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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

NYC Planning chair: Major-league connections in real estate-gov't nexus

Carl Weisbrod, who chaired the Bill de Blasio transition committees, now takes over as chairman of the City Planning Commission. Weisbrod was announced after another name, out of Washington D.C., had been circulating in government circles for a few weeks.

Having been founding president of the Economic Development Corp. under Mayor David Dinkins, Weisbrod was with the Trinity Development Group before his current role. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to release an advisory opinion from the city's Conflicts of Interest Board regarding his past professional associations. Most recently, he's been a partner at HR&A Associates, where the client list is extensive.

His connections in both government and private development reach far and wide. HR&A, for example, where he's one of 10 partners, was paid more than $1 million pushing a Major League Soccer Stadium project in Queens near Citi Field.

Most recently the firm was instrumental in setting up the de Blasio "transition tent" in lower Manhattan.

The firm's client lists include several city government entities: the Planning Department which he'll now lead, the Transportation Department, his former EDC, the due-to-be-reformed NYC Housing Authority and the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability from the Bloomberg era.

From the private sector, there's Goldman Sachs, Galesi Group, Milstein Properties, Millennium Group, and Forest City Ratner companies (which was prominently noticed on the new mayor's fundraising lists last fall). And, the firm was involved with mega-plans for an ice-skating center in the Bronx in the former Kingsbridge Armory. Also, HR&A chairman John Altschuler heads Friends of the High Line, an elevated city park built on a rail spur on the lower west side of Manhattan.

Weisbrod's ascension is even, in a tangential way, a further link in the de Blasio-Clinton relationship: His wife, Jodi Adams Weisbrod ,was Hillary Clinton's first-semester roommate at Yale Law School, according to previously published reports.


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