,000 jobs to Long Island City.

    That might surprise people, particularly since that number and its related economic activity have been the central arguments used to defend the deal. But to be

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  • After Amazon: Establishing Our Local Pipeline for Future Opportunities

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    (photo: LaGuardia Community College, CUNY)


    With Amazon’s pronouncement to put the brakes on its plan to bring part of its new headquarters to Long Island City, it’s time to make lemonade out of the many lemons left in the wake.

    Amazon’s decision to locate here centered on our city’s ability to get the company the talent it needs to grow. It’s what every company, large and small, needs to thrive.

    When Amazon first announced it was coming, one of the first questions raised was: who will benefit? Would the 25,000 jobs help our local community,

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 25,000, The Amazon Deal That Vanished and What It Means

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 66 -- 25,000, the Amazon Deal That Vanished and What It Means, with Vishaan Chakrabarti [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    vc amzn150Amazon was coming to Queens with 25,000 jobs and now it's not -- the mega-deal fell apart and the company backed out amid significant pushback from some local elected

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  • ‘So Poisoned and So Full of Misinformation’: City Economic Development Chief on How the Amazon Deal Fell Apart

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    James Patchett, CEO of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, spoke to a packed room on Thursday morning about the reasons behind Amazon’s cancellation of its planned Long Island City “HQ2” campus, in what was a joke-laden and rueful conversation of what could have been and what went wrong.

    Recounting that he learned of Amazon’s reversal a week ago, on Valentine’s Day, while watching Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” – “the one about a lonely capitalist who gets lost at sea,” he said

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  • 15 Ideas for Expanding Economic Opportunity in New York in 2019

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    (photo: Governor's office)


    New York’s Legislature has been on a tear in the first days of 2019, passing the DREAM Act to help undocumented students pay for college, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and overhauling the state’s antiquated election laws. Now lawmakers have an opportunity to take similarly bold steps to reduce income inequality statewide.  

    It’s time to build on early momentum and help lift more New Yorkers into the middle class. To do so, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) has laid out 15

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  • Hochul Previews 2019 Cuomo Administration Agenda, Defends Economic Development Programming

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    Lt. Gov. Hochul at the REDC awards (photo: the Governor's Office)


    In a recent radio interview, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted the elements of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly-unveiled 2019 agenda that she plans to have a significant role in passing. Hochul also discussed and defended the administration’s Regional Economic Development Council program, explained her role co-chairing the new Childcare Viability Task Force, and discussed the timetable for a statewide $15 minimum wage.

    As a guest ...

  • Secretive Amazon Deal Should Have Us Rethinking Subsidy Programs and More

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    Comptroller Stringer, the author, at a press conference (photo: NYCHA)


    What if I told you that moving your business to New York City could land you $3 billion in subsidies? Even better, what if getting those billions didn’t even require publicly disclosing key information required to qualify for the money in the first place?

    If that sounds like a great deal to you, you’re in good company because Amazon is taking advantage of secrecy and subsidies baked into our outdated system of tax incentives. We all know the Amazon deal to

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  • The Upstate Economy and The Election for Governor

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    Gov. Cuomo touting Upstate jobs (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The health of the Upstate New York economy is a major issue in this year’s election for Governor. Two candidates in the general election, Republican Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive, and Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse, a Democrat planning to run on an independent line, hail from Upstate, and are already in part centering their campaigns on criticisms of state government’s efforts to help the Upstate economy. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s rival in the Democratic primary, Cynthia

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    June 14, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

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    Kathy Hochul is in the fourth year of her first term as lieutenant governor, and, running alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo, seeking another term this fall. She's facing a primary challenge, however, from City Council Member Jumaane

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  • On Taxes, the MTA and More, Molinaro Discusses Developing Campaign Platform

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    Marc Molinaro (photo: Ben Max/Gotham Gazette)


    Ask Marc Molinaro about nearly anything, and the Republican nominee for governor will likely bring the conversation back to property taxes and affordability.

    “My focus, ultimately, will be to drive down costs on middle class New Yorkers,” he said in a Wednesday interview with Gotham Gazette. “That focus, again, has to be on property taxes because New York, unlike every other state in America, forces more of its state spending on property taxpayers. Property taxpayers -- small tax base; large, acute burden on

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 2020, with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 43 -- 2020, with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

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    Phil

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  • Attention Shifts to Assembly Hesitation on Accountability Bills Opposed by Cuomo

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    Speaker Heastie, left, and Governor Cuomo (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Amid open conflict with Governor Andrew Cuomo, a second-term Democrat, the Republican-controlled state Senate recently passed a package of bills aimed at shedding light on taxpayer-funded economic development projects, among other reform measures. The move helped reignite attention on the legislation and put pressure on the Democrat-led Assembly to pass bills it has previously supported.

    The legislation includes the Procurement Integrity Act, which would restore

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  • Stephanie Miner Diagnoses What’s Wrong with New York Politics

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    Stephanie Miner (photo: Ben Max/Gotham Gazette)


    She describes herself as a “romantic about government,” but former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner sees a lot wrong with how it is currently being practiced in New York.

    “When I think about what motivates me to be in government, it’s making change and impacting public policy,” Miner said on a recent episode of the Max & Murphy podcast from Gotham Gazette and City Limits, adding

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  • Sunlight for Subsidies

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    Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo (photo via The Governor's Office)


    New York State and local governments spend over $8 billion annually in taxpayer money, giving subsidies to businesses through tax abatements and credits, low or no interest loans, grants, and capital investments like building factories. Eight billion dollars could otherwise pay for the MTA Subway Action Plan in addition to the entire 5-year capital plan for New York City Housing Authority

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  • First Annual State Economic Development Report Falls Short, Watchdogs Say

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    Howard Zemsky (photo: Govenor's Office)


    Starting this year, the state’s central economic development agency is required to produce an annual comprehensive report of all of the state-funded programs it oversees. The requirement of Empire State Development (ESD) was part of the state budget agreement reached last April amid intensifying criticism of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approach to economic development.

    With the report due on December 31 of each year, ESD must compile the past fiscal year's “aggregate totals” for each economic

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  • The real value of New York Islanders’ Belmont deal? Cuomo administration won’t say

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    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor’s Office)


    A more transparent administration would reveal rival bid, economic estimates.

    When Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a triumphant press conference on Dec. 20 to announce that the New York Islanders would return home to Long Island, building a new arena and ancillary retail, office,

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  • What’s The [Data] Point? $3.2 Billion, with James Patchett

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 26 -- $3.2 Billion, with James Patchett [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

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    James Patchett is the President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the city's nonprofit arm dedicated to spurring job and industry growth, managing special

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  • Contrary to Cuomo Claim, Upstate Economy Faltered This Century, Not Last

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    Gov. Cuomo upstate (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo described the Upstate New York economy as suffering from a “bad 50 years “ as he tried to explain why it was hard to stimulate rapid growth in the region’s economy, which has grown far more slowly than the rest of the state and nation (see my prior column: Upstate New York is Home to Heavy Voter Turnout, Major State Investment, and

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  • Brooklyn Armory Deal, and Larger De Blasio Development Debate, Move Toward Term Two

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    (Armory rendering via BFC) (photos within piece by Rachel Holliday Smith)


    Following years of ferocious debate, negotiation, protests and anguish, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo was finally ready to vote “yes” on the redevelopment of the publicly-owned, vacant Bedford-Union Armory.

    At very nearly the last minute, she and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio worked out a deal for the Crown Heights building with the city’s chosen developer, BFC Partners, the night before a crucial City Council land use

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  • Upstate New York is Home to Heavy Voter Turnout, Major State Investment and Minimal Job Growth

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    photo via The Governor's Office


    Responding to criticism that his administration’s efforts to help the economy in upstate New York have been ineffective, Governor Cuomo recently stated at a luncheon in Glens Falls, a small upstate city, “It’s been a bad 50 years.” He added, “You’re not going to turn it around in a couple of years. But have we changed the overall trajectory? Yes.”

    A great deal

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