Thursday, September 22, 2005

BJ's, Target, and Home Depot at the BTM

We have learned from a reliable source that Related has signed leases with BJ's, Target and Home Depot at the Bronx Terminal Market site. The BJ's lease confirms what we have known for a long time: despite disavowals from Bronx electeds, BJ's is being finessed through under the cover of the so-called greater good of the Gateway development. It is time for a number of folks to come clean. Tell the truth, state your position and invite the disagreement rather than pursuing a cowardly rope-a-dope strategy of disingenuous denial while the project moves through ULURP.

In this regard, UFCW reps met with Adolfo Carrion on Tuesday and expressed their position on BJ's. He promised to get back to them and tell them whether he would support a strategy of seeking a "restrictive use" covenant that would preclude a box store selling food on the BTM site.

Marino Organization Does Stand-Up Comedy

In a comedic sidebar to yesterday's BTM press conference the Marino Organization, the PR firm for Related, issued a rather funny press release in support of the project. The humor emerged from their description of Community Board #4's "exhaustive" review of the Gateway project. If more than one of the Board's members actually read the 500 page EIS it would be a seismic shock to the community that, certainly not represented on the Board, generally ignorant about or opposes the development.

In fact, the Bronx board harkens back to that cradle of democracy in the Soviet Union: The Politburo. But we do appreciate that the puppet masters allowed two conscience driven members of the Board to vote in the negative. Good thing there is no Bronx Gulag.

The last time Frank Marino was this funny he was carrying around a cardboard cutup of Assemblyman John Dearie who was absent from campaigning because he was struggling through law school. I guess when you have all of the ammunition on your side, not to mention the Wal-Mart account, you can afford a little sense of humor (You certainly don't need a great deal of creativity).