The New York Post reports, Mayor De Blasio is accused of giving preferential treatment to the developer awarded the Brooklyn Heights Library project. Hudson Companies’ $52 million dollar bid was $6 million and $1 million dollars less than two of the offers. The bids of 11 other developers have not been made public.
The Post quotes a source close to the bidding process, “This is a sweetheart deal to a politically connected supporter, directly contrary to de Blasio’s stated goals for development projects. He was not going to be the winning guy pre-de-Blasio.”
The source added Hudson’s bid placed the affordable housing units off-site — something de Blasio has spoken out against-while nearly all the other bids included affordable housing within the new residential building on Clinton Street.
Hudson’s CEO, David Kramer is a personal friend and fundraiser of the Mayor and has known de Blasio since the Mayor was a Councilman in Park Slope. Kramer and his wife have previously donated $9,000 to the Mayor’s public advocate and mayoral campaigns since 2007. De Blasio returned all but $400 of the funds because Kramer’s company does business with NYC.
Kramer bristled at accusations of favoritism, “There was absolutely nothing inappropriate going on. The market has spoken. There was a bid, it was competitive, and I was selected.”
The Real Deal scooped a spokesperson for The Brooklyn Public Library’s response.
“Hudson Companies offered by far the best bid for our library patrons and the community at large – including not only a very competitive purchase price, but short construction timelines, stringent contract provisions, the highest number of affordable housing units, a guaranteed interim library space, and a track record of delivering on projects of this size and complexity. We are confident that Hudson is a strong development partner that will deliver a world-class library to the Brooklyn Heights community, and we look forward to working with them.”