Long Beach block burdens community [Op-ed]

I was given permission by Neal to share a letter he wrote that was originally published in Newsday regarding iStar/IDA:

Long Beach block burdens community

I was deeply troubled that the entire membership of Nassau County’s Industrial Development Agency did not attend the meeting held to obtain taxpayer feedback on the request by iStar Financial Inc. and AvalonBay Communities Inc. for tax breaks [“Tax break tangle,” News, June 4].

Speakers were told that the IDA would receive a transcript of the meeting on the proposed $273 million luxury apartment and retail project on the Superblock in Long Beach. However, it undermines the credibility of the agency to mediate between the community’s concerns and high-powered, big-money players. The $128.6 million in tax breaks for this developer would leave the average Joe and Jane making up the difference.

While the IDA members may in fact peruse the transcript of people’s comments, they will not be able to feel the passion of the speakers who described what we believe is a bait and switch. The developers obtained a controversial variance to build what many consider inappropriately tall and massive buildings by touting the tax benefits that would be realized by Long Beach and the county.

The developers assured the community that they were fully capitalized to begin the project immediately. Now we learn the truth: that the burden of providing municipal services for their tenants would be placed on the rest of us.

Neal J. Monteko, Long Beach

Don’t forget, iStar recently took out a full page ad in the LB Herald defending the tax abatement request. Karl Frey, Executive Vice President of iStar even asked us to email him our questions and concerns: kfrey@istar.com. Of course, you can always email Nassau County IDA or call Ed Mangano while you’re at it.

What’s the status of all this? Just rumors with no merit.

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5 thoughts on “Long Beach block burdens community [Op-ed]”

  1. Neal wrote a wonderful letter. It’s surprising that Newsday printed it considering their affiliation with the City Council which so strongly endorses the project.

  2. Well said!

    Reposting my response this morning to Richard Boodman regarding the I-Star flimflam:

    I-Star’s IDA Application I-Star can be found at Anthony’s May 30, 2015 SBTC posting titled “APPLICATION FOR IDA FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE WAYFARER SUPERBLOCK. 174 PAGES. ENJOY!”.

    The IDA Application includes materials submitted by I-Star to the Long Beach ZBA in January 2014 for the zoning variance. Those materials, include, among other things, various reports prepared by engineers, lawyers, environmental and financial assessment firms. Appendix B thereto, which can be found at page 104 of the IDA Application PDF, is entitled “Long Beach Superblock Economic and Fiscal Impact Analyses”, prepared for I-Star by 4ward Planning.

    In the executive summary, at page 3, the report states “The proposed development plan, to consist of 522 residential units and approximately 11,500 square feet of retail space, is expected to produce over $4 .8 million in new net revenue for the City of Long Beach and the Long Beach School District.” There is then a summary chart which shows City real property tax revenues of $1,377,877 and school district real property tax revenues of $4,172,640.

    The details of the taxes can be found at pages 22 – 23 of the report. The concluding sentence is: “Projected City revenues amount to $1,377,877, and projected school district revenues amount to $4,172,640, for a total of $5,550,527 in new revenues.”

    Flim-flam, flip-flop, bait&switch.

  3. In the ad iStar took out in the Herald this week Karl Frey states that “We want to be an outstanding corporate citizen, neighbor and friend.” Here is a novel concept…if you really want to be a good neighbor, come down here to Long Beach with your Avalon partners and have a public meeting where people can ask questions and get answers.

  4. The big challenge will be your City Council. they are so lost and controlled by the Dem Leader that this deal will unfortunately be shoved down our throats. The law firm repping iStar is the Nassau Dem Committee (Harris, Beach). The IDA has little or no interest in how residents feel. They aren’t elected officials. Your Council and City Manager pushed this through at the behest of the Dem Leader. Remember this when they claim to “care about the residents” during the upcoming campaign. We were hosed on this deal and there should be some accountability.

  5. Someone correct me if I am wrong on any of this as I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this.

    The backdoor dealings between Harris Beach and the Local Development Corporation (aka Patti Bourne) should be investigated.

    A city employee (Economic Development) is also being payed by the same company that set up the LDC (Harris Beach) and represents iStar (Harris Beach). Bourne waved a $1,500,000 fee on iStar already – how is any of this legit? Bourne sat on the board of the Glen Cove IDA with Suozzi (Beach Harris) who is also an approved law firm by the Nassau County IDA- the very ones who are going to decide if iStar gets this bs tax break. Oh and some of those Nassau County IDA members who are deciding this were APPOINTED BY SUOZZI (Beach Harris).

    This is what hopeless feels like.

    How is any of this legal? How are we the taxpayers footing the bill for this “Economic Development” to oversee the LDC and give handouts to her friends who represent iStar AND have been in bed with the Nassau County IDA for over a decade?

    Election year. We need to get Zapson out of Long Beach.

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