I think it’s unfair to blame the mayor or accuse his office of being corrupt every time something bad happens or something doesn’t go your way. The mayor has hardly ever concerned himself with individual landmarks and private single-building projects.
The commissioners do not have salaries, so I doubt there are many strings to be pulled. They are all successful architects, planners and historians. Rather, their decisions are probably based on the little power they possess and maybe even a little poor taste.
Unless the work is outstanding, buildings are very difficult to landmark if the owner does not support it. Rosen has owned 516 for a while, and they can have it demo’d by the time a hearing is announced to save it.
Does Landmarks have the time, budget or staff to take on a big developer and compel a judge that their property is so outstanding that the owner can not do what they wish to it, despite being under zoning regulations.
Also remember when developers buy buildings in Manhattan they are paying a large amount for the unused potential of the site. Will the city compensate the developer?