Sunday, March 07, 2010

Developer Steve Roth: "the more the building was a blight, the more the governments would want this to be redeveloped"

A New York Observer piece on Vornado Realty Trust Chairman, headlined Steve Roth, Uncorked, described the developer's strategy in holding a key site at Lexington Avenue and 59th Street, later to become the Bloomberg LP tower.

The rationale--acknowledged developer's blight--sounds a lot like a strategy pursued by Forest City Ratner for the Atlantic Yards site.

The Observer reports:
There was another plus to waiting, [Roth] noted, offering a refreshingly candid developer's take on one way to pursue government subsidies:

"My mother called me and said [of the site], 'It's dirty. There are bums sleeping in the sidewalks of this now closed, decrepit building. They're urinating in the corners. It's terrible. You have to fix it.'

"And what did I do? Nothing.

"Why did I do nothing? Because I was thinking in my own awkward way, that the more the building was a blight, the more the governments would want this to be redeveloped; the more help they would give us when the time came.

"And they did."

Laughter followed.

It's not clear from a quick search just what incentives Mr. Roth received...
(Emphasis added)

Note that the Wall Street Journal pointed to a similar strategy in Boston.

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