Former Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife have racked up $2.5 million in debt, but that isn’t stopping them from living large at a pricey, four-star Brooklyn hotel.
After leaving office four months ago, de Blasio and Chirlane McCray made a beeline from Gracie Mansion to the swanky New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge — where suites run from about $600 to $5,000 a night — and have been staying there ever since while their home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, undergoes renovations, according to hotel staffers and other sources.
The 667-room hotel — which features an indoor pool, fitness center with Pelotons, two restaurants and spectacular waterfront views — is owned by Muss Development, a Queens-based real estate giant whose owners have been longtime supporters of de Blasio.
The company is also one of the Big Apple’s top landlords who rent city agencies office space, having racked up at least $239 million in city contracts since 2014, when de Blasio became mayor, records show.
De Blasio and McCray have been staying in one of the hotel’s more modest suites, which offers both a living room and bedroom. With a $600 rate on a recent Saturday night, a four-month stay could cost upwards of $72,000.
De Blasio and McCray certainly haven’t blended in with typical tourists and other hotel guests as their taxpayer-funded NYPD security detail is by their side at all times whenever they leave their room.
Perhaps to throw off the scent of a Post reporter tailing him, the notorious Yankees-hating, Boston Red Sox-loving de Blasio was seen in the lobby Thursday sporting a Pittsburgh Pirates cap.
De Blasio typically prefers taking the stairs and speed-walking to get around the hotel. He and his wife remain sticklers for pandemic protocols and usually wear masks in the hotel’s public areas unless they’re eating or drinking.
De Blasio’s drink of choice at the hotel’s bar are drafts of Fat Tire — a $9 Colorado amber ale. He seems to have a good rapport with hotel staff, many of whom address him as “sir.”
However, one staffer said, “He’s too frugal, and that’s a nice way of putting it.”
When asked if hotel fees were waived or dramatically reduced for the former mayor, a de Blasio spokesman declined comment, and a spokeswoman for Muss Development insisted the hotel’s ownership “is not involved with specific guests’ accommodations.” The hotel’s management declined comment.
While de Blasio is eligible to collect a six-figure pension for his two decades of public service and also receives rental income on two Brooklyn homes he and his wife own, the Post reported last October that de Blasio had dug himself into a deep financial hole after taking out a second mortgage totaling $615,342 on one of the homes.
His $2.5 million in debt also includes $300,000 in legal bills run up five years ago by lawyers who defended de Blasio in a probe of his fundraising activities, and another $200,000-plus from long-dormant campaign accounts that owe money.
De Blasio has also yet to reimburse taxpayers nearly $320,000 that the city’s Department of Investigation determined he owes for misusing his NYPD security detail while mayor.
Critics said de Blasio’s suite life wreaks of hypocrisy — especially since the progressive pol was elected in November 2013 after promising voters he’d put an end to the “income inequality” that created a “Tale of two Cities.”
“He’s a hypocrite living like a 1-percenter, and it raises plenty of red flags,” Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) said. “Who’s paying for this? Like most people, when I renovated my house, I did it piecemeal and lived in one room at a time. I certainly wouldn’t stay at a top-of-the-line hotel like the Brooklyn Marriott, especially if I’m in debt.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), who lost the 2017 mayoral election to de Blasio, said the former mayor’s living arrangements raises questions of a possible “quid pro quo” considering Muss Development’s lucrative city contracts.
“For Bill de Blasio, it was always about himself and his cronies — not average New Yorkers,” she added.
While many of the city’s payments to Muss since 2014 have been made through deals cut before de Blasio took office, much was also amassed through deals made during his administration.
This includes agreements that brought Police Department personnel to Forest Hills Tower in Queens and Taxi and Limousine Commission staffers to other Muss-owned offices on Staten Island.
De Blasio has been a longtime friend of the city’s hotel industry, with hotels benefitting from de Blasio’s battle against Airbnb and other services that offer tourists short-term apartment rentals in violation of state law. The 40,000-member New York Hotel Trades Council was the only labor organization to endorse de Blasio’s failed 2020 presidential campaign.