Monday, January 9, 2012
Greater Jamaica ripping off Port Authority
From the NY Post:
Maybe the Port Authority would rather hike tolls than collect the $2.7 million it is rightfully owed from a politically connected nonprofit in Queens.
The PA forked over the taxpayer cash to the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. in 2004 as part of a phantom revitalization effort in downtown Jamaica.
Greater Jamaica, which has ties to Rep. Gregory Meeks, spent the $2.7 million to buy a run-down 6,000-square-foot building that housed a grocery store.
The nonprofit’s grand plan was to have a developer tear down the building and another next to it and replace them with a gleaming office tower that would house JetBlue airlines or other corporate tenants. The site — dubbed JFK Corporate Square — is next to the AirTrain connection to Kennedy Airport.
But eight years later, there is no corporate tower and very little to show for the investment. JetBlue decided to build a headquarters in Long Island City.
Under the terms of the 2004 deal with the nonprofit, the PA was supposed to get its money back or take ownership of the building if no development took place by the end of 2008.
Instead, Greater Jamaica sank at least $20,000 into renovating the property and uses it as an occasional meeting room.