What Does Lopez Censure Mean for Brooklyn Real Estate?

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When the New York State Assembly censured long-time Brooklyn Democractic Party head Vito Lopez for sexual harassment on Friday, it augured the end of an era if not a career. As punishment for allegedly touching and attempting to coerce two young female interns (on the heels of the Assembly authorizing the payoff of another alleged victim this spring), the 28-year Assemblyman from North Brooklyn (and head of the influential Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council) will lose all his seniority privileges, including his $450,000 a year staff budget (which will go down to $85,000) as well as his chairmanship of the Assembly Housing Committee. This latter position (along with the fact that his longtime girlfriend sits on the New York City Planning Commission) has enabled Lopez to wield great power in the real estate decisions affecting Brooklyn. While there are potentially big implications for the political landscape and plenty of schadenfreude in the air, it’s harder to know what this demotion and possible ouster mean for development and land use in the borough going forward. Lopez was a big advocate for affordable housing, so is that’s an area that could be hurt. He has also been a big supporter of expanding both the 421-a program and the loft law. And how about both Broadway Triangle and Domino–how will Lopez’s absence impact the future of those mega projects? Lots to chew on. Any thoughts?
Lawmaker Is Censured Over Sexual Harassment [NY Times]
Assembly Paid $103,000 in Harassment Case [NY Times]
Vito Lopez, Powerful Assemblyman, Stripped of Leadership Post [NY Daily News]
Amid Calls to Quit, Vito Lopez Says He Won’t [NY Daily News]
Vito Lopez Engaged in “Verbal, Physical Sexual Abuse” [NY Post]

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