How to Win Friends and Influence Starrett City

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Photo: AP

Let's say you're a faceless capitalist entity that's put in a bid for an enormous, subsidized apartment complex. The bid is kind of accepted, then it's rejected. The press rakes you over the coals, the locals are wary, politicians literally race each other to the site to dispense "not on my watch" sound bites, and you mull over suing your own broker. You're done, right? Not if you're David Bistricer of Clipper Equity. If you're Bistricer, you then:

1. Promise the residents "ironclad proof" that their apartments will stay subsidized. (Instead of redeveloping the towers, Clipper now simply wants to build more.)
2. Hire two lobbyists: one at home, with Spitzer connections, and one in D.C., whose brother used to be Bush's chief of staff. Have the latter set up a meeting between you and the federal Housing secretary who had rejected your application.
3. Personally meet with the federal Housing secretary.
4. Do so while flanked by two influential black ministers.
5. Make sure one of the two influential black ministers is a fraternity brother of the secretary.

If nothing else, watching Bistricer 2.0 at work is a master class in PR. To be continued, we're sure.

Aspiring Buyer of Starrett City Is Back Onstage [NYT]
Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of the Starrett City sale.