Sept. 29, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Former Council Member Costa Constantinides was sworn into the city’s Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors Tuesday.
Constantinides, who is now the CEO of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, was nominated to represent Queens by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. The NYCEDC’s role—as a quasi-private, city-affiliated corporation–is to utilize city assets to stimulate growth. The board helps set the agenda.
“I am honored and thrilled to nominate him to the NYCEDC Board of Directors,” Richards said in a statement. “Costa’s track record clearly shows his devotion to Queens’ economic growth and success, which will continue as long as Costa has a seat at the table.”
Constantinides represented District 22 — which includes his native Astoria, Rikers Island and parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside and East Elmhurst — on the City Council from 2014 through April 2021, when he left office about six months ago to take a position with the Boys & Girls club. The council district has been without a representative since his departure, including during budget season.
He has been appointed to a board of an organization that is often controversial. As part of the EDC’s mission to generate jobs and revenue for the city, it often awards public property to developers.
The NYCEDC has worked with developers on a number of controversial projects–such as at Willets Point and on the Long Island City waterfront. It also has worked on the Sunnyside Yards Master Plan and the BQX connector. It also championed the Amazon deal.
Constantinides thanked Richards for the nomination to the EDC board.
“As our city recovers from the pandemic, fights for a more just and fair economy, battles the effects of climate change and strives to become more sustainable, EDC is a critical agency in achieving a stronger city,” Constantinides said in a statement. “Representing Queens on this board is an honor and I will follow your lead in ensuring Queens has a strong voice at EDC.”
He replaces Melva Miller, the CEO of the Association for a Better New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the nomination Tuesday and Constantinides was sworn in the same day.
President and CEO of the EDC Rachel Loeb said she looked forward to working with him.
“We are delighted to have Costa Constantinides join the NYCEDC Board representing Queens as we move forward helping build a recovery for all New Yorkers,” Loeb said. “His role as CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens brings a unique perspective, helping us consider the needs of youth in our neighborhoods as we look for equitable solutions for all New Yorkers.”