Adams appoints Industry City CEO to lead economic development agency after leading candidate steps down

Andrew Kimball, head of Brooklyn’s waterfront complex known as Industry City, will become the head of New York’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.

In his new role as EDC chairman, Kimball will lead the city’s leading economic development agency that seeks to attract new businesses and industries. His nomination comes after the leading contender, New York Building Congress CEO Carlos Scissura, retired of consideration in the middle of a City report that he engaged in illegal lobbying practices on behalf of a developer.

Kimball previously ran the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a city-owned manufacturing center that recently produced face shields and sanitizers as part of New York’s COVID-19 response. Speaking at a press conference there, Adams said Kimball had “a long track record of improving environments and turning industries around”.

As CEO of Industry City, an office and retail complex, he oversaw a failed rezoning effort that developers say created thousands of jobs. Opposing lawmakers, however, said it would spur gentrification and the fight sparked a wider debate over council land use practices.

EDC owns and manages 66 million square feet of real estate in the five boroughs and often rents them out to private or non-profit developers. Among the projects EDC is responsible for overseeing is the NYC Ferry, which started in 2017 and has struggled to increase ridership.

Asked by a reporter whether EDC and the city — which recently provided $23 million in funding to reduce fares — should continue to subsidize the system, Kimball called the ferry one of the “great success stories.” of the city of the last decade.

However, he added, “We need to look at the cost structure and the management of that, and that will be something I will be looking at very closely once I get started.”

EDC also owns the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, where a skating rink renovation project failed last year after the developer failed to secure the necessary funding. Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson recently told Gothamist that any new plan for the armory should be “community-driven.”

On Wednesday, Adams also announced that Lindsay Greene, a former EDC staffer, will serve as CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which manages the space. Greene will become the first black woman and openly LGBTQ person in this role.

His appointment comes as the mayor faces backlash from LGBTQ advocates following his appointment of pastors with a history of anti-gay views. On Monday, he said he planned to nominate Fernando Cabrera, a former Bronx City Councilman who had spoken out against same-sex marriage and abortion, despite strong objections from a group of lawmakers.

Adams denied being insensitive to the city’s LGBTQ community, noting his decision as a state senator to vote to legalize six-person marriage in 2011. On Wednesday, he also announced that Lindsay Greene, a former member of the EDC staff, would serve as CEO of the Brooklyn. Navy Yard Development Corporation, which manages the space. Greene will become the first black woman and openly LGBTQ person in this role.

Adams’ announcements came the day before the Board is expected to confirm two picks – Sylvia Hinds-Radix for company attorney and Jocelyn Strauber for investigative commissioner – both of which require legislative approval.

Asked about the criticism of his decision to appoint Cabrera, the mayor replied: “If we say that everyone who didn’t get him should be banned permanently, that’s the wrong message… The goal is to convert, to allow people to evolve so that they can see the error of their ways.

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