Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bait and switch

The $236 million project on 125th Street and Park Avenue promised to bring 2,500 jobs and the first new major tourist hotel to Harlem since the Hotel Theresa closed its doors in 1966.

The envisioned Marriott, and the community-benefits agreement that came with it, fell through when the developer, Michael Caridi, sold his interest later in 2005 to Vornado Realty Trust, a real estate giant that controls 22 million square feet of space in Manhattan. Instead, a 21-story, 640,000 square foot office tower is planned and scheduled for completion sometime in 2009.

Harlem Park plans worry residents

Some lawmakers, though, worry that the new development is moving forward without the kind of community oversight that the original agreement had.

"It was the old bait and switch," said state Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan), who opposed the project when he was in the City Council. "These projects have to come through us to get the authority to build a certain height. Once we give them the authority and the project doesn't go through, the owner, without doing anything, has increased the value of the property, and they can sell it without going back to the council for approval."


Anonymous said...

This represents another baby step in gentrifying Harlem and preparing it for "White" occupation.

What have you got to say on the subject Bill Clinton?
Your office isn't very far away!

Too busy stumping for your wife?
Bill-ary....now there's a pair of opportunistic grifters
posing as caring individuals!

Obama for president!

Anonymous said...

The Village voice had a great article on him http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0605,robbins,71986,5.html

Right now, the developer is fighting a felony indictment for having allegedly defrauded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by failing to pay prevailing wages to workers on a $2.3 million subsidized housing project in Rockland County.
Shows what a nice track record he has with his finances.

Several trustees said Caridi had quickly let them know that he was good friends with Gargano, the chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation and Pataki's key economic development adviser. This political pull is probably what got him approval.

Bill Perkins, the former city councilman representing Harlem, said that Caridi had also raised Gargano's name when he came to seek council support for a rezoning of the site. "He said, 'Charlie will help me here.' He was very proud of that," recalled Perkins, who opposed the height of the project as out of scale with the community. Out of scale yet he did nothing further to alarm and protect the community from this guy and his inexperience.

In 1998, Caridi's sister Michele, and her husband, Edward "Biff" Halloran, an alleged Genovese crime family associate, were charged in a securities swindle (Michele pleaded guilty; her husband fled). An uncle, Stephen Caridi, went to prison in 2001 after admitting to bribing labor officials who held lavish retreats at the family-owned Friar Tuck Inn in the Catskills.
This gives an idea of where he gets his morals

Anonymous said...

Bait and switch.

Cannot wait for those folks to see all those downzone studies in eastern Queens were not only outragously priced, but all but useless.

Manhattan and Brooklyn are filled with all sorts of empty promises like bait and switch.

You guys will find out soon enough.