The Real Deal New York

City Hall can’t figure out how to tax Riverside South

City hasn't collected $4.6M in taxes on parkland, streets, says Extell must pay up
December 14, 2016 08:22AM

City Hall is owed $4.6 million in property taxes because no one can figure out who owns streets and public parkland at the massive Riverside South development.

Some of the tax bills have been sent to Extell Development, which briefly owned the complex, but the firm says it has simply been ignoring them since it no longer owns the buildings. To add to the confusion, some of the checks the city did receive bounced, according to the finance department.

A bit of background: when the city and developer Donald Trump agreed on a plan to develop the mixed-use complex along Riverside Boulevard in 1998, they also agreed that streets and public parklands would be transferred to the city once the work was completed. That never happened, for reasons not entirely clear.

Since the streets and parkland are still technically privately owned by a mysterious homeowners association, the Hudson Waterfront Association, they have been accruing property tax bills. According to the New York Post, building owners including the Collegiate School have been paid $6.4 million in taxes on the land and streets over the years, but still owe $4.6 million.

Trump’s investment partners sold the complex in 2005 to Extell Development, which immediately flipped the rental buildings to Equity Residential.

Extell’s Gary Barnett told the Post that the firm never owned the streets. But City Hall begs to differ, telling the Post: “Extell still needs to address a few items on certain streets in this area, which remain in its possession.” [NYP]Konrad Putzier