Republican John Catsimatidis wants to become New York City’s next billionaire mayor, and he laid out his plans for the city — and Brooklyn — during a meet-and-greet last week at a $95-million apartment in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.
Catsimatidis, who earned his fortune as the owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, said he would be tough on crime and even tougher on bike lanes.
“I hate those bike lanes!” he answered when asked how soon after he took office the lines in the street would be removed. “They’d be gone as soon as possible.”
He moved to crime from there, claiming the Catsimatidis Administration would never let the city fall back to the bad old days of the 1970s and 1980s, when New York was known more for its dangerous subways, muggings in parks, and the crack epidemic than its world-class restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.
“We never, ever, ever want to give the streets back to the hoodlums,” he said.
Another person asked him about the growing homeless population in the city — including an uptick in Brooklyn.
“There’s such a great deal for the homeless here,” Catsimatidis said. “The homeless get on buses to come here for all the food they can eat.” He suggested making a restriction that the homeless need to live in New York for three months before they can get care.
The supermarket magnate’s plans also include bringing a World’s Fair back to the city in 2015 or 2016, creating a tech hub in Manhattan from the World Trade Center to Madison Square Garden, and bringing down housing prices by allowing developers to increase the number of apartments they can build near subways stops.Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.