Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Current Waterfront Redeveloper Agreements

These two files, a) Part 1, and b) Part 2, contain the current redeveloper and contribution agreements among the City, Asbury Partners, LLC, Madison Realty Partnership, LLC, and Madison Asbury Retail, LLC (February 2007). Since iStar Financial has taken over the obligations and assets of Asbury Partners LLC, the city is now in private, closed meetings with representatives of iStar, the nature of which is described only as "contract negotiations". It seems reasonable to assume that they are reviewing these existing contracts.

One point I've noticed is that the items for subsequent agreements leave quite a large swath of possibilities (see earlier post), which may be of import to residents here, as well as neighbors.

To reiterate, the city manager distinguished last night's closed deliberations as being limited to the retail business of Madison Marquette on the boardwalk and the company's residential interests in Wesley Grove. Why the retail business would not also involve iStar, which comprises a half of Madison Asbury Retail, is not clear to me.

Note: It is Asbury Radio's position that negotiations between iStar, and other waterfront contractors, with the City should be done before the public. The use of the contract negotiation exemption under the Sunshine Law we feel is an abuse and improper use of the clause, which is intended to allow bodies to plan strategy without the other side of a contract or dispute being privy to its maneuvers. In this case, only the public is left in the dark. Also, recently only the city's attorneys have been meeting with these principals and then advising the council in private. While the legal counsel may be highly qualified, they are not accountable to the public since the public did not elect or appoint them.

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