Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bloomberg Misses the Hunts Point

Talk about misplaced outrage! Now Mike Bloomberg is upset because New Jersey may be offering tax subsidies to lure the Hunts Point Market away from NYC. The NY Post has the story: "Food fight! Mayor Bloomberg accused New Jersey officials yesterday of engaging in bribery for trying to lure the sprawling Hunts Point produce market out of The Bronx with a $200 million offer to move. "I don't like the idea of one state bribing a business to come," the mayor said on his weekly radio show."

Here's a guy whose only insight into economic development is to subsidize billionaire real estate developers to build malls that: (1)Displace existing small business, and (2)Indirectly reduce the ability of existing neighborhood retailers to compete by siphoning off business from local shopping strips.

So now Mike is being hoisted on his own subsidy sword and doesn't like how it feels. If real estate folks want to build malls-or redevelop Willets Point-they shouldn't do it with tax subsidies that, in essence, use the money paid to the city by existing businesses to effectively put the same businesses out at the curb.

But now, faced with the loss of yet another food manufacturing and processing business, the mayor better pony up. Hunts Point is not Stella D'oro. but is a huge economic engine for the Bronx. If Bloomberg can spend billions to throw us out of our property, he can surely find the $200 million needed to keep Hunts Point here.

If he's short a few hundred million, we know where he can find it.