Wednesday, October 24, 2012

City To Lose $ Tens Of Millions On New Tavern On The Green Deal

Tavern On The Green Redux.  Glass Bar Box Coming Soon To Central Park - A Historic Scenic Landmark. The grand Crystal Room is being replaced with a glass enclosure to accommodate what the Bloomberg administration hopes is a "vibrant bar scene,"  that will include year-round outdoor seating.  The city's tax payers are spending $ 10 million dollars in a dramatic renovation that will yield tens of millions of dollars less than what was previously offered. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

The city has finally announced the compensation it will receive from the controversial new Tavern On the Green and not surprisingly it is far less than what it was previously offered, NYC Park Advocates has learned.   

The fees to be paid to the city begin at just $1,000,000 a year and rise to $3,273,000 for the final year totaling $ 38.7 million over the twenty year agreement.

The city's tax payers are spending $ 10 million dollars in a dramatic renovation. The 1870's building will then be handed over to the new concessionaire. Additional photos below.

By comparison, Jennifer Leroy whose family had operated the iconic eatery since 1974 - agreed to pay the city $86 million in fees over a 20-year lease according to financial documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Law. Mayor Bloomberg rejected that proposal two years ago and instead awarded the license to Dean Poll who offered $57.3 million. Mr. Poll, who runs the nearby Boathouse Cafe - was unable to open the restaurant. 

In addition to losing tens of million of dollars in lost revenue the City is also spending $ 10 million dollars in capital improvements fixing up the building for the new concessionaire who will then build out the space. The dramatic renovation has completely gutted the property.

The Bloomberg administration awarded the twenty-year Central Park bar and restaurant concession to the Philadelphia-based Emerald Green Group, where Jim Caiola, a brother-in-law of ex-deputy mayor - and current Bloomberg LP. employee Kevin Sheekey - is a partner. Mr. Sheekey is also the older brother of former Parks Department spokeswoman Megan Sheekey who was appointed by Bloomberg as the president of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. 

The Mayor and the Parks Department revenue division have already cost the city millions of dollars in lost revenue due to their handling of the concession since the restaurant's closing.

The Parks Department's revenue division is run by long-time Bloomberg family friend  Betsy Smith.

After the resteruant was closed the city brought in mobile food trucks who paid substantially less that the restaurant.  The vendors complained about a lack of revenue and one of the four left the area outright.   

Despite an offer that promised an additional $30 million dollars, the city released a new proposal.  
The city's new Request For Proposals issued in December called for proposals with a "vibrant bar scene and high quality, casual dining options." 

Tavern on the Green was once one of the nation's highest-grossing independent restaurants. The new license calls for the operation and maintenance of a casual restaurant, outdoor cafe, bar and take-out window at Tavern on the Green.

The City expects the restaurant to open in the Fall of 2013.

City officials have repeatedly stated they are restoring the original 1870s Olmstead and Vaux designed former sheepfold building features as part of $ 10 million dollar tax payer funded renovation.  An an enormous blue print of the building's original entrance was even blown up and served as backdrop for the mobile food trucks and temporary terrace until the recent renovations began. Much of the original entrance will be blocked by the outdoor bar/restaurant. 

The new glass bar and restaurant has been likened in design to the Apple computer store.

"With all of the important work that is going on, it seems antithetical to go and put a large glass box at the main entrance in the central courtyard," the Historic District Council's opined to the Landmark Preservation Commission's in February.   

Compensation to the City is as follows: Year 1: $1,000,000; Year 2: $1,060,000;  Year 3: $1,132,000; Year 4: $1,213,000; Year 5: $1,286,000;  Year 6: $1,364,000; Year 7: $1,446,000; Year 8: $1,553,000;  Year 9: $1,647,000; Year 10: $1,746,000; Year 11: $1,851,000;  Year 12: $1,963,000; Year 13: $2,081,000; Year 14:  $2,306,000; Year 15: $2,445,000; Year 16: $2,592,000; Year  17: $2,748,000; Year 18: $2,913,000; Year 19: $3,088,000;  Year 20: $3,273,000) or an annual percentage of gross  receipts derived from the operation of the Licensed Premises:  Year 1: 6 percent; Year 2: 6.36 percent; Year 3: 6.75 percent;  Year 4: 7.16 percent; Year 5: 7.59 percent; Year 6: 8.05  percent; Year 7: 8.54 percent; Year 8: 9.05 percent; Year 9:  9.60 percent; Year 10: 10.18 percent; Year 11: 10.80 percent;  Year 12: 11.45 percent; Year 13: 12.14 percent; Year 14: 12.87  percent; Year 15: 13.65 percent; Year 16: 14.47 percent; Year  17: 15.34 percent; Year 18: 15.5 percent; Year 19: 15.5  percent; Year 20: 15.5 percent.

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.

Read More:

A Walk In The Park - August 21, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - August 19, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - August 18, 2012 

A Walk In The Park -  March 30, 2012 

 Glass Tube & Takeout Food Coming To Tavern On The Green
A Walk In the Park - February 24, 2012

A Walk In The Park - December 30, 2011

A Walk In The Park - December 6, 2011

A Walk In The Park - November 4, 2011

A Walk In The Park - January 27, 2011

A Walk In The Park - October 15, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - June 14, 2010

1 comment:

  1. What a disaster, and the government is using our money spending $ 10 million dollars in capital improvements when they can't even do basic repair on our bronx parks? shameful how did they just get this money now when this want planned?