Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Development May Come to a Screeching Halt
It has been said that the nation has in the last four years been slowly recovering from a recession in which middle class net worth has been reduced some 40%. The City of Yonkers (CoY) has been the reluctant witness to these circumstances. Among so many other excuses heard expressed by spokespeople such as Peter Klein who make claims that developers Cappelli and Fidelco are in earnest pursuit of finding financial resources and prospective tenants for the various facets of the downtown development. Adept at “Bait and Switch” tactics, FC Yonkers will address tonight’s Planning Board Meeting requesting extensions to planning deadlines. Promise Yonkers everything and deliver on little, if anything months later. All talk, no guarantees. The “Bait and Switch” definition that has been the ruin on CoY.
Klein continues to assert the economy is in decline. Really? FC Yonkers requested a three years extension of its site-plan approvals for two projects; the River Park Center, a residential, commercial and entertainment complex, inclusive of a 6,500-seat baseball stadium that would be situated on the Chicken Island parking facility, and the Cacace Justice Center expansion that would include a hotel city offices and a new Fire Department Headquarters to replace the one presently located on School Street.
Under the name of SFC Yonkers, the developer was designated the Master Developer. When was Master Developer status transferred and thereafter designated to become part of the FC Yonkers developer and / or any other “evolutionary” permutation thereof?
The Master Developer designation / contract stipulated responsibilities demanded of CoY and likewise of FC Yonkers. To date, CoY has complied with the covenants stipulated, whereas FC Yonkers and its previous permutations have not. Instead, FC Yonkers has requested and received a lifeline of support from Al DelBello, long-time legal counsel to FC Yonkers, and Nick Spano, lobbyist for some of Louis Cappelli’s development projects.
Take note that in the case of Homes for America Housing, Yonkers Corporation Counsel did not demand collateral to guarantee the HUD 108 loan afforded Homes for America. Amicone’s Administration hid that fact from the public eye and no one was made aware of the default. Now you know what City Hall didn’t want you to know.
FC Yonkers is also seeking an additional one-year extension for Palisades Point, the plots of land designated “H & I”, upon which two riverfront apartment towers are to be built.
“The Yonkers City Council has not been briefed,” noted Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick. Inquiry as to the oversight permitted and designated to the Yonkers City Council is presently being reviewed.
The Planning Board has moved it scheduled meeting from June 11th to today, June 13, 2012, to 5:30 p.m., and will conduct themeeting at the Yonkers City Council Chambers located at 40 South Broadway.
Peter Klein continues to spin his impotent words in the tradition of a “bait and switch” tactitian. He blames the economy for the “built-out” being not what was hoped for when in reality it is FC Yonkers who are not sufficiently fluid financially to garner financial support from any banking institution willing to back FC Yonkers. Why should they be granted an extension? CoY is dancing with the wrong developers.
Where are the tenants that were supposed to move into the Yonkers downtown? Did any of them sign? Did they ever exist? “Bait and Switch” works like a charm.
The bottom line is that without an extension for the FC Yonkers project afforded the Cappelli and Fidelco developers, they will lose their Master Developer status, shutting down the operation once and for all. More importantly, CoY can easily find a solvent developer ready, willing and able to initiate the project yesterday. Its time to move forward. Yonkersites have suffered enough. Leadership and focus is required of the Yonkers Planning Board and support must be afford Mayor Spano and the City Council to make the changes worthy of CoY, not a few greedy, arrogant developers who have used words to create a mirage they are incapable of ever completing.
Klein asserts an extension will “send the right signal to the market that the project is on track.” Yonkers Tribune suggests it will not. Few believe in Cappelli and Fidelco succeeding. Even New York State has not granted state funds to buy out the New Main Street stores using eminent domain and condemnation to obtain the property for $24 million awaiting to be paid by New York State. Klein blames the city for this and other circumstances.
Throw the bums out!