Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bloomberg Lincoln Center Fashion Week Park Deal Diverts $ 17 Million From City Coffers

Even though Fashion Week is being held at Damrosch Park, a public park next to Lincoln Center, none of the $17.2 million IMG Fashion is paying over five years to hold the event will make it into the city's coffers. Under a deal approved by the Bloomberg administration the money is instead being diverted to Lincoln Center. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.


As we reported yesterday, the Bloomberg administration allowed IMG fashion and Lincoln Center to destroy 56 trees and will allow an entire city park to be taken over for months annually in order to accommodate Fashion Week, private commercial event.

To add insult to injury, under a five year agreement the Bloomberg Administration is allowing Lincoln Center, a private corporation, to rent out the public park to IMG for $17.2 million over five years and keep the proceeds with nothing going to the city. In sharp contrast, the fees paid to Bryant Park to host the event in prior years went to the park.

So far the City and Lincoln Center have refused to produce the agreement or confirm the amount being paid. The City Comptroller has also been left out of the arrangement and has not been presented with the contract. - Geoffrey Croft

The city is losing out financially on Fashion Week - big time.
The event's sponsor is coughing up $17.2 million to commandeer a city park twice a year through 2014, and the city won't ever see a dime of it, according to the New York Daily News.
Instead, IMG Fashion is paying Lincoln Center the windfall over five years to rent the public Damrosch Park next door, a source familiar with the deal said.
Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman insisted it was no big deal a private entity is pocketing rent for a public space because Lincoln Center has a long-term contract to manage the park.
"That includes the authority to manage and charge for events in those spaces," spokesman Andrew Brent wrote in an e-mail.
That stands in contrast to last year when Fashion Week honchos coughed up $2.6million to rent part of the city's Bryant Park. That rent for two shows went into the park's operating budget through the nonprofit Bryant Park Foundation.
That arrangement changed when Fashion Week outgrew its Bryant Park space and moved next to Lincoln Center, Bloomberg has said.
Friday, the Daily News reported that 67 London Plain trees were removed from the park next to Lincoln Center, in part to make way for Fashion Week's white tents.
Geoffrey Croft, head of NYC Park Advocates, blasted the arrangement: "It is absolutely inappropriate, first that the park is being used for this purpose, and second that the money's being diverted from the city."
Yesterday's front page New York Daily News story exposed the Bloomberg administration's destruction of 56 trees and also allowing Damrosch Park to be used for months of the year for a private commercial private event. Today's follow-up story exposes the deal made by the city that none of the $17.2 million IMG Fashion is paying over five years to hold the event in the public park is going into the city's coffers.
Read More:

New York Daily News - September 11, 2010 - By Tina Moore

A Walk In The Park - September 10, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft

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