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Morning Spew

You’re Welcome, Prospect Heights: Eric Adams ‘Made it Safe’

The relationship between Mayor Adams's property ownership and crime, plus more links to start your day.

9:51 AM EDT on October 25, 2023

Eric Adams gives a thumbs up on a piece of poster board next to shovels and helmets for a jobs announcment.

(Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Thirty years ago, the murder rate in Prospect Heights' 77th Precinct was 90 percent higher than it is today. There were also a lot more felony assaults and robberies and car thefts. The NYPD statistics are clear—it's much safer there now than it was back then.

How can we explain this significant, decades-long decrease in overall crime in the neighborhood, one that mirrors the crime decline citywide? You might point to economic or educational trends, or social programs, or other tectonic societal shifts. 

But there is one compelling data point to explain the decrease that you might not be considering: Eric Adams bought an apartment in Prospect Heights in 1992. And the rest, as they say, is history.

"Many folks did not want to come in," Adams told reporters at his weekly off-topic Tuesday press conference. "I made it safe and now everyone is enjoying the great work that I've done."

Adams's one-bedroom at 425 Prospect Place is just one of several properties he owns. There's the brownstone in Bed-Stuy on Lafayette Avenue, and the apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

And since Adams has become mayor, his relationship with his Prospect Place apartment has been somewhat confusing. During the campaign, he claimed to have given his share of the apartment to the woman he used to share it with, for free. Yet his campaign documents continued to use the Prospect Place address. Adams blamed his "homeless accountant" for not transferring the property correctly, and showed the press a note dated from 2007, giving his former partner Sylvia Cowan 50 percent of the unit, but the piece of paper lacked Cowan's signature. 

This year, the Prospect Place apartment continued to be listed on Adams's financial disclosure forms. (Which perhaps explains why crime in the 77th Precinct continues to go down?)

"After previously learning that the transfer did not go through, the mayor initiated the process last year to transfer the property, but for tax-related purposes, it is currently being delayed, and the mayor has filled out his COIB paperwork to reflect that fact," mayoral spokesperson Fabien Levy told the New York Times in June (Levy was later promoted to deputy mayor of communications with a $250,000 annual salary).

On Tuesday, Adams was asked directly about the apartment, and he said he is going to keep it. Public safety has apparently outweighed "tax-related purposes."

"And talking about my co‑op, I don't know if you realize it, but Prospect Heights is now a hot place to own property, and so I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with my personal property that I announced on my COIB and I follow all the rules," Adams said. "This is my property. I made great investments in Bed‑Stuy. I moved into areas where a lot of folks didn't want to move in. You know, I made areas safe on that block. I made areas safe on Lafayette Avenue."

He added, "So, if I want to...if I wanna hold on to my apartment, it's reported. I say what it is. And I'll make up my mind on how I'm going to deal with my finances. You know, some of you thought I lived in Jersey, you know? So, yes, so you know, I'm making smart decisions."

Here are some links that Eric Adams made safer for you to click on:

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