Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Latest on CUNY dorm at Hunter's Point
Here is the latest on the Hunters Point CUNY dormitory + luxury tower proposal:
OCA - the O'Connell Group is the developer. The O’Connell Group is a Real Estate Equity Fund, that in order to meet the 15 percent return on investment to their investors, must milk the taxpayer from both ends. The first part of their double dip is to grossly exaggerate the toxic cleanup costs and fabricate government requirements which has kept them in the ORIGINAL brownfield program allowing them to collect handsomely on both cleanup and construction costs. The second part of the dip is to go for seven variances, amounting to 3X what the zoning allows and include removing light and air from our neighborhood to build a misplaced luxury tower that will have high infrastructure demands.
If you don't want to see your tax money going to wealthy investors, you need to convince the Board of Standards and Appeals that OCA has made some errors in their strategy and numbers. This could be a precedent that would open the doors to developers in many other parts of the City.
Also, this will be Hunters Point's first new construction that will be substandard. In fact, with its multi variance request, including windowed walls closer than allowed and odd shaped open courts, it approaches the configuration of a tenement.
What you can do:
Contact elected officials with these specifics, concentrating on the taxpayer issue.
Convince the media that there is a Citywide story here. OCA is not going to stop in HP.
Contact the Municipal Art Society which keeps a track on these kinds of issues - our project manager is Susana Schraller.
We need a massing model of the building to point out how substandard it is.
Come to the next BSA hearing.
The next BSA hearing will be August 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM. The BSA is located at 40 Rector Street (R or 1 train to Rector Street).