Thursday, July 11, 2013
Lots of pols responsible for the sad state of St. Saviour's site
Here are photos from nutrichris on Flickr that show the current condition of the St. Saviour's site. Currently, 1/4 of the site is occupied by 4 warehouses, one of which is for sale (although strangely, that's not a photo of it at the link for it).
The others have already been sold, with involvement by the Empire State Development Corporation and the U.S. Small Business Administration. (Because news of being screwed out of a park by the local government got around, so the state and feds decided to join the fun.)
Recently, applications were put in for 4 more warehouses on the undeveloped portion. The architect? CB1's Gerald Caliendo.
Now, as you can see from the photos, the site is still being used as a dump inside and out, the construction fence is falling down and part is still sidewalk-free.
Of course, the lion's share of responsibility for this lands squarely in the lap of no-talent Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who totally bungled an amazing chance to develop a park at the site. However, there's plenty more blame to go around. What involvement did the BP candidates have (or not have)? Here's what I have gathered from activists:
Council Member Peter Vallone said he couldn't get involved because it wasn't in his district, yet he had no problem showing up at rallies for Brinckerhoff Cemetery as far back as 2008. I guess since Caliendo gave $12,275 in donations to him, he decided it was a convenient excuse.
Former Council Member and Chair of Land Use Melinda Katz sided with Dennis Gallagher and wanted to see the church torn down and replaced with 75 housing units. Had the zoning change ever come in front of her, it surely would have passed. As Land Use Chair, Melinda had the power to influence the Landmarks Preservation Commission when the site was suggested for designation. She refused to do so. (We won't even go into what she did to landmark-worthy sites in her own district.)
Council Member and current Land Use Chair Leroy Comrie has been head of the Queens delegation now for years. The county delegation chairs get a pot of money every year during budget time to spread around their boroughs. Comrie had no interest in securing the extra $50K or so that was necessary to begin the ULURP and get the acquisition process started when everyone was on board and it was actually possible.
And of course, we don't have to remind you that the only BP candidate that ever showed up and tried to help was Tony Avella.
If this shitshow can happen in Maspeth, it can happen in everyone else's community as well. Vote for a borough president candidate wisely.