Mayor Adams pushed back Wednesday against a report that he keeps a covert office space in a downtown Manhattan skyscraper, claiming he has only visited the location a handful of times to check up on a team of staffers who work there.
The 375 Pearl Street location, commonly known as the Verizon Building, has been used as an office by a small team of city government officials that includes Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Phil Banks, Adams said at an unrelated press conference, confirming portions of a new Politico report.
But Adams denied the report’s contention that he himself often works out of the building. He also disputed the notion that it’s a “secret” space away from the prying eyes of reporters and Council members at City Hall.
“We now have this secret, undisclosed location? That’s just not making any sense,” Adams said, adding he can only recall stopping by the waterfront building three or four times. “I’ve been there to look at the space, make sure it’s safe for my team that’s there, that’s assigned there, so they can be all in one place. It was a smart way of using government resources, my team there is doing real work. I’m not there, I’m at City Hall.”
The NYPD, the Human Resources Administration and the Departments of Finance and Sanitation lease space in the Verizon Building, which overlooks the East River and is just a short walk from City Hall.
According to Politico, the mayor occasionally works out of an executive office and conference room previously used by the Department of Finance on the 30th floor of the skyscraper.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Adams confirmed his team has done some remodeling at the building since he took office Jan. 1.
“We said we don’t need this fancy conference room. We need desks for people to do real work. So we built out more cubicle spaces for employees to have more desks,” he said. “It was a brilliant smart idea, and it just continues to show the brilliance of my administration.”
The details about the allegedly secret office space comes after questions over where Adams sleeps at night became a flashpoint during last year’s mayoral campaign.
Reports at the time questioned whether he truly lived at his apartment in Brooklyn amid revelations about a co-op he co-owns in New Jersey with his partner.
Since taking office, speculation over where he sleeps has continued, with a report earlier this year saying he sometimes crashes at a friend’s Trump World Tower condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Speaking Wednesday, Adams claimed the hubbub over his residence is just hot air.
“You know what I figured out? I figured out that whenever you have Eric Adams’ name in a story, you get a lot of clicks, so people just find ways, ‘Hey, he ate this,’ clicks, ‘Hey he did this,’” Adams said. “I’m just a popular guy to write about.”