NYC Economic Development Chief James Patchett Leaving Next Month


James Patchett, who has led the New York City Economic Development Corporation for the past four years, plans to step down early next month, the mayor’s office announced Wednesday.

Patchett took over as EDC president and chief executive after three years as chief of staff to Alicia Glen, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former deputy mayor of housing and economic development. He followed her to public life after working under her as a vice president at Goldman SachsUrban Investment Group for seven years. 

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The press release from the mayor’s office indicated that Patchett is leaving city government to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.” Glen, his former boss, left to launch her own real estate development firm.

Patchett worked on a broad array of real estate projects during his tenure at EDC, including the approval of the controversial redevelopment of the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; the fraught development of a tech hub and office building on Union Square; and construction of a 700-unit affordable housing project on the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the South Bronx. 

Patchett also established a $500 million life sciences investment program, oversaw the expansion of the NYC Ferry system, and the planning of a new garment manufacturing and film production facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. During the pandemic, EDC teamed up with local manufacturers to produce millions of pieces of personal protective equipment, a new breathing assistance machine, and more than a million COVID-19 testing kits. 

“Serving the people of New York City during the last four years has been the honor of my lifetime, and I am deeply thankful to the mayor for his confidence in me,” Patchett said in a statement. “Even on the most challenging days, leading EDC has been my dream job because of the extraordinary team, whose members are unparalleled in their expertise, creativity and commitment to making the city a fairer and stronger place.”