Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wide discrepancy in EDC's deals

From the NY Times:

Whenever the city pursues a development project that involves buying land from private parties, it usually keeps details of the negotiations with property owners under wraps. Sale prices are rarely disclosed to avoid influencing other owners into asking more for their property.

That has been the case in Willets Point, a 62-acre section of Queens next to Citi Field that is the target of one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious development plans.

The area, arguably one of the most neglected pieces of real estate in the city, is home to hundreds of auto repair shops, junkyards and manufacturing businesses. Mr. Bloomberg’s goal is to perform a complete facelift, razing all that is there and replacing it with homes, offices, retail stores, restaurants, parks and a hotel.

An article in The New York Times on Tuesday details the fight that is being waged against the city by a group of land owners who don’t want to sell their properties, and notes that the city has reached deals to buy or has bought 64 percent of the land at the site.

When asked which parcels the city had bought and how much it had paid for them, David Lombino, a spokesman for the Economic Development Corporation, said he could not disclose that information “because it would impede negotiations with other landlords going forward.”

But with some research that information can be found. And it turns out that some owners did a lot better than others.