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OpinionLetters

Letter: Long Beach block burdens community

A Manhattan developer pitched a proposal to turn

A Manhattan developer pitched a proposal to turn one of Long Beach's long-vacant parcels into the city's tallest buildings. The 6-acre site, known locally as the Superblock, has been a target of city revitalization efforts since the 1970s, and developer iStar wants to turn it into two 15-story luxury apartment towers. Photo Credit: Handout

I was deeply troubled that the entire membership of Nassau County's Industrial Development Agency did not attend the meeting held to obtain taxpayer feedback on the request by iStar Financial Inc. and AvalonBay Communities Inc. for tax breaks ["Tax break tangle," News, June 4].

Speakers were told that the IDA would receive a transcript of the meeting on the proposed $273 million luxury apartment and retail project on the Superblock in Long Beach. However, it undermines the credibility of the agency to mediate between the community's concerns and high-powered, big-money players. The $128.6 million in tax breaks for this developer would leave the average Joe and Jane making up the difference.

While the IDA members may in fact peruse the transcript of people's comments, they will not be able to feel the passion of the speakers who described what we believe is a bait and switch. The developers obtained a controversial variance to build what many consider inappropriately tall and massive buildings by touting the tax benefits that would be realized by Long Beach and the county.

The developers assured the community that they were fully capitalized to begin the project immediately. Now we learn the truth: that the burden of providing municipal services for their tenants would be placed on the rest of us.

Neal J. Monteko, Long Beach

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