EXCLUSIVE: Adams proposes moving NYC agencies to outer boroughs to save tax dollars

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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Jan. 7, 2021.
Photo by Mark Hallum

Brooklyn Borough President and mayoral hopeful Eric Adams plans to take a chunk out of the nearly $1.1 billion the city uses to lease office space in Manhattan to shift operations to the outer boroughs — and use the savings to fund childcare services.

Citing 2018 numbers from the Citizens Budget Commission, Adams believes the savings that will be generated from this move would help the city as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we plan for a real recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get serious about long-deferred investments in uplifting the welfare of historically disenfranchised communities, we need to target places where our government has overspent for years, and that includes on top-dollar Manhattan real estate,” said Adams. “Our plan ensures that taxpayer dollars go to support taxpayer priorities, specifically universal access to quality childcare, and that we seed new community-oriented development while putting government closer to the people.”

But it won’t happen all at once, according to the Adams campaign.

The current Brooklyn borough president is planning for this to take place on a rolling, year-by-year basis, a plan which could equal about $250 million in savings over the five-year period of dialing Manhattan leases back by 25% each year.

It would then go to the universal child care program Adams proposed back in February to give families the ability to earn money instead of attending to the responsibility of round-the-clock parenting.

As nearly 25 office leases expire every year under the city’s name, the Adams campaign explained that mass transit connections to outer-borough commercial centers should be taken into account not only for the cost savings to the city, but for the benefit that could bring to those communities.

The Human Resources Administration facility at 109 E 16th St. costs the city about $20,359,682 per year when a similar setup in Brooklyn, according to Adams, could cost $12,422,182 — or $11,110,967 in Queens.

The Department of Investigation offices, at 180 Maiden Lane, could be reduced from $317,930,371 to about $11 to $12 million in Queens and Brooklyn.

The Department of Youth and Community Development at 123 William St. costs the city about $2,322,245 per year when they could be spending $1.7 million to $1.9 million in the outer boroughs, Adams said.

Adams is currently running in the June 22 Democratic primary for mayor against Andrew Yang, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley, Dianne Morales, Shaun Donovan and Ray McGuire.