Extell Development Company, the developer behind the building that won permit to operate segregated entrances based on tenant income, was the target of a subpoena of the now-defunct Moreland Commission.
Now that the U.S. Attorney's Office possesses the Moreland Commission's investigation files, will it expand inquiry into how Extell won approval for de jure segregation at its building at 40 Riverside Blvd. ?
One of the wealthy real estate developers that was the target of a subpoena issued by the now-defunct Moreland Commission was Extell Development Company, a developer with notoriously close ties to the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). Extell is also the developer of the controversial building in the Upper West Side of Manhattan that now segregates tenants to use different entrances, based on income.
The use of the "poor door" was approved by the Democratic Party-controlled City Council in a 2009 vote. In a report in The New York Post, it was said that Mayor Bill de Blasio voted for the provision that allowed Extell to force low-income tenants to use the "poor door."
During last year's mayoral race, Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly accepted over $18,000 in campaign contributions from Extell, according to calculations prepared by Mayor de Blasio's rival, Sal Albanese. Mr. Albanese's calculations were published last year by Crain's New York Business.
Last year, Extell became the subject of interest for Moreland Commissioners investigating the pay-to-play corruption in Albany. It was reported that Extell made over $300,000 in related campaign contributions to the campaign committee of Gov. Cuomo in the time leading up to when Gov. Cuomo signed into law tax breaks reportedly worth $35 million over a ten-year span for another of Extell's developments, the $2 billion super luxury condominium tower on West 57th Street known as One57.
If the corruption-fighting investigators of the Moreland Commission were interested in the corrupt pattern of pay-to-play in politics that invited large campaign contributions to fix legislative outcomes, then will the way Extell won its de jure segregating "poor door" provision approved by the City Council merit the same kind of scrutiny as did the $35 million tax breaks signed into law by Gov. Cuomo ?