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.
Several readers have been sending me photos and tidbits regarding the recent movement that has been happening on the Superblock. The photo posted above which was taken today shows a tremendous pile driver.
A reader named Jim tells me: “Guess they [iStar] are trying to get stuff in before their 1 year (that lasted 3 years) variance expires and before the upcoming meeting. “
It certainly sounds like it. The ZBA will vote on the variance this Thursday which will determine if the iStar building permit expired. iStar are going to do their best to show us how they already started construction. Here is another example of iStar trying to build their case, but really being nothing, but the assholes they really are. Just recently iStar served Long Beach with a $100 million dollar lawsuit because they claim our city has not supported their tax break request. I have posted the entire summons here [link].
DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU DON’T LIKE PROFANITY
The History of all this: Liar liar pants on fire Karl Frey, Executive Vice President of iStar Financial lied to us Long Beach residents back in 2014 when he sold many of us on the iStar project by never mentioning their plan to seek a tax abatement. At The Park, Liar liar Pants on fire Karl Frey told us the project was shovel ready with funds that were readily available.
What happened next had us residents furious.
After getting approval to build by convincing us they needed to add a few extra stories to make the project financially feasibly, iStar never broke ground. They project remained silent until it came out that they were seeking $127 million in tax breaks from the Nassau County IDA. That was rejected, so iStar tried again for $109 million. That was also rejected and rightfully so. Why would Nassau County IDA give iStar tax breaks on ultra rare waterfront property smack in the middle of a beach community that is walking distance to the LIRR?
So where are we today?
“It is with a great deal of reluctance that iStar filed this suit today,” said Karl Frey, iStar’s executive vice president. “For nearly a decade, we’ve worked closely with the city of Long Beach to create a development plan that would be both economically viable and provide extraordinary benefits to the city and its residents.” [NEWSDAY]
Yep. The Long Beach woes continue…. iStar Financial is suing us for $100 million for not publicly supporting their IDA request (That is complete bullshit. Below is a photo of City Councilman Anthony Eramo publicly speaking in favor of the project). IStar Financial has to be one of the dumbest fucking assbent over backwards companies out there. The Residents will respond to this. Meanwhile, the cost of construction keeps going up uP UP. Honest, Karl Frey, you are a fucking stupid and mean asshole. If I were an iStar shareholder, I would be pissed.
I was asked by my Seabythecity unpaid intern to share the following article with you all. It’s an old Newsday piece from 2001 on the superblock. Here we are 17 years later and the superblock is still a hot topic in Long Beach. Anyway, this is what my unpaid intern told me:
“I was there [in 2001] when Haberman made his presentation. It looked great to me. He was shot down because “he didn’t have hotel experience”?
As you know, Haberman built Sea Point Towers. They are pros. That site would have been generation full taxes more than 15 years if the LB Dems had put LB first.”
I was asked to post images of the flyers that were on every seat at the Tuesday night ZBA meeting regarding iStar. I have no idea who made them, so I apologize for not giving anybody proper credit. I have to assume that the creator is totally ok for me to post them here. (Right?)
Also, two posts ago I made a joke about iStar using bags of cement for the ‘work’ they said did, as mentioned in Newsday:
“A foundation permit was filed and a concrete slab was poured on the site, surrounded by a chain link fence off the boardwalk [NEWSDAY]
The following image and caption was posted on facebook by LB resident Sam Pinto. He gave me permission to repost here:
“Back in 2016, I happened to walk by the superblock as I saw one guy in concrete truck pouring some concrete. I saw that he cleared out what looked to be a 5 cubic yard hole, and the concrete was quickly poured into the it. I’m no engineer, but If this counts as a foundation for two 17 story towers, I would be shocked. I didn’t see any rebar, markings, tubes or flags. I’ve seen more concrete work for a lifted bungalow in the West End.”
“Attorneys for developers said the project is still moving forward and announced plans to seek new tax breaks to enable the start of construction.”
Thank you iStar for pushing through on destroying this community as much as you can. But don’t you have enough money to pay for this? I think you do [link].
“People know there’s been a change in [IDA] administration at the county level and the developers are optimistic to come to a deal to come to the IDA to proceed very quickly,” said Scott Mollen, an attorney for the development.
It sounds like a deal is already in place. Can we investigate this like how we investigated the Mangano mess?
“Developers said they believed they were in compliance with the conditions of the city. A foundation permit was filed and a concrete slab was poured on the site, surrounded by a chain link fence off the boardwalk.”
I cannot believe they are using that tiny hole as a way of saying they already started work. Did that concrete come out of a paper bag? This is disgraceful.
Ugh, I really don’t want to do this blog anymore, but there are times like these when I feel like have no choice. But I really don’t want to blog anymore. I love not paying attention. I have not been going to any of these meetings. I’ve been living in the dark and it’s been great, but then I go on facebook, I see what my friends post, I read Newsday and I go nuts. I don’t want to do this blog anymore. I really don’t.
iStar originally came to the IDA asking for $129 million dollars. They are now down to $82 million. As the Newsday editorial [image below] and many have pointed out, what was that $47 million dollars, gravy? How can the City Council be legally beholden to an agreement when the people they agreed with are so obviously trying to game the system. It is impossible to demand that the City Council follow through with that agreement given the way that is has been handled by iStar where they have blatantly shown that all they are after is more profit.
It’s time for you to do the right thing. A $105 million dollar lawsuit that we potentially face due do your negligence is something you can clear up by sending the letter that iStar requires, telling them that you gave them permission to go to the IDA. After you do this, us residents will try to clean up your mess.
“Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford says that the developer looking to build luxury apartments on the Superblock will make a third attempt to secure a tax abatement to move forward with the project — and may sue the city if it is denied again.
Many moons ago , iStar came in with this project. THEY SAID THEY WERE SHOVEL READY and our city gave them approval to build. There was not one mention of IDA when this all happened.
Shovel ready was complete BS, because they came back a year later looking for a major tax break, that would, in my opinion, ultimately hurt all the residents of Long Beach.
What would be the basis for a lawsuit? The City of Long Beach gave them permission, then kept their mouths shut. We were begging our officials to talk and they wouldn’t. It was the will of the people who were against the IDA, because we don’t want to pay for luxury beachfront units that are on ultra-rare property that’s a hop, skip and jump away from Manhattan.
The Long Beach public forum on this topic is May 9, at 6:30 p.m at City Hall.