EDC contends with public “misconceptions”

By Amy Tennery | February 24, 2010 07:10PM

As New York City development has struggled through the downturn, the city and the New York City Economic Development Corporation have had to contend with negative public sentiment, Seth Pinsky, president of the city-controlled non-profit promoting economic growth, said.

“Because you don’t see physical activity on the ground, people assume [that some projects] are stalled, [that] they’re not happening,” Pinsky told a packed crowd at a Bisnow panel discussion on public and private development partnerships today. “There are two misconceptions,” about the city’s development initiatives, Pinsky added: “one is that we haven’t had success with big projects and two, that we’ve only been focused on big projects.”

Although the project has been stymied along the way, Pinsky said that Coney Island’s rebirth ranks as one of the Bloomberg administration’s greatest accomplishments.

And there’s the city’s redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, which had to be put on hold following owner General Growth Properties’ filing for bankruptcy last April.

“It’s unfortunate because, for reasons beyond our control, General Growth Properties has filed for bankruptcy and the project is somewhat frozen,” Pinsky said.

General Growth Properties later announced that a $2.5 billion investment from Canadian property manager Brookfield Asset Management would help it eventually leave bankruptcy protection.

Pinsky said at the Bisnow event that while EDC has been committed to larger-scale projects, it does not overlook smaller ones like the renovation of the Hunts Point produce market in the Bronx.