Assemblyman Joseph Lentol—who was quoted in a story published in the Greenpoint Star, yesterday, issued a press release today, regarding the NYC Housing Preservation & Development’s financial projections of CPC’s Domino development—making his opinions even more clear. Read on.
Statement from Assemblyman Lentol: Examining the CPC Domino Refinery HPD Waterfront Analysis Numbers
This document, which says that back in 2006 it was possible for CPC to make close to half a billion dollars without even considering or accounting for the commercial or office space was hardly a shock to me. It is what we, in the community, have been saying for years, that there is no way that they are only just barely covering their costs. I have said it over and over again. And when Domino gives me the same answer, that this plan with this height and this density is the only way to make the project work I have asked for them to show me the numbers and explain why that is. All I have asked for is transparency to prove why this height and density and impact is necessary to cover the cost of affordable housing and historical preservation and I have gotten a broken record and no transparency in return. Much less any reason why this they need to impact our city infrastructure in such a negative way without giving back. Now we know why: this project does not have to be nearly this high or this dense in order to cover the affordable housing be transparent with us!
Because they know if we saw these kind of profits that we would demand that they not damage our community in the way they are talking about
They have said, every time, that the only way they can build the affordable housing and keep the landmark status is to build so high and so densely that they bring potentially six, to potentially way more, even eight thousand new residents into six, yes six, city blocks.
Yet by 2006 projections they could be making between 400,000 to almost half a billion for a not for profit!
And anyone who uses the argument that real estate is worth less now than in 2006 so these numbers aren’t valid isn’t being realistic. By the time this project is built these numbers probably wont be valid because CPC will probably be making more. Because if there is anything that’s true about New York, real estate always goes up, even after a short blip in the road. The argument that they will be making less because of the recession is crap! Just crap.
The real estate market has already started turning around and this Domino hasn’t even started being built yet. Mark my words, by the time it would be built these profit projections will be low!! And remember these profit projections don’t include the commercial profit. Only the housing profit, so they will actually be making way more. CPC will be making more money than half my district combined sees in ten lifetimes and it will be doing it at the cost of our community and our infrastructure.
Now that I have seen these documents I know for sure, without a doubt that CPC can cut their height and density dramatically. And I do mean dramatically and if they do so then follow through on their statements that they are working with the community, possibly even increase the affordable housing. We now know that they are making plenty of profit, hand over fist, so they can work with the community and the city to plan for and fix the many many problems that even a dramatically reduced project, forget the current project which would be disastrous on our infrastructure, will bring. By this I mean the MTA’s public transportation system, other types of transit including bike, vehicle and pedestrian traffic, the education system, emergency medical, fire and police services, social services, sunlight, open space and the character of the neighborhood would be completely overwhelmed by this plan.
They can build a plan that will not completely overwhelm the community. The can work with the community, and now that they have already been forced to be transparent, I hope we can continue down that road of open communication and transparency.
And if they have a problem with anything I’m saying, then they can start by giving us the transparency they should have been giving us in the first place and show how and why I am wrong. But at this point, from a not for profit company that that has claimed they are barely making money and has projections that are likely on the low side that have them making half a billion, I and this community, will accept nothing less than what I have outlined above and a complete reduction of the project so that it fits the community, fits the contributes to the community’s infrastructure and gives us everything we should have gotten in the first place starting with transparency.
Now remember, I don’t have a vote in all this. I don’t sit on the city council, I sit on the State Assembly, so even now that we know this truly upsetting information and that I have examined it in depth myself, it is not my opinion that matters. It is the opinion of the community and the city council. So all I can do is share what I know after looking at the numbers and say that this isn’t right for our community and hope and pray that the negotiations go in a way that benefits the community as a whole and is completely transparent so everyone knows where they stand. What I also know is that these documents give us the power and evidence we need to negotiate a vastly different deal that negotiates the community.