Monday, June 14, 2010

Tavern On The Green $ 86 Million Dollar Fallout


What was the city thinking?

Mayor Bloomberg rejected a proposal that promised an extra $30 million cash for the city's depleted coffers in order to hand the lease for Tavern on the Green to restaurateur Dean Poll, who never even succeeded in opening the restaurant, The Post has learned.

Jennifer LeRoy whose family had operated the iconic Central Park eatery since 1974 -- agreed to pay the city $86 million in fees over the 20-year lease, according to financial documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Law. Poll, who runs the nearby Boathouse Cafe, offered only $57.3 million.

A third respondent to the city's request for proposals, or RFP, in February 2009, Capitale owner Seth Greenberg, projected paying the city $47 million for the park con cession. His plan didn't make it to the next round, according to a lawyer for the Parks Depart ment, which oversaw the RFP.

But the city seemed bent on bouncing LeRoy, insiders said, in part because of con cerns about the heiress' business savvy, her company's failing fi nances and a long grudge against her late father.

Poll, awarded the lease in August, never was able to reopen the 66-year-old, 23,000-square-foot landmark after failing to reach a deal with its 400 union workers. Bloomberg announced last month that Tavern on the Green -- once the second-highest-grossing restaurant in the country -- will temporarily become a visitors center and hot-dog stand.

Mayor said no to $86M Tavern on the Green deal out of 'spite' for LeRoys
New York Post - June 13, 2010 -  By Annie Karni 

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