By Sabina Mollot
Currently in his third term – and last due to term limits — Council Member Dan Garodnick has been actively fundraising for higher office, collecting a total of $1.5 million.
Earlier this week, when asked what position he’s seeking, Garodnick would only tell Town & Village: “I’m keeping my options open on my next steps.”
However, he is at least eyeing a state position, according to a report in the Daily News on Monday, which also quoted an anonymous source as saying he’s raised $400,000 in a state campaign coffer. The article said he may be looking towards the comptroller or attorney general seat if they open up.
His statements to T&V weren’t too different though from the sentiments from the article’s source, who added that Garodnick was just trying to be prepared for any potential openings.
Following the story running, Garodnick still maintained he was just keeping his eyes open but confirmed his state account and said that when added onto money he’s raised in two city accounts, the amount was around $1.5 million.
This is the most campaign cash he’s ever raised, including during a previous (albeit brief) run for city comptroller in 2012. “I’ve never been in this position before,” he said.
The comptroller campaign was derailed when Scott Stringer ran for the position, prompting Garodnick to bow out. The following year, after being reelected to the City Council, Garodnick hoped to become speaker, though that title won by Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Meanwhile, over the past year, Garodnick has become an influential figure in the world of real estate, due to his efforts in East Midtown’s commercial rezoning as well as the recent sale of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, which preserved affordability at 5,000 apartments.
On February 2, Garodnick, 43, will be honored for his leadership in East Midtown by The Greater New York Construction User Council (GNYCUC).
When asked about the recent recognition from the industry, Garodnick said he believed this is also because of his efforts on behalf of tenants.
“I have not always been on the same page as the real estate world,” he said.
But last year, the city’s biggest landlord, SL Green, got the go ahead to build a 63-story tower One Vanderbilt in East Midtown, Garodnick’s district, in exchange for shelling out $220 million in various transit improvements.
On the rezoning efforts for the area, which are still ongoing, Garodnick said, “I think East Midtown will be a useful precedent in terms of tying development with public improvement and I hope to see it replicated.”
The Council member added that he does expect to see similar projects evolve in the future. Additionally, he said, “I think there will be deals involving sales of air rights from landmarks which will allow us to preserve valuable historic resources.”
When asked about the sale of Stuyvesant Town, and if he saw other similar transactions on the horizon, which preserve affordable housing, Garodnick was less certain.
“Not on that scale,” he said. “That kind of opportunity comes along once in a generation and we took it.”