Friday, April 6, 2012
DOB hiding Franco's new plans?
From the Times Ledger:
The owner of the White House restaurant recently filed paperwork to build a series of retail stores and offices instead of a catering hall in Whitestone, but the city temporarily pulled the permits off a public database following a TimesLedger Newspapers inquiry.
In March 2012, Joe Franco, former owner of the defunct Caffe on the Green, resubmitted certain portions of his catering hall permit that was disapproved last summer, documents from the city Department of Buildings showed.
One of the new documents described a two-story building that would house an unknown number of offices and retail stores with parking for 32 cars in the rear.
A July 2011 version of the same form showed that Franco sought to build a two-story catering and banquet hall capable of holding more than 700 people.
Franco and his architect Christopher Papa declined to comment on the change in plans.
Last Thursday, this newspaper told a Buildings spokeswoman that several documents in the original permit had been resubmitted in March. The spokeswoman refused to answer repeated calls placed to her office over the next three days as to whether the swap was standard practice, which it may very well be. On Tuesday morning, the entire permit was temporarily pulled from the department’s website without explanation. It was not clear whether the document substitution and sudden disappearance of the permit were related.