By Talia Kaplan
Published May 01, 2019
Managing Director at The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group Jason Meister said Wednesday big city developers struggle to sell real estate, especially in New York, because “blue states need to shape up. They're fiscally irresponsible.”
Meister, who is also a member of the 2020 Trump advisory board, made the statement on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, adding, “Investors are not going to be here (New York City). It’s just not going to happen.”
According to Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm, more than 40 percent of apartments on New York City's “Billionaires' Row,” the area around West 57th Street and Central Park South, are sitting unsold.
The data was released a day after a Manhattan judge on Monday gave city officials the green light to open a controversial homeless shelter in The Park Savoy building, at 158 W. 58th St., which is in the ritzy neighborhood.
The building stands back-to-back against the iconic One57 apartment building, the city’s first “supertall” residential skyscraper and home to a $100 million condo that was the city’s most expensive when Dell founder Michael Dell bought it in 2014.
Last year, neighbors were blindsided when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio quietly sent letters to local officials that revealed his plan to turn it into a shelter for 150 homeless men, sparking the suit against the city.
“The best antidote to homelessness are jobs and unfortunately, the economic and policy environment right now in New York City run by incompetent leadership like Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, they’re basically forcing high-net-worth individuals out that create the jobs,” said Meister.
“They're also chasing out companies like Amazon, right? That could have created tens of thousands of jobs to minorities, to everyone.”
Amazon announced in February it was turning back on its plans to build its second headquarters in New York City. The move came after backlash from lawmakers, notably Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who bemoaned the project.
The deal was greeted with much fanfare when it was announced last year and was lauded as a major economic boost.
Amazon's HQ2 plan to build in Long Island City in Queens included a pledge from the tech giant to create 25,000 jobs, paying an average of $150,000 per year in exchange for a slew of city and state tax breaks and subsidies worth up to $3 billion.
Meister said New York City offers an environment that "makes for an unsafe investment."
He added, "New York always was a safe investment and what’s happening is, it’s becoming an unsafe investment. Capital is very smart. It leaves when things are not safe.”
Meister then said New York City “needs to really shape up.”
The struggle to sell real estate is also being reported in San Francisco, Ca. and Washington, D.C. When asked what all three cities have in common, Meister answered, “The cities, they're run by Democrats.”
“And what happened in the 2017 tax cut and reform bill was basically we put all the states on a level playing field. And they have to, they have to basically compete for the high earners and the job creators. And what happened is, you have a mass exodus from blue states to red states. States that are more favorable for taxes and for job creation.”
“And so what’s happening is these high earners, these high-net-worth individuals, these job creators are leaving the city because there’s places where they can go where there is better taxes, it’s more favorable to them,” Meister added.
“New York State is going to lose $2.8 billion of tax revenue. We're going to lose 800,000 residents who pay taxes. This state has a serious problem. So does California."
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Meister said when someone is looking to buy real estate they consider “the overall business climate, the environment, the taxes, it’s an economic decision, not just an emotional decision, it’s economic and the economics in New York City right now don't work.”