Tuesday, November 30, 2010
EDC in damage control mode
Some business owners in Willets Point were facing eviction Tuesday morning. But now the city says it will be working out an agreement.
Redevelopment of the area known as the Iron Triangle next to Citi Field has been a source of controversy for years. The city has purchased some property and is negotiating with others. A few owners with businesses on what it is now city property were sent eviction notices last month by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
When PIX 11's Greg Mocker heard about the possible evictions, he headed to the area.
The Economic Development Corporation, which is in charge of the project, initially told Mocker: "When the City acquired properties at Willets Point for redevelopment, it transferred the leases to HPD to manage until redevelopment begins. The City has set aside $3 million in relocation assistance for tenant businesses that will be available once relocation is necessary. Out of a total of more than 100 leases managed by the City at the Willets Point site this issue pertains to 2 former commercial property owners who negotiated sales with the City for their property, and then executed lease-back agreements with the City that allowed them to remain on the property as a tenant paying rent to the City for the length of their new lease. The tenants who received the 30-day notices have leases that have expired and have not contacted the City to renegotiate a new lease. HPD is serving notice that as previously agreed upon, they must vacate the property by that date."
After additional calls from Mocker, other New York Media and NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras, the city issued said it intends to work out an agreement.