A South Bronx site held by a would-be developer for 17 years will finally be developed as a mixed-use development, the New York Times reported. The city plans to break ground on a mixed-income residential and commercial development,which will be known as Crossroads Plaza, on the Prospect Avenue site where Stanley Schlein, a “Democratic party power broker,” held development rights.
Schlein, who had no experience but partnered with construction company owners when he received the rights — for nothing — at the site, in 1995, is thought to have been granted those rights at least in part because of his political connections to the likes of Al Sharpton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Times hinted.
Now, noted developer Douglaston Partners will take the lead on the construction and marketing Crossroads Plaza, but the city will still have to pay off Schlein, the Times said, for an as-yet undisclosed amount. Why didn’t this all happen sooner? One city official had this explanation: “It’s pain aversion,” the official told the Times. “You’d have to go to war with Schlein, and so you think to yourself: ‘I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a hot stick.’ ” [NYT] — Guelda Voien