Former mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife racked up $2.5 million in debt, but that doesn’t stop them from living in an expensive four-star hotel in Brooklyn.
After leaving office four months ago, de Blasio and Chirlane McCray drove straight from Gracie Mansion to the swanky New York Marriott on the Brooklyn Bridge – where suites cost between $600 and $5,000 a night – and are staying there. Since then their home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, has been undergoing renovations, according to hotel staff and other sources.
The 667-room hotel – which features an indoor pool, fitness center with Pelotons, two restaurants and spectacular waterfront views – is owned by Muss Development, a Queens-based real estate giant whose owners are longtime supporters of de Blasio.
The company is also a top landlord in the Big Apple that leases office space to city agencies, having racked up at least $239 million in contracts with the city since 2014, when de Blasio became mayor, records show.
De Blasio and McCray stayed in one of the hotel’s more modest suites, which offers both a living room and a bedroom. With a rate of $600 on a recent Saturday night, a four-month stay could cost upwards of $72,000.
De Blasio and McCray certainly didn’t mix with typical tourists and other hotel guests, as their taxpayer-funded NYPD security guards are by their side at all times when they leave their rooms.
Perhaps to chase away the smell of a Post reporter trailing him, the notorious de Blasio, who hates the Yankees and loves the Boston Red Sox, was seen in the lobby on Thursday wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates cap. .
De Blasio generally prefers to take the stairs and brisk walking to get around the hotel. He and his wife are sticking to pandemic protocols and generally wear masks in public areas of the hotel unless they are eating or drinking.
De Blasio’s drink of choice at the hotel bar are drafts of Fat Tire — a $9 Colorado amber beer. He seems to have a good rapport with the hotel staff, many of whom call him “sir”.
However, a member of staff said, “He’s too frugal, and that’s a nice way of putting it.”
When asked if hotel fees had been waived or significantly reduced for the former mayor, a de Blasio spokesperson declined to comment, and a Muss Development spokeswoman insisted that the hotel property “is not involved in the accommodation of specific guests”. Hotel management declined to comment.
While de Blasio is eligible to collect a six-figure pension for his two decades of public service and also receives rental income on two Brooklyn homes he and his wife own, the Post reported last October that de Blasio was dug into a deep financial hole after taking out a second mortgage totaling $615,342 on one of the homes.
His $2.5 million debt also includes $300,000 in legal fees incurred five years ago by lawyers who defended de Blasio in an investigation into his fundraising activities, and more than $200,000 more from long-dormant campaign accounts that owe money.
De Blasio has yet to repay taxpayers nearly $320,000 the city’s investigative department determined he owes for misusing his NYPD security details while mayor.
Critics said de Blasio’s suite life was hypocritical – especially since the progressive pol was elected in November 2013 after promising voters he would end the “income inequality” that has created a ” A Tale of Two Cities”.
“He’s a hypocrite living like a 1 percenter, and that raises a lot of red flags,” Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) said. “Who pays for this? Like most people, when I remodeled my home, I did it piecemeal and lived in one room at a time. I definitely wouldn’t stay at a high end hotel like the Brooklyn Marriott, especially if I’m in debt.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), who lost the 2017 mayoral election to de Blasio, said the former mayor’s living conditions raise questions about a possible “quid pro quo” given lucrative city contracts from Muss Development.
“For Bill de Blasio, it was always about himself and his buddies — not average New Yorkers,” she added.
While many of the city’s payments to Muss since 2014 have been made through deals struck before de Blasio took office, much of it has also been amassed through deals struck during his administration.
This includes deals that brought Police Department personnel to Forest Hills Tower in Queens and Taxicab and Limousine Commission personnel to other Muss-owned offices on Staten Island.
De Blasio is a longtime friend of the city’s hospitality industry, with hotels benefiting from de Blasio’s battle with Airbnb and other services that offer tourists short-term apartment rentals in violation of the law. of State. The New York Hotel Trades Council, which has 40,000 members, was the only labor organization to endorse de Blasio’s failed 2020 presidential campaign.