It’s a triumph for rich boat owners, but maybe not a victory for Stamford

 

Brewer's Yacht Haven, Stamford

Brewer’s Yacht Haven, Stamford

Looks as though Bridgewater will not be building its waterfront headquarters in Stamford after all, due to the opposition of the 250 yacht owners who would have been displaced by the project. This isn’t a battle over conflicting property rights, it’s a public policy issue about the best use of waterfront. I have no dog in this fight, but Bridgewater would have brought 1,000 employees into the city – apparently that didn’t outweigh the value of keeping a private marina available for the public to use. A town’s certainly entitled to decide these matters, so again, not my business, although I might have chosen differently.

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23 responses to “It’s a triumph for rich boat owners, but maybe not a victory for Stamford

  1. Al Dente

    I feel strongly both ways. Actually I have no idea what this is all about, but I do know this is the funniest video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/dRIgmKGDqFM

    • EOSredux

      Isn’t that HYSTERICAL!?!! I saw that the day it came out, forwarded it to my kids, who in turn sent it out to all their friends. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Okulski was a pretty good sport when the ride was over and I was surprised he never dialed 911. I would have gotten out the second the cop pulled up behind me. What would you have done Al?

    • Anonymous

      Hilarious…..thanks for sharing.

    • the first one with the car salesman is killer too. do you think they might try a realtor next?

  2. Cos Cobber

    A lot of scenarios could play out here.

    1) BW strikes a deal to take the UBS building in 2018
    2) BW takes either the gateway space at the train station or the old general RE building
    3) head to NYC or FL – via a slow migration.
    4) they take the Pitney Bowes or old time warner buildings.

    Meanwhile BLT has a real problem. The old boatyard is an enormous financial loss if it’s left to remain as just a boat yard. A rec boatyard cannot general enough income to cover the new bulkheads, docs and soil clean up.

  3. JRH

    A little confused about what there is for you to like in the Bridgewater proposal, CF – if it made sense for the firm to move to that location, why couldn’t it do it without hundreds of millions from the state?

    • hmmm

      Do you feel that way about the money we gave for that biotech dream. What was it 200 million? What about the money we gave to tronox? Or are you just picking on bw?

    • Absolutely, JRH – we had an animated discussion here back when the tax subsidy was first announced – most of us were against it. No, what interested me in today’s news was the trade off, boat owners vs. new employer, not the subsidy,which is another issue.
      I hadn’t realized until readers enlightened me that BLT had agreed to keep the marina and then razed it, which doesn’t exactly leave them with clean hands but again, different issue.
      Not that they aren’t all rolled up into the general discussion of the merits of this project, but I was knoodleing on different land uses and their respective values to society. I don’t know how you spend dull Saturday mornings, but that’s what I do : )

  4. LAK

    I’m so glad BW didnt get that deal!

    Born & raised in Stamford I’m happy to say that! And I’m glad I moved out!

  5. Anonymous

    The corporate welfare really stunk about this deal….a billionaire needing $100+ million break. I read Malloy gave United Technologies another $400 million tax break, too. Reallly? Where are all the handouts for the firms REALLY creating jobs—the start-up small businesses, like, gee, I don’t know, real estate firms like Lockwood and Mead.

  6. pulled up in OG

    Would have been displaced?

    Whadya mean would?

    BLT scraped the fucking boatyard three years ago.

  7. pulled up in OG

    “In 2007 a developer (Antares, group from Greenwich) bought a considerable amount of land in South Stamford. In return for favorable zoning to build hotels, etc., they agreed to keep the 14-acre site occupied by Brewer’s Yacht Haven a boatyard. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection approved this, stating that it complied with their guidelines for water-dependent use. It also complied with the city of Stamford’s development plan.”

    “Along came Building and Land Technology as a new developer for the project and eventually the boatyard disappeared.”

    “BLT closed the marina and razed all its buildings and equipment without Zoning Board approval in 2011.”

  8. pulled up in OG

    All is smooth, though.

    One way or the other or both, you’re paying these slugs.

    “Although none of the $115 million will go to Bridgewater until the deal is finalized, the state has agreed to pay BLT $25 million to go ahead and remediate the project site. The total cost of remediation, which is a crucial step for redevelopment, is estimated at around $35 million, according to the state. BLT had been excavating and removing contaminated soils from the property since January of last year. But in September, the developer suddenly halted work.”

  9. pulled up in OG

    “Along came Building and Land Technology as a new developer for the project and eventually the boatyard disappeared. This situation affected boaters from Byram to Darien. Larger boats would have to go to Norwalk or beyond for land storage and major service. Smaller boats might find room in Cos Cob. . . . ”

    . . . or at a new dock in Riverside, maybe? ; – )

  10. Anonymous

    Guess who was a former owner of Yacht Haven- Scott Frantz’s father.

    • AndyD

      No way? If so, please give us some details. I love how the media refers to Scott Frantz as a venture capitalist, hedge fund manager and/or investment banker when I can’t find a single record of a single investment fund he had ever run or an investment he has ever made. Silver Spoon Capital maybe?

      • Anonymous

        William Haebler, Scott’s grandfather (?) was one of the founders of International Flavors and Fragrances in 1929, a leading supplier to the perfume industry. He has been very successful as a private venture capitalist on his own.

  11. Art layton

    If you owned 14 acres on Long Island Sound, wouldn’t you seek the most valuable use of the land? Bridgewater building would have paid $5MM in taxes. Prior boatyard paid $140,000. 200 boat owners triumph!

  12. prf

    Having just moved here 6 months ago. Now I understand why so much of Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk and New Haven look like a shithole. Seems most people don’t understand basic economics and essentially are out of touch with the business world. Countries, States and Cities give tax incentives, all across the world, ever day. The worse condition it is the more incentives needed – (e.g. Detroit vs. Beverly Hills). NYC for years offered incentives for companies, to lure away from NJ. Now after a lot of hard work, companies are setting up shop NYC without subsidies. That can happen in Stamford one day as well. Today is not that day.

    It doesn’t take a leap of faith to see how this could benefit Greenwich and even Stamford residential real estate values. As employees of these companies, have families and want to live closer to work. Ever hear of an anchor tenant? The anchor attracts other similar companies to the area, because of the newly created infrastructure and cachet?

    Also, apparently the developer is the one that demolished the boat yard, not Bridgewater which is the prospective anchor tenant. And the 2nd choice for the anchor tenant is? A New manufacturing company? Not a chance those are all moving to the Carolinas, with cheaper labor, better weather, and no unions. Perhaps some local gang members can pool their money together.