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May 5, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
As BatteryPark.TV previously reported, the new operators of the North Cove Marina, which are Brookfield Properties and IGY Marinas, who were awarded the RFP instead of the existing operator Mike Fortenbaugh, have failed to finalize a contract with the BPCA. Therefore, the marina still sits empty in May, jeopardizing the season. The BPCA also announced at the April board meeting that there would be no activity in most of the marina this year.
As the local press picked up on this story, making Governor Cuomo, the person in charge of the BPCA, look bad as he eyes a run for The White House, a desperate Band-Aid fix was dreamed up and presented before the CB1 meeting tonight. David Cheikin, Senior Vice President for Leasing at Brookfield Office Properties led the presentation whereby he announced for the first time that the Offshore Sailing School would be running the sailing classes after all, rather than the controversial IGY Marinas. However, there would only be seven boats, compared to the 24 that Mike Fortenbaugh operated, and adult sailing classes would not be part of the package this year.
Recall, when Governor Cuomo won re-election last year, he personally thanked billionaire real estate mogul Mr. Farkas, owner of IGY Marinas, for helping run his campaign. Being so close to Mr. Farkas is a scandal because, back when Mr. Cuomo ran HUD for President Clinton, he was suing Mr. Farkas for housing violations. When Cuomo made missteps and fell out of favor with the Clintons, he then dropped the lawsuits against Farkas and became his friend. Farkas employed Cuomo at his firm Island Capital group giving him millions of dollars, and the two have been political power brokers ever since.
Brookfield Properties, experienced at managing only land-based properties, had to outsource the marina to IGY Marinas. Offshore Sailing was not part of the original plan when the RFP was submitted, according to sources close to the matter. BP.TV also asked the IGY Marina employee present at the CB1 meeting when Offshore Sailing became part of the plan, and he literally ran away from us down the hall. The BPCA is also refusing to provide us with the actual RFP application despite our FOIL requests.
Why has IGY Marinas gone on to outsource their duties to a third middleman, Offshore Sailing? Mike Fortenbaugh ran all operations at the marina (i.e. the yachts, as well as the sailing school). Now, three layers of corporations are required? Why? The new operators who got Mr. Fortenbaugh evicted were supposed to be better equipped at running the marina.
BatteryPark.TV has speculated that the reason there is no contract between the BPCA and Brookfield regarding the marina is that Governor Cuomo’s office does not want the controversy of wealthy yacht owners and Andrew Farkas to surface as he entertains running for president in 2016. One of the platforms of the Democrats will be to highlight the income inequality in the nation. If that theory is true, then bringing in Offshore Sailing School would be one way to appease the unhappy community while also keeping the Farkas scandal under wraps, for at least this year. A half-ass-run small school could give Governor Cuomo some face-saving answer for critics.
Two spokespersons for the BPCA, Kevin McCabe and Robin Forst, were asked by BP.TV at the CB1 meeting why there is still no contract yet for the marina (see video). They replied, “We have no comment”.
Dennis Mehiel is the Chairman and CEO of the BPCA. Shari Hyman is the president.
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