ALBANY — The deep-pocketed real estate investors who own a landmark former stock exchange building in lower Manhattan lavished Gov. Cuomo with $76,000 in campaign donations just weeks before Cuomo approved a lucrative tax break for their property.
Three partners at Fisher Brothers, which owns the historic New York Curb Exchange at 86 Trinity Place, each cut $25,000 checks to Cuomo on Dec. 27. One exec kicked in an additional $1,000 on Jan. 11, and Cuomo okayed the tax breaks Jan. 30. Fisher plans a high-rise residential tower at the site.
The contributions from the Fisher Brothers execs are just the latest to emerge in the controversy over five Manhattan properties that were singled out for tax breaks in a January bill. The Daily News reported last week that one of the other beneficiaries, Extell Development Co., gave $100,000 to Cuomo days before he signed the bill.
The breaks mean $35 million in tax relief over 10 years for Extell’s planned One57 luxury apartment tower on W. 57th St.
Extell President Gary Barnett also donated $100,000 three weeks after the bill was signed to a state Democratic Party account that Cuomo was using to pay for ads pushing his agenda.
In addition to the December and January contributions from Fisher execs, the company gave $500,000 in 2011 to the Committee to Save New York, a pro-business group created to push the governor’s agenda. Two of the execs had previously made only small contributions to Cuomo.
Cuomo aides say the bill was supported by the city and Legislature, but lawmakers who drew it up insist they don’t know who inserted the tax breaks for the five developers into the bill.