The press continues to focus on the nature of the sweetheart deal Related is enjoying as a result of its charm and good looks (known as “juice" in political parlance). Frank Lombardi highlights some of the hearing testimony but steers clear from some of the most pointed criticism that was offered by Adrian Zuckerman, a lawyer for the merchants.
Gerson Borrero, on the other hand, shows no such reticence in his column today and goes after the deal, the transfer of property, Related's low lease payments and EDC's failure to appraise the value of the land. He is particularly hard on Councilman Joel Rivera for his enthusiastic backing of the project without looking closely at the deal.
On the other hand, we believe that Joel and his father, the County Chairman, will eventually use their influence to resolve the merchant’s plight. We will continue to press them and are happy that discussions are already underway on this front.
A BJs or Wal-Mart at the Gateway Center?
Lombardi also highlights the labor and small business opposition to the possibility of putting a BJ’s or a Wal-Mart on the site. The Alliance, along with the UFCW and RWDSU, will be pushing hard against this potential use of the BTM property.