Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Alper to Leave

EDC is losing its top official, with Andy Alper announcing his departure from city government yesterday. As far as the Alliance is concerned, our "appraisal", it is addition by subtraction (Shakespeare's line comes to mind: "Nothing became him so much as his leaving"). Once again the city reached into the ranks of big business to find someone to craft its economic development policy and the results were predictable.

Perhaps the low point of Alper's tenure was his handling of the BTM fiasco. When the City Council held its original oversight meeting it was determined that EDC had failed to appraise the value of the House of Detention when it decided to "swap" it for another piece of property controlled by the Related Company.

Not only that. It also came out months later that EDC failed to disclose that the Bronx jail was going to have to be replaced, at a cost of over $300 million. So the original deal, bad to begin with, was actually hundreds of millions of dollars worse.

Which is why we got a kick out of the mayor's comments about the Alper exit: "Andy restructured and professionalized EDC..." Apparently he just forgot to add appraisers to his real estate division.