Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Naked Concessions" and "Shaky Retail"

The Bond Buyer has an interesting look at Bloomberg's Folly over at Willets Point, and for a business publication makes an interesting observation about the viability of the retail development:

"In a positive sense, it’s more attuned to the reality of the marketplace today, much less than what had been promised and described,” Sanders said. “There’s nothing bothersome or offensive, but for the most part it looks like just a great big shopping mall. Retail is a very fragile thing. That’s the dilemma.

Do you get that? What the real estate folks are saying is that this is a more doable project-not like the grandiosity of the original. But it was the flight of fancy in the original concept that got the attention of the city council-a body that was otherwise reluctant to use eminent domain and toss out small property owners on their butts.

Instead we get, "just a great big shopping mall," something that Karen Koslowitz, who chairs the city council Economic development Committee deems unnecessary. As for the transfer of the land-a sale that originally cost hundreds of millions in tax payer dollars-the Bond Buyer remarks that: "Boland said the Mets receiving the land for free is not a “naked concession” and thus no cause for alarm."

"Naked concession?" Is that a term of art? That leads us to ask what the difference might be between a concession that is naked and one that is fully clothed-and in the case of Sterling Equities the fact that the concession is not apparently naked to this one observer means that he is unaware of the company's skulduggery and conspiracy to acquire the property over a twenty year period.

In fact, this concession is so naked a theft of public property that the Wilpons might as well have been streaking across the outfield of their own ballpark. In our view the deal resembles the Emperor's clothes of the Hans Christian Anderson fable-Emperor Bloomberg is quite without clothes in our view and he's pleasantly sharing a hot tub with Jeff Wilpon who is laughing his naked ass off.