Albee Square / City Point

Despite being one of the most profitable retail destinations in the city, Albee Square Mall in Downtown Brooklyn was demolished in 2007 to make way for a new retail development called City Point. The developer benefited by the city's displacement of existing stores and $20 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, (a $3.2 million subsidy package approved for City Point in 2007 fell through). More information is available at Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, a report by the Pratt Center for Community Development on the impact Downtown Brooklyn's rezoning and the trailer of a documentary about the displacement of long-time retailers called "Some Place Like Home." Also, the documentary film 'My Brooklyn' provides in-depth history and scope of the City Point development.

Albee Square Mall/City Point Subsidy News

September 15, 2009: The New York City Capital Resource Corporation (CRC), which is part of EDC, held a board meeting in which a majority of board members voted to approve Recovery Zone Facility Bond financing for the City Point project in Downtown Brooklyn.

The deal was passed despite inconsistencies in the number of jobs the project is expected to create, and no binding agreements on local hiring, living wage, or provision of affordable space for small businesses displaced from the Albee Square Mall.

September 10, 2009: At a public hearing the New York City Capital Resources Corporation (CRC) heard public testimony on the use of $20 million in tax-free Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to jumpstart the stalled City Point development. Among a range of concerns, advocates testified that, as the project stands, there are not enough guarantees in place that local residents will get new jobs created by the project, and that they will be paid a living wage.

FUREE and the Pratt Center for Community Development would also like to see at least 10% of space in the new facility be set aside and made affordable for businesses displaced by the demolition of the Albee Square Mall.

CRC's formal Cost/Benefit Analysis provides information about the project, including the number of jobs it is expected to generate.

Testimoy for the Albee Square project, by GJNY and our allies:

Bettina Damiani, Project Director, Good Jobs New York

Testimony of Diana Smith, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), before the NYC Department of City Planning regarding tax-exempt bonds proposed for Albee Square Mall. September 10, 2009

Written letter of FUREE’s Accountable Development Committee to the NYC Industrial Development Agency Board regarding proposed federal stimulus resources for Albee Development, LLC. September 10, 2009

Testimony of Carrie Johnson of South Brooklyn Legal Services, in opposition to the approval of the lease between the City of New York and Albee Development, L.L.C. May 25, 2007

Testimony of Mercedes Narciso, Pratt Center for Community Development, on the Amendment of the Lease of Albee Square Mall in Downtown Brooklyn May 24, 2007

Testimony of Samantha Imperatrice, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, before the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Mayor’s Office of Contracts regarding the transfer of and amendments to the lease for Albee Square Mall  May 25, 2007

Testimony of Randy Leigh, board member of FUREE (Families United for Racial & Economic Equality) before the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Mayor’s Office of Contracts regarding the transfer of and amendments to the lease for Albee Square Mall Friday. May 25, 2007

 

May, 2007: A team of developers is seeking to purchase the leasehold interest in The Gallery at Fulton Street, formerly known as the Albee Square Mall, and intends to replace the shopping center with a 1.6 million square foot residential tower that would also include 125,000 square feet of office space and about 300,000 square feet of retail designed for an anchor tenant.  The New York City Industrial Development Authority recently approved $3.2 million in tax breaks to subsidize the office component of the project, despite protests from neighborhood residents and displaced businesses. 

The new developers are purchasing the leasehold interest from Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities and seek a new lease agreement with the city (the city owns the land).  A summary of the proposed agreement indicates that the new owners would owe the city “payments in-lieu-of taxes” (PILOTs) that incorporate tax incentives available under the Industrial and Commercial Incentives Program and the 421-a Program. The new lease would also accelerate the developers’ option to purchase the property and changes the sales price to $20 million in 25 years.

Read GJNY's testimony on this and other RZFB projects in our testimony section.