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17 April 2012

Pfizer Sells, But Not to Local Groups [✜]

Pfizer has sent a letter notifying Community Board 1 that they have reached an agreement to sell the last remaining large parcels of land from the drug giant's ancestral home. The agreement is with a group called 306 Rutledge Street II LLC, a "company acting on behalf of investors who have deep roots in the local community". The LLC, which has a mailing address of 173 Wallabout Street, appears to have formed within the past week or so.

I have been told that these investors are not the coalition of community groups who had offered Pfizer $10 million for the properties, with plans to develop the sites as affordable housing. Although Pfizer's letter offered few details, they specifically did not mention housing, affordable or otherwise.

30 March 2012

Domino Falls Down [✜]

Molly Heintz, in A|N:

[New CPC head] Cestero will be responsible for addressing Domino’s future as well as the bigger question of whether, given its mission, CPC-CPCR should have been involved with such a project in the first place.

CPCR Donated Over $100k to Local Supporters

According to the Brooklyn Paper, Community Preservation Corporation Resources, the for-profit developer leading the effort to redevelop the Domino Sugar site, paid out at least $100,000 to local groups over a two-year period. The neighborhood groups, which include El Puente, Los Sures, and Keren Ezer, received $10,000 each. (A fourth neighborhood group – Churches United […]

25 March 2012

Domino Fight Turns Sour [✜]

Eliot Brown, in the Wall Street Journal fills in a few important blanks on the Domino saga:

[After defaulting a $125 million loan] CPC cut a tentative deal with [lender] Pacific Coast Capital, in which CPC agreed to give the company an 84% stake in the property in exchange for forgiving the debt... Under the deal, CPC would have day-to-day control over the project for now. But Pacific Coast Capital would have final say over major decisions such as sales and new partnerships...

And then there's this:

The financial troubles of the Domino project also raise questions about some of the pledges CPC made when it won city approval for the project. According to city officials and [CPC CEO Rafael Cestero], the developer's commitment to fulfill its pledge with regard to affordable housing isn't binding... Mr. Cestero said CPC is still committed to developing the project as pledged. But he also acknowledged that the owners would be open to selling the project if the price were high enough. He said he doesn't expect this to happen.

Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like Pacific Coast is in control of which entitlements will be taken (and which promises are fulfilled).

22 March 2012

Domino is Not For Sale [✜]

CPC Resources tells the Brooklyn Paper that they are not selling out, just looking for a "reputable developer" experienced in waterfront development and affordable housing to partner with on the project. Which is to say, they want to sell part of the project. CPCR also acknowledged that they are working to renegotiate a $120 million loan - the same loan they apparently defaulted on in late 2011.

Meanwhile, the developer has officially pushed back the start date for phase one of the project to a very squishy "end of 2013". That puts it a full two years behind the original schedule, and a year and half behind the most recent party line.

Things Get Worse at Domino

Crain’s reports this morning that the partners in the Domino project are in court, with Isaac Katan, the long-silent partner in the deal, alleging mismanagement, “misdirection and inaction” on the part of CPC Resources. According to Katan, CPCR has nothing to show for the over $100 million in equity and financing that the project has […]

19 March 2012

Sweet Movie [✜]

Aaron Short interviews the makers of the Domino Effect, a (still) topical documentary about the New Domino approval process. I've seen the picture in preview, and it is very well done and quite powerful.

Lured by Profits

Charles Bagli has an in-depth piece in today’s Times on the fall of Community Preservation Corp. There is not much in here that I hadn’t been hearing in bits and pieces over the past few months, but still, seeing it all together is jus incredible. Real estate deals like Domino (though Domino is far from […]

Domino for Sale

In news that should surprise no one (but is surprising nonetheless), the Observer reports that the Domino site is on the block. Apparently, the Katan Group and their development partner CPC Resources have been shopping all or part of it to potential buyers. A spokesman for CPCR told the Observer: We are pursuing various options […]