During his radio show on Tuesday, Mayor Noam Bramson commented publicly for the first time on the findings of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) Audit of the New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency, first reported by Talk of the Sound.
To listen you can download the 3 minute audio file here (3.7 MB .mp3 file)
The Mayor said the OSC issues audits like this for IDA's all the time. He said they are often quite similar in their content and cited a "recent or contemporaneous" audit of the Yonkers IDA that had many of the same conclusions.
A check of the OSC web site shows there is no such recent audit of the Yonkers IDA.
The most recent audit of the Yonkers IDA was made public on February 23, 2009.Read more
Talk of the Sound has obtained a copy of an IDA Audit Report of the New Rochelle IDA (NRIDA) which is expected to be released by the Office of the New York State Comptroller (OSC) next month. The document is meant to be public, has been circulated within City Hall but is not on the agenda for the IDA meeting scheduled tomorrow. A brief review of the summary shows why the IDA would prefer to kick the report down the road into the summer months when they hope less people will notice -- it is a devastating report which confirms what many critics have long contended about an IDA with no defined process for approving projects, no effort to monitor ongoing projects and a generally sloppy, make-it-up-as-you-go approach while doling out tens of millions of dollars in bonds, tax incentives and other goodies to politically-connected developers with no particular concern over whether the projects deliver upon promised results.Read more
Entertainment Properties Trust just released the following statement (below) which, as it bears on New Rochelle, says that Capelli and EPT did a swap where Capelli gets City Center in White Plains and EPT gets New Roc City and every one agrees to make nice with everyone else.
Missing is the retraction Capelli had demanded last week but all in all this is good news and good news for New Rochelle as it clears the area both over a key parcel in the City and frees up Capelli to focus on other things like finding retail tenants for Trump Tower.
ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIES TRUST AND LOUIS R. CAPPELLI ANNOUNCE RESTRUCTURING OF INVESTMENTS AND SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS
Kansas City, MO. June 18, 2010 — Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR) and Louis R. Cappelli today announced that they have closed a series of transactions that significantly restructure EPR's investments with Mr. Cappelli and settles all outstanding claims between the parties.
In general, the material terms of the restructuring include:
Not sure what meeting Hannan Adley was watching but she has a report in the Journal News on the New Rochelle City Council meeting earlier this week that paints a very Capelli-friendly picture of the outcome.
If you watch the video it is hard to see how Adley concludes that the vote was some sort of endorsement of Capelli and the LeCount Square project yet that is how it is presented. What Talk of the Sound saw was Barry Fertel calling Capelli a "highly litigious" person and his concern that Capelli will sue the City, Sussman is talking about the project in the past tense and the Mayor is clearly expressing his sorrow over a vote that effectively marks the end of a deal to which he staked his personal reputation. Not one council member voting for the resolution expressed any hope that Capelli would be able to buy the New Rochelle Post Office, a key provision of the deal.
Perhaps she will claim otherwise but it sure sounds like her primary (if not sole) source for her report was Joe Apicella who is the only person quoted in the piece.Read more
Entertainment Properties Trust has asked Judge Ortrie D. Smith for a 14 day extension in their case against LC New Roc LP, LLC, a Capelli entity, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District in Western Missouri last week.
On June 11th, J. Emmett Logan, an attorney at Stinson, Morrison, Heckler LLP representing EPT filed the request:
The extension is requested because the parties have executed a Letter of Intent to settle all claims in this and other actions and, while they have worked diligently to complete the Definitive Agreements that will implement the Letter of Intent, they have not yet completed
The filing goes on to say that both sides have agreed to what would be the second 14-day extension.
Louis Capelli told Talk of the Sound on Friday that he expects to sign the Letter of Intent imminently.
Sources tell Talk of the Sound that as part of the deal, EPT will turn over the City Center at White Plains which has been "upside down" since losing two major tenants, Circuit City and Filene's Basement. The Capelli entity that had been managing New Roc City has already been replaced by CB Ellis.Read more
Louis Capelli today fired off a searing email to David Brain, CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust, accusing EPT of unfairly damaging his reputation by making false statements and using inflammatory language during a publicly broadcast conference call last month.
Capelli asks Brain to give "immediate attention" to his call for EPT to retract its previous statements regarding a $700,000 transfer of funds among two Capelli entities which Capelli has described as both proper and necessary to his efforts to sign lease deals with Kohl's and Target at New Roc City.
In a story first reported by Talk of the Sound, EPT's CEO David Brain, COO Gregory Silver and and CFO Mark Peterson repeatedly bashed Capelli to Wall Street analysts and investors during a May 3rd conference call which was webcast live over the Internet, claiming a $700,000 transfer of funds was an "unauthorized loan", that Capelli management of New Roc had been "terminated" and bank accounts "seized" as a result.Read more
An entity controlled by Louis Capelli made an unauthorized $700,000 loan to itself, according to Capelli's partner in the New Roc Entertainment Retail Center. As a result of the unauthorized loan, the investor, Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT), terminated the management agreement with the Capelli entity and seized all bank accounts related to the project. EPT subsequently installed CB Richard Ellis as the day to day manager of the property.
UPDATE: Louis Capelli has responded to our story here, Entertainment Properties Trust Grossly Misrepresented New Roc Deal to Wall Street Analysts Says Capelli, Demands Retraction
Capelli is a partner with Entertainment Properties Trust in New Roc City and, through an affiliate, was also the property manager. EPT began legal action against various Capelli legal entities in 1Q10, including New Roc City in New Rochelle, City Center in White Plains and the Concord Resort in upstate New York.Read more
Public unions have gotten so used to clamoring for pay increases to keep up with inflation that when faced with an economy with little or no inflation they know nothing better but to keep making the same argument even as the greater danger in today's market is moving into a deflationary period which, as any one who has studied the Weimar Republic in post-WWI Germany can tell you, is a very dangerous economic situation in which civil order breaks down and maniacs like Adolph Hitler can be elected as dictators.
I am not suggesting deflation is imminent but the notion that public union workers needs raises when private sector employees are losing their jobs, having their hours scaled back or facing pay reductions is absurd. That they are making such demands in the face of state and local governments at the point of insolvency risks permanently discrediting the union movement and the workers they represent.
The biggest source of public sector funding in New Rochelle goes to F.U.S.E., the teachers union. While claiming to have negotiated a new contract last year, in fact, the "contract' was yet another extension of the existing contract which was to expire several years ago.Read more