RE: Opinion & Analysis: To Win HQ2, Lower Manhattan Must Become a New Amazon Basin (BroadsheetDAILY January 24)
To the editor:
Will someone please interview Mr. Urstadt and find out what he thinks will happen to all the residents when “(a)t the end of this lease, ownership of both the land and the buildings that sit on it will revert to the public.”
As a community, we really need to address this looming uncertainty.
Maryanne P. Braverman
Mr. Urstadt replies:
Re: Response to reader of Broadsheet on end of Lease for Battery Park City in 2069.
This lease is a good example of government expanding to the detriment of private ownership. It is a step, albeit a long one, to socialism therefor the people affected by this lease expiration should start taking action now to avoid the entire loss of their investment. They may not realize it but the value of their property is diminishing at a rate of 2% per year and will be worth zero in 2069.
What I meant when I said “act now” is that people affected by this leasing should organize into a strong unified political group with articulate leadership and diligently pursue all Federal, State and Local elected officials especially the Governor and Mayor to do the following:
First, at a minimum extend the lease for another 100 years to 2169. This does not solve the problem and is only a long temporary measure but it helps. Another helpful preliminary action would be for the City to buy the balance of the land from the State. This would simplify the negotiations by limiting the opposing party only to the City.
Second, the ultimate goal would be for the State and City to provide an option at a fair price to all affected tenants to purchase the fee simple of their property.
In short, everyone at Battery Pak City with residential or commercial property should unify and “act now” to protect their investment. This includes educating many apartment “owners” who don’t realize the great loss that they will eventually suffer if something is not done right now.
Charles J. Urstadt
Charles Urstadt was the founding chairman and chief executive officer of the Battery Park City Authority, serving from 1968 through 1979. He returned to the BPCA in 1995, serving as its vice chairman, through 2011.