Sports Dome In Old Frank's Nursery Lot: Yay or Nay?

A sports complex has been proposed to fill the vacant lot on Dobbs Ferry Road in Greenburgh. What do you think?

According to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh Town Board owns Frank’s Nursery—a lot long vacant on Dobbs Ferry Road—due to foreclosure.

In the spring of 2011, Feiner organized a community meeting with residents to discuss possible future uses for the property. A suggestion was made to put up a sign outside of Frank’s inviting businesses or individuals to submit bids for the use of the property.

A formal request for proposals was posted on the town website and distributed to residents of the community.

"We received three bids—two people wanted to purchase the land," Feiner said. "And, the third bid was from 'Game On.' I believe there is a need for soccer/playing fields."

Game On is the Tarrytown-based start-up company that has proposed to construct a domed sports complex on the property with year-round fields.  

"The Town Board determined that selling the land at this time was not in the interests of the town," Feiner said "We may want to use the property, which is on a prime piece of land (near the Sprain Parkway and off of Dobbs Ferry Road) for a town purpose some time in the future. And, property values at this point in time are at a low–because of the recession. We probably could sell the land for much more money sometime in the future."

Find the full proposal here.

Feiner said: 

The Board announced in December that Game On was the preferred choice. Here are some of the highlights:

1. The proposed term of the Lease is for fifteen (15) years. 

2. The annual rent for Year 1 is $260,000 per year (or $21,667.67 paid monthly), $280,000 per year for Year 2 (or $23,333.33 paid monthly), $300,000 per year for Year 3 (or $25,000.00 paid monthly) and $325,000 per year for Years 4 thru 7 (or $27,083.33 paid monthly). During Years 8-10 the annual rent will be $330,000 (or $27,500.00 paid monthly) and in years 11-15 the annual rent will be $335,000 (or $27,916.66 paid monthly). 

3. Pursuant to the proposed Lease, Game On will not pay the Town any rent until it receives a building permit from the Building Inspector after completion of the SEQR environmental review process, Town Board site plan review and approval and related public hearings after a Town Board referral to the Planning Board and any variances from the ZBA, if applicable.

4. Game On may remove the recreation bubble and related equipment after the 15 year lease term but it is not obligated to do so. 

5. Game On will defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Town and its agents, employees, officers, trustees, managers and directors harmless against and from any and all liability, damages, losses, fines, suits, claims, demands, actions, costs and expenses of each and every kind or nature whatsoever. 

6. Game On agrees that it shall, at its own expense, maintain in force policies of insurance of $1,000,000.00 for bodily injury or death to any one person, $3,000,000.00 for any one accident and $1,000,000.00 for property damage.

7. Game On will pay all electric, water, gas, telephone and other public utility charges in connection with its occupancy of the Premises.

8. A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment and related environmental remediation is expected to cost the Town approximately $100,000. Game on agrees to pay the Town $75,000 of the $100,000 up front as reimbursement for the Phase II Environmental Assessment and related remediation and to pay an additional $175,000, if necessary, for any further remediation of the property. Game On would be entitled to apply the additional $175,000 earmarked for remediation as credit for or satisfaction of base rent obligations to the Town after the building permit is issued.

9. Game On has indicated that the recreation bubble will result in the creation of 30 to 45 jobs for area residents. 

10. The Town will no longer have to pay taxes on the property ($49,520.22 for 2011) without a matching revenue source.

11. Game On will work with the Parks Department and Community Center—offering programs to the community.

However opposition from the community has been fierce since the board made the announcement. Read a letter to the editor expressing dissatisfaction with the plan.

Among resident Simon Cohen's concerns were that he believed the complex would: not bring in taxes to the town, not bring in revenue from rent during its construction and that the environmental impact was unknown.

What do you think?  Is the sports complex the way to go?  Add your comments below.


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