A Guide to Dan Doctoroff’s Unfinished BusinessDan Doctoroff is leaving City Hall with a lot of big real-estate projects unfinished, but he’s done his best to make sure they have the momentum and guidance to be completed in his absence (which meant coordinating a lot of egos and favors). The mayor remains urgent about his green agenda, and the staff Doctoroff leaves behind seems to click. Plus, he’s not exactly dropping off the grid: “One of the great things about going to [Bloomberg LP] is I’m not going to be that far away,” he told us, murkily. But without strong-willed Doctoroff forcing players to negotiate, will everything go according to plan? After the jump, a handy guide to Doctoroff’s key reform campaigns, with assurances from Doctoroff himself included. Think of it as a cheat sheet for who now controls their (and our) future. —Alec Appelbaum
Dan Doctoroff’s Replacement: Innie or Outie?With the official news of Dan Doctoroff’s departure as the city’s economic-development czar, the hunt is on to find a lame-duck replacement for him — one that can carry out the mayor’s ambitious NYC2030 plan. So, one source tells us that City Hall recruiters have been feeling around for any takers and have so far reached out to at least two possibilities. One of them is Alan Fishman, the former president of Sovereign Bank who now chairs the mayor’s Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. (A call to Fishman was not immediately returned.) The other person that’s said to have been asked about Doctoroff’s job is Sean Donovan, who now runs the mayor’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “This could be a very good choice,” one politico told New York. “Shaun and Dan have very different philosophical approaches to development. Shaun has a great reputation for working with community groups and community boards and can build allegiances there, and that was always Doctoroff’s weakness. He wanted to bulldoze things through.” Donovan is the choice most frequently mentioned in press reports, but Fishman could be the private-sector outsider we hear that City Hall has been secretly hoping for. Time, and more rushed press conferences, will probably tell. —Geoffrey Gray
Earlier: Dan Doctoroff May Still Save Us
Dan Doctoroff May Still Save UsDan Doctoroff insisted at today’s quickie press conference that “everything will keep going” on the city’s construction front despite his departure. But is the position he’s leaving one that requires his specific personality? As the mayor noted, Doctoroff broke the patronage-or-paralysis mold that used to define big city projects. “By integrating economic development with city planning, affordable housing, and parks for the first time, Dan created a new model,” said Bloomberg. “His best was as good as it gets.” (The famously droll mayor seemed genuinely cranky at chatter when the meeting started and misty when he summed up his adieu.) And Doctoroff may still retain the power to help patch up the city’s cracked infrastructure.
it just happened
Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff Out at City Hall, In at Bloomberg LPDan Doctoroff, who has been toiling away since 2001 as the mayor’s get-it-done man, will announce today that he will be out of City Hall by the end of the year. He’ll be named president of Bloomberg LP, reports the Times.
“Our administration and the city of New York have been incredibly lucky to have Dan in City Hall for the past six years, and I’ve personally been very lucky to have him sitting just six feet away from me,” the mayor said in a hastily scheduled news conference in the Blue Room of City Hall. “He has been a true partner, a trusted friend, and the architect of the most sweeping transformation of New York City’s environment since the days of Robert Moses.”
Doctoroff, a former investment banker who, like the mayor, earns only $1 a year for his civil service, is the deputy mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding. He’s overseen successful projects like the High Line redevelopment and the rescue of the city’s waterfronts, including Governors Island. He was also a force behind the mayor’s ill-fated West Side Stadium and Olympic bids. Doctoroff was popular in City Hall and is credited with helping Bloomberg with much of his economic and redevelopment success. New York’s Geoffrey Gray reported that Doctoroff was planning a departure last month.
Doctoroff Is Leaving Bloomberg Administration [NYT]
Related Doctor! Give Me a Job [NYM]
Dan Doctoroff’s Plan to Move City Hall Workers to WTC
City Hall has finally found a way to personally benefit from the fitful rebirth of ground zero. A year ago, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff pledged that the city would rent up to a third of the office space in 4 World Trade Center if no other tenants emerge by early 2009 — a key financing commitment for the three towers that developer Larry Silverstein will soon start building. Yesterday, Doctoroff told us that the city was planning on making good on that pledge — and that relocating city workers into the new Fumihiko Maki–designed skyscraper could benefit everyone, including us taxpayers. “Too many of our workers are in substandard space,” Doctoroff said, “and this gives us an opportunity to upgrade some and perhaps sell some buildings that are better used for residential.” Because condo demand is outpacing the need for office space down there, this could be a deft, profitable maneuver for the city. At the same time, having a guaranteed tenant would take the heat off Silverstein (and his lenders). Since many city workers are toiling in basements and too small spaces, this could be a hat trick not even Silverstein’s architects could’ve designed. —Alec Appelbaum
Dan Doctoroff’s Dream Lives On, in Queens
Remember when City Hall’s plan was for the Olympics to save our city? We had our doubts, and the IOC didn’t cooperate, but, even so, Queens residents are still getting one benefit of the plan: A 50-meter pool in Flushing Meadow, originally intended to host the Michael Phelpses of the world, is under construction and set to open to the public by fall, according to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “It’s most ambitious structure ever built in a park,” Benepe said of the 110,000-square-foot space, designed by local firms Handel Architects and Hom & Goldman. The Parks Department even managed to squeeze in a separate diving pool, making this the first city property usable for NCAA swim meets. We’re looking forward to toting our flippers and goggles on the 7 train. —Alec Appelbaum
Dan Doctoroff Discovers Communities
Dan Doctoroff has a big title — Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding — and even bigger ambitions. But as he hits the hustings to sell the mayor’s environmentally friendly PlaNYC 2030 package he’s finally started embracing small-ball politics. PlaNYC’s proposal to build potentially huge housing complexes on decks over rail yards and highways, he said at a New School forum this morning, will proceed at a pace set by the affected community boards — not by Olympic committees or neighborhood-swallowing developers. “The lesson of Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards is to get communities involved upfront,” he told us after the event, though he wouldn’t specify which areas he sees as ripe for this affordable-housing development. “We’ve learned, before we even go public with an idea, to reach out to the local community.” Imagine that! (Oh, also, he confirmed the key non-word is pronounced “plan-why-see.” Now you know.) —Alec Appelbaum
Dan Doctoroff Issues Vague Call for Bold Sacrifice
A city planning guru dropped hints Monday that Team Bloomberg might be considering “congestion pricing” to charge drivers for the privilege of adding to gridlock, and today Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff the chief planning guru did nothing to discourage the speculation. Speaking at the annual meeting of the New York Metropolitcan Transportation Council, a regional body that coordinates federal transportation funds, Doctoroff talked of needing “a shift in the way we use automobiles” and called “congestion road, transit and pedestrian” the city’s main barrier to growth. He also noted that taxes and user fees funded the 1811 street grid, the dedication of Central Park, and the city’s water network. “Those who benefit should pay,” he said. Was he hinting at a new fee on driving or cars? Providing political cover for an MTA fare increase? Telling the suburban county chiefs in attendance to look out for a commuter tax? It remains to be seen. But he did promise to issue the mayor’s sustainability plan in early April, just before tax time. —Alec Appelbaum
Earlier: Bloomberg’s Planners Hear Public on Traffic Woes, Would Rather Talk About Something Else
Dan Doctoroff Claws His Way into New ‘Observer’One more thought on the new Observer, with its real-estate-as-sports back cover, and Dan Doctoroff as its first back-coverboy: Doctoroff really needs to cut his fingernails.
Modern-Day Robert Moses [NYO]
Earlier: Who Moved David Carr’s ‘Observer’?
Doctoroff Goes to Harlem, Gets Smacked
Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg’s all-powerful development czar, very rarely has his ass kicked in public. But at a Harlem symposium on Robert Moses’s legacy last night, Majora Carter, who runs the environmental advocacy group Sustainable South Bronx, did just that. As various bigshots praised the vital role of public input in today’s successful megaprojects — Atlantic Yards was never mentioned — Doctoroff contended that Team Bloomberg had buried Moses’s high-handed legacy. Carter, whose group has proposed a recycling facility where the city wants to build a 2,000-bed jail, begged to differ.
in other news
Dan Doctoroff Wanted Olympics, Gets Contaminated Land
There’s a well-worn truism about investing in land: It’s one thing they’re not making more of. Well, Mike Bloomberg is set on overturning that adage. The Bloomberg administration is exploring ways to make more land — or, more precisely, to revamp New York City’s current land use, with an eye on potentially freeing up a whopping 1,700 acres for the future generations. The seventeen-member panel, led by our old friend Dan Doctoroff, is especially interested in reclaiming polluted and toxic lands — so-called “brownfields” — through new technologies. Which lands and which technologies? We’ll find out by mid-2007, when the panel’s findings are made public. Somehow, however, we’re sure they’ll find plenty of development targets. Doctoroff is, of course, already famous for two massive rezoning projects — Manhattan’s far West Side, tied to the failed 2012 Olympic bid, and the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. Which means he already has plenty of experience with toxic land.
Bloomberg Administration Is Developing Land Use Plan to Accommodate Future Populations [NYT]