Transitioning to the Holiday Work Week with a Transition Story

It’s taken as a given that developers are wary of Bill de Blasio.  But he’s relying on developers, among many, on his transition team.  And it turns out that some are as wary of the developers working on the transition as developers have been about the mayor elect. 

Rafael Cestero, president of CPC Resources, whose firm has worked on affordable housing projects with the city, now is working with the de Blasio transition team on appointments for those city agencies, according to the Daily News today. There is worry about the conflicts that will arise when Cestero’s firm appears before the agency again. 

The article says that Cesteros’ involvement had not previously been revealed.

The government offices for which Cestero reportedly is reviewing management applications for the transition team are the New York City Housing Authority  and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development which together operate city housing stock, develop it, and maintain it. (NYCHA has been under fire throughout the year.  QuidnuncRE’s latest on its problems, posted on Saturday, can be found HERE.)

CPC Resources is the 21-year-old for-profit arm of the Community Preservation Corp., a nonprofit with a long history of developing New York City affordable housing.

A spokesman with Citizens Union told the Daily News that the involvement of people who know the city’s operations in the transition is a good thing, but de Blasio needs to make full disclosure beyond his transition team.  The public needs to know, the story suggests, because of the potential for conflicts.

The problem is that Cestero isn’t one of the 60 members of de Blasio’s transition team, announced last month. The team has no shortage of real estate bold face names, including MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner Cos., which recently sold off the majority stake in the Atlantic Yards project it developed (the most recent QuidnuncRE on that situation, HERE) and Douglas Durst, who is chairman of the Durst Organization. 

And the co-chair of the de Blasio transition team is a veteran real estate executive, Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board member and HRA Advisors Inc. partner Carl Weisbrod, who was founding president of the New York City Economic Development Corp.


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