NEW YORK — The story around an apartment Mayor Eric Adams co-owns in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood took another turn Tuesday as he said he will keep his stake in the unit after all because it makes for a “great investment” now that he has made the area “safe.”
“I don’t know if you realize it, but Prospect Heights is now a hot place to own property,” Adams said at City Hall when asked why he made clear last week he has decided to maintain his ownership in the co-op unit on Prospect Place.
“I made great investments,” he continued, “I moved into areas where a lot of folks didn’t want to move in. You know, I made areas safe on that block. … Many folks did not want to come in — I made it safe, and now everyone is enjoying the great work I have done.”
A spokesman for Adams would not say exactly how the mayor believes he made the neighborhood safer.
The Prospect Heights pad first drew scrutiny during the 2021 mayoral campaign when reports raised concern about Adams having for years failed to list his co-ownership of the unit in mandatory financial disclosure forms. At the time, Adams blamed the situation on Sylvia Cowan, whom Adams considered a “good friend.” He said he bought the first-floor apartment with Cowan in 1988, but to whom he alleged he gifted his share in 2007.
After being inaugurated as mayor in January 2022, Adams said that while he thought he had gifted his portion to Cowan in 2007, the transfer remained ongoing. At the time, he blamed the delay in part on an accountant he said he relied on for the transfer who had fallen on hard times and ended up homeless.
This past June, Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said the transfer to Cowan remained ongoing for unspecified “tax-related” reasons after the Daily News discovered that the mayor’s annual financial disclosure listed him as still being a co-owner.
Then, while answering an unrelated question at a press conference last week, Adams said he continues to “own a co-op” in Prospect Heights. After that comment, City Hall confirmed to Politico that Adams was referring to the Prospect Place apartment and that he has decided to not offload his share to Cowan after all.
Cowan’s name is listed on the buzzer for the apartment she co-owns with Adams, The News was able to confirm during a visit to the address Tuesday afternoon.
The hubbub over the Prospect Heights co-op was part of a string of questions about Adams’ real estate holdings that emerged during the 2021 campaign. In addition to the Prospect Heights unit, he owns a rowhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant and co-owns another co-op in Fort Lee, New Jersey, with his partner, Tracey Collins, that some of his 2021 rivals suspected him of living in full time during the campaign.
Adams made reference to the New Jersey apartment at Tuesday’s news conference.
“Some of you thought I lived in Jersey,” he told reporters, “so I’m making smart decisions.”