One of the Big Apple’s billionaire landlords urged Mayor Eric Adams to make the city’s crime problem his top priority on Thursday.
Citadel boss Ken Griffin spoke about the importance of public safety to a business-friendly environment during a closed-door roundtable meeting attended by about 60 people, including Adams, KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis and Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf.
The Partnership for New York City hosted the summit at KKR’s offices in Hudson Yards. Partnership for New York CEO Kathryn Wylde said the meeting remained “upbeat” despite the serious subject matter.
“[Griffin] said, if you can’t get a hold of crime, you’ll see an exodus,” Partnership for New York CEO Kathryn Wylde, who attended the meeting, told The Post regarding the billionaire’s remarks.
Major crimes in New York City spiked 23% in 2022 as compared to the previous year, according to NYPD statistics.
Wylde said Griffin expressed confidence in Adams’s effort to lower crime to avoid the fate suffered by Chicago — from where Citadel and other firms fled over safety fears.
Adams was receptive to Griffin’s remarks and described steps the city was already taking to combat crime.
“It was the most upbeat conversation I’ve heard about New York in a long time,” Wylde added. “The tone of this meeting was, let’s move away from the cynicism of the pandemic and focus on what we have to be optimistic about.”
The Post has reached out to the mayor’s office for further comment.
Griffin also outlined his concerns about other problems facing New York City, including housing and education.
Griffin’s warning to Adams comes weeks after his firm unveiled plans to develop a brand-new “1.7 million square foot trophy office tower” in Midtown that would become Citadel’s key hub in the city.
Citadel’s planned skyscraper will replace adjacent buildings at 350 Park Avenue, 40 East 52nd Street and 39 East 51st Street and eventually house all of its New York City-based employees. The company has approximately 1,500 workers in New York and approximately 4,000 workers globally.
Griffin moved Citadel’s headquarters to Miami from Chicago last June after the firm expressed concern about the skyrocketing crime rates in the Windy City. Griffin, who was the richest person in the state with a net worth of $25 billion, was also attracted to Florida’s business-friendly policies, he said.
In his year-end speech last month, Adams touted progress in the fight to improve public safety. He cited stats that showed “a more than 17% drop in shootings, over 12% drop in homicides and a 27-year high for gun arrests.”
“I think that New Yorkers should feel better about the direction that we are heading in the city around public safety,” Adams said in the Dec. 21 address.
Bloomberg was first to report on Griffin’s remarks.
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