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June 10, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
BatteryPark.TV has obtained the final RFP application for the North Cove Marina submitted by winning bidder Brookfield, doing business as “DOB North Cove Marina LLC, Brookfield Place”. On page 21 of the 360-page document, Brookfield clearly states that they intended to keep on Mr. Fortenbaugh as the operator of the sailing school, while they handled the large yachts.
The document states, “Sailing School: The activation as a sailing school is a critical element for engaging the public to the waterfront. Michael Fortenbaugh’s Manhattan Sailing School has been a valued partner of Brookfield’s since he started the business in 2005.
As part of our proposal, Brookfield will offer the Manhattan Sailing School a right of first offer to operate the Manhattan Sailing School as the operator of the North Cove Marina sailing school.
As a further concession, Brookfield will offer the Manhattan Sailing School a 50% discount to the attached standard vessel-berthing rates.
Should Manhattan Sailing School decide not to pursue this opportunity, Brookfield and IGY have already begun discussions with several area sailing schools who have all committed their ability to open for the summer of 2015.
Brookfield is also prepared to invest the required capital to make sailing within North Cove Marina a long term amenity to the local and maritime community. The sailing schools that Brookfield and IGY have held preliminary discussions with are listed below:
- Sail NYC
- True North Sailing School and Cruising Club
- Sail Montauk
- Performance Yacht Racing USA
- Tribeca Sailing“
Interestingly, none of the alternative sailing schools listed were the one eventually chosen by Brookfield, which was the Colgate sailing school that goes by the name “Offshore Sailing”. Therefore, the Colgate group, run by a husband and wife team in their 90’s who have failed to build a successful program nearby in Pier 25, were not even among the top five in terms of desirability for Brookfield.
Why then was Mr. Fortenbaugh not selected? It was not his doing. Mr. Fortenbaugh told BatteryPark.TV that he had heard rumor of Brookfield’s intentions to keep him on, but he was never approached.
Sources close to the matter believe that the BPCA CEO and Chairman, Dennis Mehiel, became “outraged” when Fortenbaugh’s sailing club members dared to rally in his support in December of 2014 and January of this year. He then made it a personal matter and sabotaged Brookfield’s intent to hire Mr. Fortenbaugh.
Another source who used to work a the BPCA said, “The BPCA has wanted to get rid of Fortenbaugh for a long time. They felt that the marina could be a more prestigious place.”.