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BatteryPark.TV previously reported on how the entire Brookfield Place renovation is far behind schedule, and that the organization to blame is the BPCA. Astonishingly, much of the renovation contracts were handled, and paid for, by the BPCA (i.e. the taxpayer), despite the revenue to be reaped by the global real estate conglomerate Brookfield.
We have now confirmed that the Torrisi and Carbone restaurant on the street level at Vesey Street, to be called Parm, will not open until April of 2015. However, that is pure speculation from the restaurant because their construction has not yet begun. They are guessing like the rest of us. In terms of “construction speak”, April 2015 could mean 2016.
Also, many more restaurants spaces still sit empty and un-leased. World renown chef Jean-Georges backed out after being courted by Brookfield.
Far more important than the food dining sections of the Brookfield Place renovations will be the large retail clothing shops. Sources tell us that those shops are now looking to open closer to 2016.
Why Brookfield is taking so long with this renovation in unclear. One executive who works in the Brookfield complex quipped, “I could have built this entire building faster than what this renovation is taking.”. He is actually correct. The entire World Financial Center was constructed in three years, once the pile drivers began. The nearby Goldman Sachs headquarters was constructed in three years.
Fine. The community can survive without a fancy restaurant. That is not the point.
The significance of this bungled Brookfield renovation is the cost and inconvenience to the BPC resident. For the last three years now, the entire community has been forced to walk through elaborate detours, and ride bikes through narrow juggernauts, due to the construction. There is no definitive end in sight.
The community is not complaining because it is unaware. The ignorance means bliss for Dennis Mehiel and the BPCA.
The BPCA staff has changed many times since 2011. Each time, woefully unqualified cronies have been hired to oversee construction projects, despite having no experience with “operations”. Making matter worse, the only qualified “operations” staff were fired in order to open up jobs for political favors.
For examples, the current BPCA CEO and Chairman, Dennis Mehiel, inexplicably promoted a career political-campaign-PR person, Anne Fenton, to be in charge of BPCA “Operations”. She was ultimately fired. Her boss was Gayle Horwitz, another political crony from the Bill Thompson administration, and she too was let go. Horwitz’s replacement, personally chosen by Mr. Mehiel, was career lawyer Demitri Boutris. He too was let go. Now, replacing Ms. Horwitz and Mr. Boutris, to be the third BPCA President in two years is Shari Hyman. Ms. Hyman is a former Assistant District Attorney, again with no experience at “operations”.
Ms. Hyman will speak before the CB1 meeting on June 3rd, at the library on North End Avenue, 6:00 PM. The public is encouraged to attend.