The Daily News reveals the extent of Eliot Spitzer's real estate portfolio. And it's quite impressive. Thanks to his father, developer Bernard Spitzer, the Attorney General and gubernatorial frontrunner earned almost $1 million on rents from a variety Madison Avenue properties. Hello, Attorney General Big Pockets!
And that doesn't even the money he's probably saved, by living in properties owned by his father - Spitzer, his wife, and three kids currently live at 985 Fifth Avenue.
Vetted by lawyers and accountants, the living arrangement is both lawful and proper, said Darren Dopp, Spitzer's communications director: The father pays an annual gift tax on the present he gives his son.
"These and other financial matters are handled by professionals who ensure that everything is done in strict accordance with city, state and federal law," Dopp said.
The market value of the gift is reported annually on real estate tax filings and on Bernard Spitzer's tax returns. But citing privacy, Dopp declined to disclose the apartment's rent, the gift's value or the amount of the gift tax paid.
Three real estate brokers familiar with the building say that a spread of comparable size could lease for $16,000 to $20,000 a month. That puts the gift's current value at an estimated $192,000 to $240,000 a year.
After a bit of work, Daily News also got a list of properties Bernard Spitzer owns or has an interest in, after AG Spitzer recused himself from "dealings his office may have with firms that could pose a potential conflict of interest." The elder Spizter's properties include 200 Central Park South (the curving, Modernist building) and the Corinthian on East 38th Street (with its circular bays). Coincidentally, there's a NY Times story on big spending in this year's Attorney General race between Andrew Cuomo and Jeanine Pirro - did you know that Spitzer spent $9 million of his own money for his 1998 race?
The Daily News also spoke to the general manager of Church's, the upscale British shoe store, about the Attorney General as landlord. Costas Liagouris said, "I'm stunned. This is the guy who's going to save New York! When does he find the time to be a landlord?" Not that he's upset - Liagouris added, "Hey, I'm an avid Democrat - I'm not complaining."