Thursday, December 5, 2013

Because 23 acres for $1 just isn't enough corporate welfare

From the Daily News:

The developers of a mega-mall slated to rise on the parking lot at Citi Field are seeking almost $43 million in tax breaks, but opponents of the project — including many auto body shops in the area — argue they should get no breaks at all.

The city will hold a public hearing on Thursday to evaluate the request for the exemptions for the $3 billion Willets Point redevelopment, which includes the one-million-square-foot mall and housing.

The city plans to sell the 23-acre site near Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for $1 to the Queens Development Group, which is composed of Sterling Equities and Related Companies.

The city’s Industrial Development Agency will decide whether to grant the tax breaks to the group on Tuesday — and there is plenty of opposition. “This whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end,” said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside.) “How do you justify (giving) tens of millions of taxpayer money when you’re selling the property to the developers for a dollar?”

Sorry, that $43M is needed for the NYS Pavilion. Take a hike.

The land that the Wilpons' mall will be built on is parkland that was never officially alienated, and is basically being handed over as part of the $1 package deal. The city can point to an outdated Robert Moses contract mentioning the Board of Estimate, but I can see this ending up in court.

Here's Tony Avella's testimony on the matter:

Testimony for NYC Industrial Development Agency Straight Lease Transaction for Willets Point Development


Anonymous said...

It does not matter what Avella says; unfortunately, this is a done deal, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Is that Goldrich commenting here on QueensCrap?

The lawsuits haven't even started yet on this. What's done can un-done.

Anonymous said...

For the $1 pricetag, they should be obligated to restore and maintain the NYS Pavilion, but we dont have any politicians with a spine.

ron s said...

Tell them that a condition for approval is complete restoration of a functioning NYS tower.

Anonymous said...

How much you wanna bet that the Wilpon's sell the Mets after their mall is completed? At that point they will own most of the commercial property surrounding Citi Field and won't need the team as their anchor.

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 5: That might be the one thing that makes the whole deal worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Good try, Tony but the crooks couldn't care less about your opinions and press conferences.

It's up to WPU's lawyers now!
Legal recourse, not words, get things done if they can.

Sit back in your lawn chairs and enjoy the games!