For ten years the facades have been an unresolved topic. During that time Luna Park spent millions of dollars on scaffolding, engineers, architects, lawyers, failed as-needed patching, and very heavy fines for not repairing the violations. Not thousands of dollars, millions. Wasted. No one set out to waste the money; it happened because people held out for the perfect solution instead of figuring out which was the best possible and seeing it through. This board doesn’t claim to be smarter than those that came before it and we began with the same arguments and distrust. We are proud to have found a way to put aside our differences in order to find the best possible solutions to every problem we face, big or small. You can see the results and there are more to come. Our intention is to make Luna Park a better place to live whether we’re talking about a picnic area, dog runs, a gym, a pool, enhanced security, more parking, or something more. We also intend to find ways for Luna Park to make money to help offset future costs and pay for other conveniences we may want.
On Monday, June 28th, Luna Park closed on the majority of our project financing. We borrowed $47mil from Wells Fargo at a rate of 6.69% over 30 years. The city converted $4.93mil we owed them into a forgivable loan we no longer have to pay and also gave us $9mil at closing plus another $2mil (written and signed guarantee) to be delivered no later than March 2011. The $9mil we received included $1mil from city councilman Domenic Recchia. We still have outstanding promises in the form of $1mil from state senator Diane Savino, $2mil from state representative Jerrold Nadler, and $2mil from Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz which all intend to see honored. Despite the tremendous accomplishment this sum of money represents, we still continue to pursue money from other sources.
In a perfect world our buildings would’ve been built flawlessly and we could’ve all gone private and gotten fair market value for our equity but we do not live in a perfect world. We do feel it was the best deal possible; the amount of free money granted is a city record and we are now firmly committed to an additional thirteen years in Mitchell-Lama. Instead of ending in 2017 it will be 2030. If you divide $21mil by the extra 13 years you get over $1.6mil per year. It certainly beats the last time Luna Park signed a Mitchell-Lama extension of 15 years for $1.25mil which came to $83k per year. $1.6mil now vs. $83k then…quite a difference.
For the record, the final board votes to close on the financing and free city money were all in favor except Tatyana Yezerskaya opposed. Eugene Lyubronetsky was unavoidably absent but has asked to be considered on the side in favor. You should hold us all accountable for everything we’ve done and will do. We know not everyone will agree with our decisions — and some will be very angry — but each of us has been asked to make what we feel are the right choices for Luna Park and that’s all we can do. Problems look different when you are deciding for others instead of only yourself.
Luna Park’s Board of Directors