Kudos to the Long Beach Zoning Board for having the guts to deny iStar Financial an extension, rendering their superblock foundation permit invalid. iStar recently tried to pull a fast one by pretending work was underway the other day, but it was a little too late (sorry, pals.) Now work has stopped and iStar plans on following through with their lawsuit for $100 million against our city.
In 2014 at The Park Sports bar & Grill (now called The Junction) residents were told by executive vice president of iStar Karl Frey how the project was shovel ready, only to find out a year later about the tax abatement request of $120 million for 20 years. I personally know many residents who claim they were lied to and changed their mind on development once they heard about the tax abatement. iStar is also claiming how the Nassau IDA would have given them the abatement if Long Beach wrote a letter of support. If that’s an official claim, then they must prove that in court. Who led them on? Who in the Nassau IDA told them they were waiting for our blessing?
The bottom line is this: iStar should have been honest upfront with us residents and told us from the beginning how they were seeking the tax breaks. It’s their fault that we’re in this situation and now we have to pay for their greediness.
In the meantime, iStar shareholders should sell their stock. Who would want to own a greedy company that’s in the business of destroying communities? Especially a community that was hit hard with Superstorm Sandy and still trying to get back to normal.