Thursday, October 27, 2011

230th Street shopping plaza delayed

One last story from this week's Riverdale Review.

By Brendan McHugh 

The future shopping center at 230th Street and Broadway has gone through delay after delay over the past decade, and after being scrapped and restarted, has hit it’s first delay. 

The deadline for interested developers to submit proposals to the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has been extended two weeks, from Monday, Oct. 24 to Nov. 7. 

However, this may be the first good delay the project has ever seen. According to EDC spokesperson Kyle Sklerov, “There is significant interest in the Broadway Plaza site and we have extended the deadline to allow respondents more time to finalize their proposals.” 

Sklerov added that developers requested the additional time because they needed more time to finalize their proposals on the 80,000 square foot lot that will include a pedestrian plaza where Kimberly Place currently is. 

Jump below for the full story.

“Dotting the t’s and crossing the I’s pretty much,” said one developer who jokingly mixed up the saying. He asked not to be named, and other developers also confirmed that they were working on proposals, but only under the condition of anonymity because their companies try not to publicize their interest in sites. 

Local community leaders were pleased to hear that developers were using the extended time to enhance and finalize proposals. 

“We're happy the deadline has been extended,” Community Board 8 chairman Robert Fanuzzi said. “Good proposals can get better and new proposals can come in. The community will come out the winner the more choices there are.” 

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who has been following the site since the first attempt at developing it, has high hopes that the delay will lead to a vibrant commercial area.

“I would like there to be as many good proposals as possible,” he said. “I want to see a lot of good quality stores in our neighborhood. The site should be used to the max with commercial development. If there are more choices that can’t be a bad thing."

EDC has said this site is one of the last major commercial development opportunities in the city. 

“This site has the potential to generate substantial private investment, thereby stimulating economic activity and creating good jobs in the Bronx.” 

Earlier this year, Ceruzzi Holdings was set to purchase the land from the city after two years of delays, but they failed to close on the deal by a June 30 deadline and forfeited a $1 million purchasing price. They had agreed to pay $6.7 million total for the space after negotiating the city down from $15 million in 2006. 

Debate over whether or not the site should include housing has been linked to the project for years. A handful of proposals included housing the first time the city accepted bidders, though none of them made it to the final round. The community board has yet to take a position on if they support housing with the new request for proposals, saying they shouldn’t take a position before seeing what is offered. 

Dinowitz has sparred with local groups on this issue because he has strongly opposed housing and would like to see the project be 100 percent commercial development. Local group Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation submitted a proposal the first time and included housing.

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