I was asked to share the following letter to iStar:
As a lifetime Long Beach resident, I want to let iStar know that you’re marketing the Wayfarer project to the City of Long Beach, and it’s residents, in a totally misguided manner. I have a background in structured commercial mortgage credit and currently work at redacted, so I’m pretty knowledgeable on commercial real estate and finance in general. Continue reading I was asked to share this letter that was sent to iStar / Long Beach Wayfarer, LLC
John Asbury of Newsday clarifying some details:
I’m mobile, so I’m just sharing the image below. I’ll post more info once I get it.
May 22, 2016
Nassau County Industrial Development Agency
1550 Franklin Ave., Suite 235
Mineola NY 11501
Dear Chairman Kearney and IDA Members,
Thank you for providing the “Camoin Report”, commissioned to express the economic impact of the Wayfarer project. Upon reading the report, I feel that it omitted critical data that will help decide whether or not to grant the 109 Million dollars in tax relief sought by the developer. It only showed the economic impact of two options, developed or not developed, and nothing in-between. Just because the developer forces an all-or-nothing tactic, doesn’t mean they deserve it. Continue reading Another letter regarding the iStar / IDA Economic Impact Analysis
There is a final hearing on the iStar tax break in Mineola on Wednesday night (May 25th) at 7 pm. It’s at the Nassau County Legislature’s chambers, which is located at 1550 Franklin Avenue.
Let’s try to get as many Long Beach residents there as possible.
Another letter regarding the iStar/IDA/Cost Benefit Analysis. This one comes from a resident named Neal:
The cost/ benefit analysis performed by Camoin Associates for the Nassau IDA is more remarkable for what it failed to examine than for the metrics and attempt to quantify that it provided. We already knew that all the municipalities would benefit financially and that some jobs would be created by granting the tax abatement versus the status quo of the current tax assessment on the undeveloped property. But where is scenario 3 in this analysis? What about measuring the proposal versus I Star’s presentation to our zoning board suggesting that this shovel ready, fully capitalized project simply needed a variance for height/ density in order to be financially viable? What about exploring I Star’s profitability argument against the market realities of rock bottom interest rates, the low cost basis for I Star’s acquisition of the property, and the present and projected high demand and strong market for luxury apartments in settings that enable active lifestyles and transit access to NYC? Karl Frey, I Star’s Exective VP told members of our civic associations that IStar was looking for a 5% return on their investment. When asked if IStar would split any overage with Long Beach, he wouldn’t commit. How much would I Star need to raise its proposed rents on 528 apartments to achieve their target profit margins without applying for the $109M tax abatement ?
This report, even absent a specific recommendation, strikes me as a misdirection play that does nothing to expose the real dynamics of this issue: that I Star is trying to blackmail the City in a zero sum game in which it is either their way or nothing. It utterly misses the point by not exploring the potential of that property or the options the developer has for achieving their profit without taking out a profit insurance policy on the taxpayers dime.
I support the development of the Superblock. However, as a 31 year resident who has been looking forward to the day that real estate values reflect the amazing quality of life that we have here in Long Beach thereby allowing development to drive increasing tax revenues and some degree of tax relief for overburdened taxpayers, I ask my fellow residents to show up on Wednesday to bear witness, to let the IDA know what we know.