Thursday, February 9, 2017
BdB investigation halts sale of prison to film studio
From SI Live:
The sale of the old Arthur Kill prison site to Broadway Stages was rejected by the state comptroller's office because of the company's ties to investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio's political fundraising.
The office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli returned the sale contract to state agencies unapproved for "lingering vendor responsibility issues" and questions over the public's investment in the land deal.
The $7 million sale price may be as much as $45 million below market value.
Charlotte Davis, the comptroller's director of contracts, detailed reasons for rejecting the sale in a letter to Frank Pallante of the state Office of General Services on Dec. 21, 2016.
"As discussed," Davis wrote, "Broadway Stages and its owner and president, Gina Argento, appear to be involved parties in State and Federal investigations into campaign contributions to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio."
While the state can resubmit the contract, the rejection further stalls plans for a new production studio at the closed Arthur Kill Correctional Facility in Charleston.
Three years after the state selected Broadway Stages to develop the land, concerns have been raised over political contributions, tax issues, business integrity and the property's value.
Exactly when the new studio will open is still unclear.