What's the Key to Making New York City's Future Bright?

It's not a shock that the executive vice president of RXR Realty would advise caution on affordable housing if given a chance, but the Daily News gives former Bloomberg administration official Seth Pinsky a "Be Our Guest" shot this morning in the Daily News in discussing his formula for keeping cities competitive.

New York is facing changes, even though we're doing well, he notes in his op ed.  We have two paths:  the Detroit failure-to-respond "tragic example," or becoming a competitive "evolutionary" city, more in keeping with our city.

Pinksky's three characteristics of evolutionary cities are superior infrastructure, a "rational regulatory and tax environment," and the people.

On that last point, a good portion of Pinsky's argument centers on the need for support of afforability, and NYC's focus on making housing affordable. 

That "ringing success" means that Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio needs to focus not only on the poor but also new young entrants into the labor market, and the working class, by investing "in revitalization and development around transit nodes to expand the options they have for living and working in the city." 

And--the apparent kicker--Pinsky pleads for a critical look "at both the positive and negative sides of our historic approach to affordable housing."  Are the programs efficient? What are the "potential unintended consequences"--like do "they tilt the playing field toward housing in a manner that disadvantages the marginal businesses that employ the vulnerable at good wages (potentially exacerbating our affordability challenge)"?

The result is the need to consider alternative approaches to affordability, including economic development subsidies--Pinsky is former president the New York City Economic Development Corp., and was director of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Sandy rebuilding efforts.

You can find a full Pinsky bio on RXR Realty's management team page, here. He left city work to join RXR Realty in September.  The firm, which has plenty of marquee Manhattan buildings but no affordable housing efforts, lists its portfolio here.

You can read why Seth Pinsky concludes we have a bright future in "A resilient NYC Economy" in Monday's New York Daily News.

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