Related and the Wilpons Team Up for Willets Point Pitch
Matt Chaban Oct. 11, 2011, 1 p.m.
While some people are hoping—futilely, perhaps—for a high-tech college at Willets Point, the official R.F.P. is also cranking along, with application filed this past week. Crain’s now has word of a handful of the developers competing to redevelop the Iron Triangle, and one looks to be a hit, if it weren’t already facing a few strikes.
The Related Companies has teamed up with Sterling Equities, which is controlled by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, to submit a proposal to redevelop the 12.75 acres included in the project’s first phase, the sources said. Silverstein Properties, which is building three towers at the World Trade Center site, also threw its hat into the ring. None of the firms would comment. A source said Sterling had teamed up on bids with more than one firm.
Another firm known to have submitted a bid is the Flushing-based TDC Development. Of the 29 firms that were preapproved, Crain’s reports, Westfield Group, the Richman Group of New York, Edward J. Minskoff Equities and Hamlin Ventures did not submit bids, though it was not clear how many others had.
This is only the first of three phases, which includes housing and retail but not a planned convention center. Given CitiField’s proximity across the street, it makes sense the Wilpons would want in on the project, and they made the smart move of teaming up with Related, which seems to often win favor with city officials. Whether the Mets owners’ current imbroglio with the Bernie Madoff scandal will hurt the development team’s chances remains to be seen.