STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Paul Massey Jr. has spent the last few decades building up a multi-million-dollar real estate business, but said he’s running for mayor of a city he’s new to because of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “lack of focus” on important issues.
On a recent visit to Staten Island, Massey, 57, discussed a few ties to the borough. He grew up in Massachusetts and attended Colgate University in upstate New York before moving to Westchester and then Manhattan in 2015.
He says he knows all the boroughs from working in them, brokering real estate deals for Massey Knakal Realty services, the firm he co-founded in 1988 and sold to Cushman & Wakefield in 2014.
CARROLL GARDENS, BROOKLYN — A candidate for New York City mayor is proposing new public parks along two of the city’s major highways.
Paul Massey, a Republican hoping to unseat Mayor Bill de Blasio, unveiled a plan called “Green Growth” on Monday that would add parks to both the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Cross Bronx Expressway in the style of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
The new parks would sit above the major roadways and help reduce noise and pollution that come from the thousands of cars that travel down the highways per day, according to Massey.
He says the parks could be paid for using $2 billion in parks capital spending that has already budgeted by the city for use over the next 10 years.
GOP mayoral hopeful Paul Massey is trying to make himself the “green” candidate — with a proposal to cover over parts of the BQE and Cross Bronx expressways with leafy new public parks.
The plan from the millionaire real-estate developer could cost as much as $400 million.
“Green growth will replace expressways with greenways across New York, providing neighborhoods with desperately needed parks and public spaces,” said Massey.
The Republican likens the plan to the Brooklyn Promenade, which hangs over the BQE — and says it would affect several areas of the two busy highways.
According to the plan, the Cross Bronx project would occur in three phases: one from Castle Hill Avenue to Hugh Grant Circle Park in Parkchester; a second from Boston Road to Arthur Avenue; and a final phase from Clay Avenue to the Sedgwick Playground.
The other parts of the project would affect the BQE with two greenway coverings in Astoria from Broadway to Queens Boulevard, and between 43rd and 31st streets; one in Williamsburg between South Third and South Fifth streets; and one in Carroll Gardens between Congress and Summit streets.
“It’s a terrific idea,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates. “These highway projects destroyed neighborhoods decades ago. There really hasn’t been a real push to solve that. This would go a long way to making a wrong, a right.”
Critics, however, were quick to jump on the cost of the project.
City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), chairman of the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, noted that a similar plan is already in the works for a portion of the BQE in Bushwick and jibed Massey for proposing too much spending.
“It’s a joke,” he said. “You have no credibility if you’re talking about this kind of mega-investment and also constantly talking about how we’re overtaxed.”
Mayor de Blasio’s campaign used Massey’s planned rollout to defend the mayor’s own record on parks.
“Mayor de Blasio has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revamping dozens of parks and playgrounds in all five boroughs, completed the purchase of Bushwick Inlet Park, and designated the most community gardens in a generation,” said his campaign spokesman Dan Levitan.
“That is his vision of equal access to open and green space, and it is one that New Yorkers are rallying around,” Levitan said.
Massey is a leading contender in a GOP mayoral primary that also includes Nicole Malliotakis, an assemblywoman representing parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
“The mayor’s plan appears to be to complain about the MTA,” Massey said in a statement. “My plan is to deal with the problem before it becomes a crisis.”
The plan, which will be rolled out Wednesday, calls for running the G train beyond its Court Square terminus in Queens and into Manhattan on the same tracks as the F train, where it’d then travel downtown along with the F and the M to W. 4th St.. From there, it’d follow the F to Jay St. in Brooklyn, where it would split off to close the Brooklyn-to-Manhattan loop at the existing Hoyt–Schermerhorn G stop.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey says he has the solution to New York City’s transit woes.
Amid a rise in delays on subway lines and commuter railroads, Mr. Massey, a former real-estate executive, said his campaign would roll out “five transformative projects” in the coming weeks to ease commutes and improve infrastructure.
One Massey proposal promises “an immediate solution” to the planned closure of the subway’s L line, which is slated to shut down for 15 months beginning in 2019 to undergo critical repairs. Mr. Massey said he would also find a way to connect the G train, which runs in Brooklyn and Queens, directly to Manhattan.
Even Mayor de Blasio’s Republican opponent Paul Massey says Albany should extend mayoral control of city schools — though he charged Hizzoner has “utterly failed” at leading the public school system.
Massey blamed de Blasio for the current impasse over mayoral control with just days left in the legislative session, but said state senators should nonetheless sign off on an extension of at least six months to a year.
“The bureaucratic and logistical upheaval would be a nightmare, and the kids would pay the price. I am surprisingly advocating giving control to this mayor under the circumstances,” the GOP mayoral hopeful said Sunday at a press conference at Washington Square Park. “Mayor de Blasio has utterly failed New York kids. That’s the only reason we’re having this discussion. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature support the idea of mayoral control.”
It’s time for the mayor to take New Yorkers’ commuter nightmare seriously, and a candidate seeking to oust Bill de Blasio says he is just the man to do that.
As commuters face what even Gov. Cuomo is calling a “summer of hell” because of track repairs at Penn Station, GOP mayoral candidate Paul Massey is unveiling a transit infrastructure plan on Monday to provide immediate and long-term commuter relief.
“Bill de Blasio once remarked he wasn’t interested in `being the pothole mayor’ and it shows,” Massey told The Post.
“His neglect of our city infrastructure is a travesty and it is making life a nightmare for New Yorkers.”
One element of the plan would create a G train loop that extends the current Brooklyn and Queens route to Manhattan.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Republican candidate for mayor, Paul Massey, campaigned at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George Wednesday, meeting and greeting morning commuters as they waited for the ferry to arrive.
Massey started his day at 6 a.m., greeting Island-bound commuters at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, before boarding the boat to St. George. He spent another hour meeting and greeting passengers on the boat, and commuters in St. George, before heading back to Manhattan.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: In an overwhelmingly Democratic city, how do you introduce a Republican mayoral candidate whom most voters have never heard of? That was the question facing aides to real estate developer Paul Massey, who greeted commuters at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue, in the heart of the Upper East Side where support for incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio is soft. One aide: “Meet Paul Massey. He’s running against Bill de Blasio!” An African-American man entering the train station on the southeast corner replied, “Good luck to you.” Later, another aide yelled: “Meet the next mayor of New York, Paul Massey.” Some people politely stopped to chat, and shake hands. Later, a return to the original: “Meet Paul Massey. He’s running against Bill de Blasio!” So, which worked better? Massey told a handful of reporters, “People are not focused as much on the political side, as [they are] on the current mayor. So, when you make it about a referendum on him, and them getting to meet me … There is a chord of discontent out there about this mayor, that … the public understanding of that is just coming out.” – Azi Paybarah