Friday, December 21, 2012

Shapiro, others question shopping-center project

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, December 21- Riverbay board member Al Shapiro and a number of Co-op City shareholders, commenting during last Wednesday night's Riverbay board meeting, expressed reservations about plans to modernize and expand Co-op City's three shopping centers.
Shapiro expressed concerns that the involvement of a developer in the upgrading of the three shopping centers would wind up “pricing out” current merchants who have served the community's shareholders for years.
A spokesman for Cushman & Wakefield, which has been overseeing plans for the development of the three shopping centers, gave assurances that no current merchant would involuntarily be “price out” of a business in the Dreiser Loop, Einstein Loop, and Einstein Loop shopping center.
Commenting Shapiro said that he had an open mind on plans to modernize the three shopping centers --- plans that could create a new revenue stream for the Riverbay Corporation.
In other comments at last Wednesday night's board meeting, board members and shareholders in the audience indicated that they didn't like the idea of a developer profiting from the development of commercial space that the Riverbay Corporation owns.
Cushman & Wakefield's plans for Co-op City's three shopping centers call for a developer to pay for major upgrades of commercial space in the three shopping centers and to share in the income derived from this development, on a 50-50 basis, with the Riverbay Corporation.
Among Riverbay board members, Leah Graham seemed to be most favorably inclined toward Cushman & Wakefield's plans, indicating that she saw no problem with the developer benefiting as long as Co-op City did, too.

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