Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cornerstone Group's tactics raise questions

The Real Deal examines the Cornerstone Group and finds there isn't much information available out there about them, they aren't very helpful to the businesses and people they are attempting to relocate and they don't always do everything legally. An excerpt:

While Cornerstone has been in the business for decades, it does not maintain a Web site. Sources who have worked with the firm say its principals, Gary Curry and Stuart Polinsky, are publicity shy.

In one of the few published interviews that Gary Curry has given, he told the Willets Point blog Iron Triangle Tracker in November that "this is a job that a lot of people don't like to do, but we do it and we like to do it."

He also described some of the work Cornerstone would do for Willets Point businesses: "We'll go back in and start finding out the square footages of the businesses … We'll see what they have there and what they want to do, where they want to go. If they want to relocate together we'll try to put them together."

Some Willets Point business owners say, however, that while they've had contact with Cornerstone, they are not sure what the firm does.

"All I know is that they walked around and gave business cards around. They gave one to one of my workers," says Jake Bono, the third-generation owner of Bono Sawdust and Supply Co. and spokesperson for Willets Point United Against Eminent Domain, a group representing property owners and tenants that do not want to leave Willets Point to make way for the EDC's redevelopment plans.

Bono continues: "The city hires these companies to accumulate a paper trail. They're not doing anything to help anyone."

He argues, "They let the city say in court, ‘On such-and-such date Cornerstone went to the site and gave out 50 business cards.'"