9:29 am Jul. 18, 2012
Real estate industry executives opened up their wallets this election cycle for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, both of whom are running for mayor next year, and both of whom hold sway in the city's major land-use debates.
Bundlers, or intermediates who gather donations for candidates, collected about $600,000 for each candidate's 2013 campaign, according to the most recent disclosure statements, with Stringer appearing to come out slightly ahead.
This year alone, real estate types like the high-living Manhattan developer Aby Rosen, affordable-housing developer Ron Moelis, and Two Trees' Jed Walentas, developer of the terraced Mercedes House on West 53rd Street, collected around $84,000 for Stringer.
Silverstein Properties and the Durst Organization, both major landlords developing skyscrapers at the World Trade Center site, also bundled for Stringer, as did Hudson Yards developer Related Companies.
Neither Stringer's office nor Quinn's commented for this article.
Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado, which controls 28 million square feet of office space in Manhattan, bundled about $20,000 this year for Quinn's campaign. (His theater-producing wife Daryl bundled nearly $100,000 for Quinn's campaign in 2008).
Silverstein Properties, in addition to bundling for Stringer, also bundled for Quinn (and de Blasio). So did the living-wage exempted Related Companies (whose employees donated $6,600 this year and bundled about $20,000).
The rest of the field has had less success in raising money from the industry.
Real estate bundled about $100,000 for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's and comptroller John Liu's campaigns, about $70,000 for former comptroller Bill Thompson's, and none for Manhattan Media C.E.O. Tom Allon.
One real estate executive explained Stringer and Quinn's advantage as a matter of familiarity: "Going into this race, Scott and Christine had more of the preexisting relationships than, let's say, De Blasio," the executive said.
Nevertheless, the executive expects the numbers to even out a bit in the coming months: "There's a limited number of places to look for money in this city under this set of rules, and everyone's hitting the same sources."