Crain's is reporting that a number of bidders are lining up for the extra-legal Phase I that EDC has concocted in order to end run the fact that they have still been unable to obtain regulatory approval for Van Wyck ramps that the agency swore were essential for the viability of the Willets Point project: "Two major developers and the Mets' owners' real estate firm are among the firms that submitted proposals for the right to redevelop Willets Point, sources said."
Where the hell is the city council in all of this chicanery? Hiding under their desks as Queen Quinn flexes her muscles in anticipation of a quixotic mayoral bid. Oh, we know that she's polling pretty well now but when the voters get to see her in all her political ungainliness-and her cheek to cheek dancing with the mayor will be no benefit when the time comes-they will spit her ambitions out like tainted sea food.
This is the "leader" who won't even allow a hearing for Peter Vallone's bill on tracking the mayor when he sneaks out of town-and in the case of Willets Point, leading from behind becomes her specialty. The simple fact is that Phase I may be all there is if the ramps aren't approved-and this violates what the council approved three years ago. Quinn, however, can do nothing substantive since her movements are restricted by having to carry the mayor's coat-along with his water.
But the Crain's story does bring up the elephant in the room-the fact that the at least two of the developers, but particularly TDC,were subsidized by tax payer money to lobby for the project's approval:
"The Queens-based Times Ledger reported last month that Flushing-based TDC Development also made a bid. Opponents of the development cried foul at TDC Development's proposal because the firm played a role in the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corp., a nonprofit organization of private and public sector stakeholders seeded partially with city funds that advocated for the redevelopment.
“The city was paying for private developers to lobby,” said a spokesman for Willets Point United. "
Well it seems that our prosecutors are too preoccupied by all the low hanging fruit to go after the well heeled malefactors like the mayor-and possibly a governor who colluded with him to close off an investigation into the whole sordid affair.
What's missing of course is any one minding the store and watching the cost of this White Elephant. The city doesn't have the money and going forward at his juncture is irresponsible-not to mention probably illegal as well. One thing's for sure: The Mighty Quinn will not mess with the porridge being eaten by the mayor and the Queens Democratic Party-quite a change from those heady organizing days in Hell's kitchen.