Bloomberg's Game Plan: New York's Next Mayor Talks Straight on How He'll Try to Rebuild the City, the Schools and Race Relations

By Alter, Jonathan | Newsweek, November 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

Bloomberg's Game Plan: New York's Next Mayor Talks Straight on How He'll Try to Rebuild the City, the Schools and Race Relations


Alter, Jonathan, Newsweek


Michael Bloomberg built his upset victory last week on money, a crucial endorsement and his status as a political newcomer. In an exclusive interview with NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Alter, the mayor-elect detailed his views. Excerpts:

On Rebuilding New York

I'm a big believer that you can't look at the World Trade Center site and answer, "What do you do with it?" in a vacuum. You have to look at needs for the whole area. Before you start building buildings you step back and say, "What are the needs?" People never want to do that. But that's my engineering background. You start and say, "OK, who are we trying to help, what are we trying to accomplish?" and then you work your way down to "OK, who's going to actually be in the buildings?" And then you say, "OK, what kind of buildings do they want?"

Keep in mind, in this day and age nobody's going to build buildings on spec. The World Trade Center site was never a very viable complex. That's why you had all the state offices and agencies and whatever there, and federal offices. They couldn't rent out the commercial site.

On Keeping The Business Base

The scariest thing is, you look across the New Jersey shore and there's an enormous number of new buildings there and more under construction. Those will take the support jobs. All of those jobs were supposed to go over to Long Island City, and if you look at Long Island City on the other side of the East River, there's one building, that Citibank office building. The rest never got built.

You've gotta go and convince those companies to stay. You've gotta invite 'em to Gracie Mansion to a dinner. You've gotta take them to the ball game. We have to work at making sure that they understand that they are special. Business leaders are no different from anybody else. …

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