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New York City Mayor Eric Adams makes a live appearance on NY1’s “Mornings on 1”

Mayor Eric Adams: Good morning, good morning. Really exciting news and this is something that Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer is connected to her professional life. When she got into government, it started then. Many administrations attempted to get it over the finish line. We want to say thank you to everyone from Mayor Bloomberg to Mayor de Blasio, but we’re known to be the finisher and that’s what this deputy mayor has done on so many of these projects.

Kiernan: Deputy mayor, let’s talk about that because this is going to have a very different feel. This will be more of a neighborhood and less of a stadium and a parking lot like the feel of Citi Field right now.

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce: That’s right, Pat. This is a generational opportunity to build a whole new neighborhood and really make good on what’s been two decades worth of discussion and planning. When this mayor came into office, he charged us with making sure that we delivered on those promises and previous visions. 

What have we done? We broke ground on the first phase of Willits Point last year and that’s a year ahead of schedule. And with the approval of phase two just yesterday, we’re going to bring 2,500 affordable homes. That’s the largest affordable housing project the city has seen in 40 years. Of course, a home for NYCFC to make sure that the world’s game can find a home in the world’s borough. It’s an incredible day, not just for Queens, but for the entire five boroughs.

Kiernan: Mayor Adams, there’s an uneasy relationship between city government, city subsidies and professional sports. I’m not just talking about New York City. You look all across the country and there have been controversies over how much government should be helping to subsidize professional sports. 

This is an interesting hybrid here because it is city land. There was a process used to clear that city land, but ultimately the stadium will be privately built. Are New Yorkers going to be comfortable with the way this deal came together?

Mayor Adams: I think they are. I think when you look at the fact that this is going to be a 100 percent affordable housing project, which is just a need of housing when you’re dealing with a 1 percent vacancy rate. But also, this is how you leverage city resources. We’re using the land, but this is 100 percent funded by private dollars for the stadium. 

Here’s the sweet part. Union built. This project is union built. Good union jobs. You know as a former union member, I know how important it is. We want to stop the hemorrhaging of thousands of people from leaving our city because it’s not affordable. This is how you get it done. This is how you score a goal.

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: And PatI think it’s just important to remember that this will be a privately financed stadium. That means they are investing about 800 million dollars, right, into the stadium and into the area. As the mayor mentioned, union built. We’re talking about 14,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. It will be a hub not just for sports, but for jobs and for the type of affordable homes that we need in order to confront our housing crisis in this city.

Kiernan: Mayor Adams, we know that Steve Cohen and the Mets have been pulling for one of the casino licenses. If the state moves in that direction with his licensing process, what would that mean to this development? Would that be a welcome addition to the neighborhood or would that take away with what you’re trying to do with this neighborhood and the housing there?

Mayor Adams: WellI think the process is still moving forward and we do not want to interfere in any aspect of it of placing our fingers on the scale. I just want the casino somewhere in New York City, where the neighborhood is going to see the benefit of it, and not disrupt the neighborhood in any way. We’re looking forward to the process moving forward.

Kiernan: Deputy Mayor [Torres]-Springer, I want to ask you about what you have your eye on next. This is a big legacy project. We’ve been talking about this stadium since the Bloomberg days. Where might you go next in terms of a big impact project like this?

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Well, the mayor knows that no small plans are going to help us solve the housing crisis. We have a lot on tap. We have a moonshot goal of 500,000 new homes over the course of the next decade. 

Our City of Yes for Housing Opportunity will make a real dent in this crisis that is going through the public review process. We hope that New Yorkers will join us in making sure that we get to build a little bit of housing in every neighborhood of the city. 
Of course, we also are looking forward to what hopefully is progress with a housing deal with our partners in Albany. Because, Pat, it’s really clear it’s going to take all levels of government to make sure that we revitalize neighborhoods and solve the housing crisis.

Kiernan: Do you think you’re getting there with Albany?

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: I think there’s a lot of positive momentum, Pat. I also think that our partners, lawmakers in Albany, they know the strain that New Yorkers feel. I think it’s time. We’ve been advocating. The mayor’s been clear. We’ve been up there every week, hundreds of community meetings, hundreds of one-on-one meetings with lawmakers. Now’s the time, as the mayor said in the beginning, to finish and to finish well for New Yorkers.

Kiernan: Mr. Mayor, I have a couple of topics I want to get to that have come into the news this week. Your administration has put this form online, a request form, that says if an elected official, a City Council member, wants to speak with one of your commissioners, they should submit this engagement request that they will be reviewed by City Hall. 

The council speaker, Adrienne Adams, has not responded well to this. She’s told other council members they should not pay attention to it. They are entitled, as elected officials, to speak directly to your commissioners. Have you engaged with Council Speaker Adams on this? Is there a way to resolve this disagreement?

Mayor Adams: There’s no need for a resolution. There’s a policy in place, and it’s working. I think yesterday and the last two days we had around about 60, 40, 70 inquiries from council members, congressional, Congressman Jeffries’ office filled out the form. People are going to fill it out. They’re going to understand this is a benefit. This is not punitive in any way. It is inaccurate to state in order to speak with a commissioner or deputy mayor you have to fill out this form. That’s not true. 

When you want to coordinate meetings, when you need a commissioner to come into your district for a particular event, it is better for us to coordinate it together. Because one council person or one assembly person wants to do something, and we may have that same inquiry for an assembly person or congressional person. 

We need to coordinate the resources. When you see the number of inquiries that our deputy mayors and commissioners are getting at any given time, it is just better to coordinate it better. You know what’s interesting, Pat? I have been using this form for 10 years. 

When someone stops me on the street, I give them a link. If they say they want to meet with me, I give them a link. They fill it out. Within two weeks, we make sure that we coordinate that meeting. I have received about 4,000 incoming since I’ve been mayor, and almost 25,000 [at] my time in Borough Hall. We coordinate in a seamless way. This is a real win. People are afraid of change. I got that. I’ve been seeing change [in] response for so long. This is going to be fine, and everybody’s going to comply.

Kiernan: All right. Speaking of change, there is a protest underway from some of the rank-and-file at the NYPD after an initiative to tighten up on the dress code for officers. The PBA released a statement yesterday that says that the NYPD has much bigger problems to address. We are hearing that you don’t want officers wearing shorts on hot summer days. Do you agree with that change in dress code?

Mayor Adams: I know Police Commissioner Caban, after 30-something years in the department, he knows the combination of things that we need to do, everything from our visible presence to how we respond to everyday New Yorkers. 
We’re a professional operation. NYPD is the best police department on the globe, and everything we do is watched globally. He has figured out the best way to give not only the visible presence, but how we produce the best product that we’ve been producing in driving down crime, shootings, and homicides, and keeping the city as the safest big city in America.

Kiernan: Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer joining us from City Hall. We appreciate your time this morning. Thanks for joining us to talk about the approval of the soccer stadium.

April 12, 2024 Manhattan New York

Source: NYC.gov – Midtown Tribune news
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