Friday, October 26, 2012
Tweeding on the Park?
From A Walk in the Park:
The city has finally announced the compensation it will receive from the controversial new Tavern On the Green and not surprisingly it is far less than what it was previously offered, NYC Park Advocates has learned.
The fees to be paid to the city begin at just $1,000,000 a year and rise to $3,273,000 for the final year totaling $ 38.7 million over the twenty year agreement.
By comparison, Jennifer Leroy whose family had operated the iconic eatery since 1974 - agreed to pay the city $86 million in fees over a 20-year lease according to financial documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Law. Mayor Bloomberg rejected that proposal two years ago and instead awarded the license to Dean Poll who offered $57.3 million. Mr. Poll, who runs the nearby Boathouse Cafe - was unable to open the restaurant.
In addition to losing tens of million of dollars in lost revenue the City is also spending $ 10 million dollars in capital improvements fixing up the building for the new concessionaire who will then build out the space. The dramatic renovation has completely gutted the property.
The Bloomberg administration awarded the twenty-year Central Park bar and restaurant concession to the Philadelphia-based Emerald Green Group, where Jim Caiola, a brother-in-law of ex-deputy mayor - and current Bloomberg LP. employee Kevin Sheekey - is a partner. Mr. Sheekey is also the older brother of former Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Sheekey who was appointed by Bloomberg as the president of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
I think an investigation is in order.