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Is Forest City's Ship Sinking in New Rochelle's Echo Bay ? Maybe No Land Grab has the Answer

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Is Forest City's Ship Sinking in New Rochelle's Echo Bay ? Maybe No Land Grab has the Answer

August 18, 2009 - 03:42
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Staying ahead of the curve has been a challenge for Forest City Enterprises during these economic times . As if things weren't bad enough , the Cleveland based developer recently had it's wings clipped again by two leading credit rating firms . I won't bore you with the details , but a synopsis of the developers recent woes can be found at no land grab . What's interesting is that you won't necessarily see this info when you look up the stock trading info for the day . You'll see press releases and other analysis , but if it weren't for the folks at No Land Grab , I certainly wouldn't have known . Thanks guys!

The Aug 14 post about Bloomfield , N.J. having to pay 4.8 million to Forest City in an arbitration ruling is interesting in that the city claims Forest City is the one responsible for slowing down the development process. Sort of harkens back to Barry Fertel's criticism of Capelli's LeCount plans . The esteemed council member was concerned the project may stop midstream , leaving a hole in the ground similar to the halted project on 40th Street in Manhattan . Perhaps we should have the same reservations about Forest City and their phases planned for Echo Bay . Aside from doing nothing , the only thing worse would be a project coming to a halt soon after it begins .

The extension for Forest City's MOU is coming up soon . Do we haed down the road of LeCount and it's 12 extensions or should we stop and reevaluate just where we're going with this ? I know Forest City is having troubles, but you know what,so is every taxpayer in this city. Remember , in moving forward with this project (the merits and benefits yet to be defined) we will be paying off the bond to move the city yard estimated at 25 mil (do public projects ever come in as budgeted?) we have the sewage surcharge (700/year) and losses to the city coffers by the way of PILOT programs/tax abatements to the tune of 80 million dollars (the mayor , in his state of the city address says, we need to support our developers now more than ever) , and the devastation of the East End section of New Rochelle in the form of decreased property values and overcrowded traffic and noise . Who really benefits from this ? Not this generation . Point being , there IS a better way for Echo Bay and maybe now is the time to find it , before the ship goes down with our treasure chest.

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If you want a glimpse into just how Forest City operates , take a look at the site www.dddb.net/php/aboutratner.php
You'll see how plans change and you don't necessarily get what you thought you were going to get and how the burden on the taxpayer only goes up as the project goes ahead . More proof that the true cost to us will be much higher than city leaders lead us to believe . You cannot make an informed decision under these conditions . The politicians are over their head in business with very slick developer . How much are YOU willing tio pay to subsidize them?
-Plans drastically changed from original treatment
-Costs (and taxpayer subsidies nearly double original estimate
-Creates most dense population by factor of 2 , in the country
-Rips apart neighboring communities
-Tax dollars go to developer NOT schools
-Bad track record on local and minority hiring
-This site dddb.net really points out the same issues New Rochelle will face and it don't look to good . Woefully uninformed and kept in the dark yet the city would have you believe they have gone out of their way to be transparent . They have done nothing of substance that isn't required by law . We need an honest review and an in depth evaluation of the economic impact as it relates to the taxpayer not the developer.
Oddly enough , their newest version of the Brooklyn plan looks a lot like our Armory . Maybe they are on to something .

All to telling of what happens with unchecked development. These are the same issues and downfalls we face here , in New Rohelle , with the same developer and the same weak government ."Answer: That "Atlantic Yards", the largest single-source development proposal in the history of New York City, would cost taxpayers at least $1.6 billion; is wholly out of scale and character with the historic, low-rise residential communities that surround it; has no local legislative oversight or genuine community input; would create a traffic nightmare at Brooklyn's crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues; relies on an unconstitutional use and abuse of eminent domain; and places the greed and profit of one wealthy developer above the real needs of the communities it would affect." Just change the locale names and you would think it's N.R. their talking about . Can we really afford this kind of behavior and devestation ? I say no .

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