Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Weapon of Mass Job Destruction"

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio went on CNN and called Walmart, "a weapon of mass job destruction." YNN has the story: "The ever-quotable NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio appeared in a CNN report yesterday to discuss his opposition to letting Wal-Mart open its first store in the five boroughs, predicting there would be widespread “revulsion” among city residents to seeing the retail giant open its doors."

On the other hand, Assemblyman Darryl Towns, is less critical-and sees the job creation possibilities without the same skepticism shon by de Blasio: "Assemblyman Darryl Towns also appears in the CNN story. He agrees a Wal-Mart job isn’t necessarily a career, but argues working there would provide a “tremendous opportunity” for New Yorkers trying to break into the job market “to start a path in the workforce."

What this comes down to, in some ways, can be reduced to a factual examination of the Walmart record-and in our view, the best Big Wally can muster is job neutrality, since easily as many jobs are lost as are created when Walmart comes to town.

YNN also references the NY Daily News story from yesterday that reported on the fact that 20 of the acres that might see Walmart as an occupier are still in NY State control: "The DN reported this morning that Wal-Mart opponents are hoping to block plans to build in Brooklyn by convincing Gov. David Paterson to nix the sale of state-owned land to Related. The parcel in question sits in Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson’s district, but he hasn’t yet taken a position on the project."

As we commented yesterday, however: " one is really depending on the outgoing governor to do anything-all of this will be placed squarely in Andrew Cuomo's lap. But it is an interesting wrinkle that should be fleshed out." But the DN piece did point out that, "a 1994 law requires the sale at a "fair and equitable price," which several state agencies are negotiating with Related."

All of which raises the question of whether or not the Brodsky/Perkins bill of 2009 has any impact on this sale. According to our sources-and we're still tracking this-the legislation in question mandates that all disposition of state property be subject to rigorous review procedures, ending with a vote of thee Public Authorities Control Board. As the statute states: "The Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) was created and empowered pursuant to Sections 50 and 51 of the Public Authorities Law. These sections of law direct that eleven statewide public authorities must receive a resolution of approval from PACB prior to entering into any project-related financings."

If the Gateway property is considered subject to this statute, this could significantly complicate the ability of Related to get the expansion land needed for Walmart transferred from state control. Stay tuned on this.