Feds urged to reject plan to sell troubled Chinatown building for low-income seniors
Published Oct 29, 2016 at 3:41 PM
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WESTFOWN, Conn. (AP) – The troubled federal courthouse in West Falls, New York, was up for sale last year and a real estate company proposed the city take ownership of the landmark building and redevelop it for elderly and low-income residents. But the New York City Tax Billing Office has recommended that the city reject the proposal, The Associated Press has learned.
The troubled federal courthouse complex, which has languished since a fire in 2009 killed 10 people, was up for sale last year and a real estate company proposed the city take ownership of the landmark building and redevelop it for elderly and low-income residents. But the New York City Tax Billing Office has recommended that the city reject the proposal, the AP has learned.
Tax Billing Commissioner Mary Noonan is recommending that the city reject the proposal. The $10.2 million proposal is for a three-year tax abatement. In other words, the city agrees to make that money available to the owner of the building for any tax abatement that the owner might seek, and at some point in the future, the city would sell the building to that owner for $10.2 million.
The city can’t do this, Noonan’s recommendation says.
The building could be sold to pay off the federal government’s $30 million-plus debt on repairs and renovations at the complex.
“This is a very complicated process,” Noonan wrote in her recommendation, noting that some of the tax biller’s staffers are no longer able to work on the issue, the AP reported. “The office is no longer equipped with the resources to fully address this issue.”
The federal government has used the complex as a courthouse since it was built in 1801 and is where the federal court system is located in the U.S. West.
But the complex, located at the intersection of West Falls Street and Route 37, has been on a slow decline since the fire