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Councilmembers Eric Gioia and David Yassky held a press conference yesterday to suggest the MTA could save some money — which it desperately needs — by better managing some of its real estate, specifically its Madison Avenue headquarters and a “largely vacant” building on Jay Street that it leases, for some reason, from the city, reports amNY. (Gioia has suggested the MTA relocate from its midtown digs before.)
Gioia and Yassky hint that they could make more recommendations if only the MTA would release to them a report prepared by CB Richard Ellis on its real estate assets. The firm was retained by the MTA to review its portfolio in 2006, but though their report was taxpayer-funded and the councilmembers have repeatedly submitted Freedom of Information requests for it, the MTA refuses to turn it over. Atlantic Yards watcher Norman Oder has noted that that CB Richard Ellis has close ties with Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner.