Empire Outlets scores another $20M state grant

State subsidies for BFC Partners’ Staten Island project now total $67M

TRD New York /
Jan.January 27, 2017 10:00 AM

Rendering of Empire Outlets in Staten Island and Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Empire Outlets)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development agency gave another $20 million grant to BFC Partners for its retail development on the Staten Island waterfront, bringing the state’s total funding in the project to $67 million.

The grant — the third round of state subsidies given to Empire Outlets — was approved Monday, Politico reported. The development is expected to employ around 1,300 people, and will bring stores, restaurants and a hotel to the site next to the St. George Ferry terminal. State officials say the extra funding is to make sure the site is protected in the case of a major storm. Hurricane Sandy flooded the area with five feet of water.

However, some are concerned about the subsidy package — which accounts for around a fifth of the total project cost of $354.4 million — amid the bid rigging and bribery scandal that has engulfed the governor’s inner circle.

“An outlet mall on prime waterfront property is a really questionable use of $67 million in subsidies,” E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank, told Politico. “We could build four upstate film hubs with that kind of money.”

Records reviewed by Politico show Joseph Ferrara, a principal at BFC Partners, sent Cuomo $3,500 in two checks on Jan. 4 this year. BFC Partners and entities had previously given $85,000 to Cuomo’s campaign. Cuomo aides maintain donations have no bearing on state policies.

Brooklyn-based BFC Partners, is the developer behind Bedford-Union Armory project, a controversial residential development in Crown Heights. [Politico]Miriam Hall

Related Articles


The purge continues: WeWork’s head of real estate is leaving

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Margaret Streicker Porres and 101 West 78th Street (Credit: Linkedin, Corcoran, iStock)

Newcastle Realty was repeatedly accused of violating New York’s old rent laws. Now it says it’s leaving New York because of the new rent law.

The lights of The Hard Rock Cafes marquee are out during Midtown’s Saturday blackout (Credit: Getty Images)

Broadway shows, restaurants see major losses from Midtown’s Saturday blackout

The blackout impacted a 42-block stretch of Manhattan between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

Con Ed still searching for answers in Manhattan blackout

Governor Andrew Cuomo and 538 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

Cuomo wants to exempt NYC from prevailing wage bill

From left: RSA president Joseph Strasburg, REBNY president John Banks and Community Housing Improvement Program director Jay Martin (Credit: Getty Images, LinkedIn, and iStock)

Get me Gov. Cuomo: Real estate mobilizes before “disastrous” rent bills are signed