The city claims the big-money developers who lavished cash on Mayor de Blasio’s campaign and nonprofit are not involved in the planning of the multibillion-dollar Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) trolley line.
Yet an insider says a developer and a high-powered advocacy group created and led by another developer are not only in on twice-a-month interagency phone calls on the project but they are driving the discussion.
Ya-Ting Liu, the executive director of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, participates, as does a rep from Two Trees Management, the company that came up with the streetcar idea and which will benefit from a new transit link to its swanky waterfront projects.
“They, in effect, run the call,” said a city source familiar with the project, which would connect Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Astoria, Queens.
In fact, city schedules refer to the conference call by the name of the nonprofit advocacy group — the “FoBQX meeting.”
But it is a government call with staffers from the Department of Transportation and Economic Development Corp. It sometimes includes Adam Giambrone, the city’s streetcar czar.
The participants discuss the progress of the $2.5 billion project that de Blasio began trumpeting in February. But the outsiders are guiding the city’s strategy for community outreach and identifying those who can be tapped for support, the source said.
“It’s just shady,” the source said.