Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sky View Parc's the Limit

According to Real Deal, the Muss development at Sky View Parc is having funding issues: "The developer of Flushing's massive Sky View Parc mixed-use complex is shopping for nearly $150 million in financing to complete the first phase of its delayed condo and retail project, which is already over budget, according to the Post. Onex Real Estate Partners, the general partner for the 1,000-unit, 15-acre development, wants a three-year extension on its $519.3 million construction loan, plus an additional $144.6 million."

Now we believe that this development-especially with Related backing it-will get the funds needed to go forward, but the troubles here should be a cautionary tale for Flushing Commons, whose developer was last heard telling the WSJ: "It was a Herculean effort," said TDC President Michael Meyer before the vote. "We've gone through two real-estate cycles…Starting tomorrow, we'll go out and look for financing."

Which brings us to the key issue of the disposition of Muni Lot1-and the timetable that needs to be in place before the land is conveyed. As Flushing Coalition head Jim Gerson has told us:

"The impact of construction on Downtown Flushing will be enormously difficult for residents and especially difficult for merchants. Parking will move to several sites at distances up to 1/2 mile from many merchants. Merchants have already begun to abandon Flushing in anticipation of the disruption during construction and others have said they will be forced to do so as well. The business assistance plan which has been outlined by the City provides a timetable of of parking rate caps and marketing assistance which is tied to the timing of the developer's commitments to EDC and the City Council. It is critical that the developer adhere to these plans. Survival during construction will be extremely challenging. Survival during prolonged construction will be impossible. We cannot afford to have any delays. We are therefor asking that the land transfer include a timetable with substantial penalties for failure to comply. These penalties should be substantial up to and including forfeiture of land."

So, before Meyer pops the bubbly on this project, there needs to be some serious discussion of the disposition issues. If there isn't, the merchants and residents of Flushing will literally be left holding the bag.