House Of Sports Offers $3.5 Million For Greenburgh Site

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House of Sports owners are offering the town of Greenburgh $3.5 million for the seven-acre site on Dobbs Ferry Road.
House of Sports owners are offering the town of Greenburgh $3.5 million for the seven-acre site on Dobbs Ferry Road. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — A business group that filed a lawsuit to block Greenburgh from leasing a Dobbs Ferry Road property to Game On 365 is now offering to buy the parcel for $3.5 million.

The offer from Elm Street Sports Group, LLC, doubles Game On's offer, and Elm Street would assume all costs for contamination clean-up. An environmental service agency found evidence of carcinogens on the land, occupied for years by Frank's Nursery.

Elm Street Sports owns House of Sports, an Ardsley athletic training complex that wants to turn the Dobbs Ferry Road site into a world-class soccer and ice hockey academy.

Elm Street CEO Donald Scherer wrote in a letter to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner that even though Greenburgh agreed to sell rather than lease the property to Game On in December to avoid the legal challenge, such a sale would still be "a gross violation of your fiduciary duties."

Stephen Kass, an attorney who represents Elm Street, said selling the site to Game On without a competitive bidding process is illegal and irresponsible. In a letter to the Town Board, Kass wrote: 

"Given the Town's well-documented history of disingenuous behavior in its land use and environmental review process, we are perplexed that the Town Council would risk going ahead with this transaction without even soliciting competitive bids to purchase the Site or seeking qualified independent appraisals of the Site's current value." 

The board negotiated a selling price with Game On of $1.65 million, which Kass said is far below fair market value. Comparable Greenburgh land usually is marketed at $500,000 per acre, and the town would receive only $150,000 for the seven-acre parcel after back taxes, Kass said.

Feiner said the board plans to review Elm Street's offer and added that resolution of intent to sell the property to Game On has been taken off the agenda for Wednesday night's board meeting. Feiner said, however, that he's skeptical of the Elm Street offer.

"The issue is, some people are skeptical if it's a real offer. Is it just a delay tactic to keep Game On from building?" Feiner asked. "I'll have to discuss it with the town board."

At this time, the board has not decided whether they plan to issue another set of requests for proposals for the property, Feiner added.

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"Is it just a delay tactic to keep Game On from building?" Feiner asked."

Here's where the reporter should have asked: Do you think it is just a delay tactic, Mr. Feiner?

The only delay tactic currently known is that GameOn has neither the funds to purchase the property nor the funds to build.

And what is now known but not yet reported is that there is no and never was a signed Lease between the Town and GameOn. Even after the Referendum was "won" and the Public gave its consent.

Why? Because to sign would obligate GameOn to come up with the required deposit escrows. $43,500 upon signing and a second step escrow of $81,500 together being the $125,000 GameOn is obligated under the Lease to convey to the Town as its unreimbursed contribution toward the Enviro Study and eventual remediation. Later down the line, GameOn is required to fund a second $125,000 as advance payment of future rent. Both amounts are fully refundable if either the total cost of the soil remediation exceed $450,000 AND both amounts are fully refundable should a Court rule that the Lease is illegal (County law says property taken for non-payment of taxes must be sold). However, with no money at risk from legal fallout or the success of the remediation coming in under $450,000, it is suspicious that neither Feiner nor GameOn are willing to sign the Lease and abide by its language.
And whom is Feiner suspicious of?
Guess what taxpayers. Without GameOn signing on the dotted line, the Town has no justification to be reimbursed for the already incurred $110,000+ cost (and rising) of the Enviro Study. You won't find that item in the Approved 2013 Town Budget.
So if taxpayers are to believe GameOn as being "ready, willing and able" but apparently neither ready, willing or able to commit to a Lease which the Town Board led residents to believe was a done deal, it is no wonder that the next step of the train to nowhere is to offer them the property to purchase -- despite the intent of the Referendum.
This train don't carry no gamblers...this train don't carry no one.
Still we have Feiner who lied about the property being leased now doing another one of his "to be honest" routines for the benefit of the naive and doubting the sincerity of the Elm Street offer. Elm Street, owner of the new House of Sports in
Ardsley put their money where their mouth is and built, own and operate a going concern. Yet Feiner doubts THEIR ability to perform.
On the other hand when it comes to manufacturing hot air, need readers look further than those that are still seeking investors to fund what amounts to an 8 story balloon?
Inly in Greenburgh.
Hal Samis