Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone told “Mornings with Maria” on Wednesday that he is “very concerned about the future of New York City” amid a mass exodus from the city to states like Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the governor and the mayor need to really be concerned and I know they’re going to be out of office and somebody else will be left holding the bag,” Langone told host Maria Bartiromo. “But they want to be careful because it’s a very fragile situation in New York right now and I’m worried.”
New York City faces a mass exodus of Wall Street firms — and jobs — as some financial and professional-services industries consider trimming their presence in the city by at least 20% because of the pandemic, according to a recent study.
About one in four office employers intend to reduce their footprint in the city by about 20% or more, according to findings published over the summer by the Partnership for New York City, a group consisting of top corporate CEOs. Roughly 16% plan to relocate jobs from New York City to the suburbs or other locations.
On Wednesday, Langone called the potential move “a hell of a blow to New York City because that could be a trickle but it will become a flood over time.”
Goldman Sachs is reportedly considering relocating its $8 billion-revenue-generating asset-management division to Palm Beach County or Fort Lauderdale, sources reportedly told Bloomberg, which added that executives have been looking at potential real estate and weighing the state’s tax advantages.
“I had no doubt after 9/11 that we’d come back stronger and better and we did,” Langone said on Wednesday. “I don’t harbor that same enthusiasm now.”
“I am very concerned about the future of New York City and New York State for that matter.”
He then pointed to the number of people who are leaving the city and state, adding that he can’t blame them wanting “to go to a state like Florida where the regulations are more, I’d say more reasonable.”
“We have a governor down there who’s demonstrated the capacity to understand the risk of a COVID-19, at the same time he’s recognizing he’s got a state that needs a strong economic base,” he added.
Langone told Bartiromo that he thinks the “biggest problem” in New York State right now is “the crisis of leadership.” He said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo “ought to take the lead.”
“The governor needs to understand that this is very fragile, that this could be a situation that could cascade and if he doesn’t recognize that, then we’re going to be in real trouble,” Langone said, adding that he “completely” give up on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A spokesperson for de Blasio and Cuomo did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
Langone also said on Wednesday that he is “especially concerned” about the “mentality in America of the other states” who are likely thinking, “Why should we pay for New York State to be profligate when we behave ourselves and we watch our expenses, we watch our laws.”
Langone noted that he is currently residing in New York and loves the state.
“I’ll stay in New York for now, but I have to start to think whether or not I’m doing the right thing if it keeps going the way it is,” Langone said.
Fox News’ Daniella Genovese and FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.