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Archive for May 3rd, 2009

It was just about a year ago that I signed, in good faith, the option agreement with Uri Kaufman to rehabilitate the Chalmers building into upscale apartments. It was the first hopeful sign of life in a long dormant development cycle for the City of Amsterdam. The document and terms had been exhaustively reviewed by each side, undergoing seven revisions, and the Common Council voted 4-1 to support it.

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Pictured above: standing – Mark Capone (AIDA), Nick Zabawsky (URA), Supervisor David Dybas, Supervisor Karl Baia, Alderman Richard Leggiero, Corporation Council Gerry DeCusatis, seated – Mayor Ann Thane, Uri Kaufman.

My concern today is that, having made our commitment in writing, it is now being suggested that we can renegotiate or back out of our agreement. Not only is this patently bad business, what message does this send to other developers looking to invest in the City of Amsterdam?

I am not dismissing the voices of a neighborhood (which I hold in very high esteem). This is about honoring a legally binding contract and holding course when the winds start to blow.

The fact is that we have agreed that Mr. Kaufman’s company may extend the option for $50,000, should he so desire, if he has substantially met the terms of the option agreement.

This is the time to live up to our word.

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