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City Considering Replacing Developer On Stalled Community Park Project In Brooklyn

Rendering of the proposed Willoughby Square Park

The developer tapped to create a 1-acre park and 700-space parking garage in Downtown Brooklyn does not have the resources to get the job done, the city now says.

The city chose American Development Group to build the park and garage in 2013, following years of planning and a rezoning of the area, Crain’s New York Business reports. The city removed residential buildings, including rent-stabilized units, in order to make way for the new project. But the green space, called Willoughby Square Park, and the garage are still not complete.

ADG claims it cannot secure a lender for a 700-car garage, but was able to obtain financing for a smaller project.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. denied this account, and said the company has not been able to secure financing for even a smaller project. The EDC told Crain’s it will decide within a month if it will replace ADG and allow other developers to bid for the project.

Perry Finkelman, the CEO of ADG and its sister company, Automotion Parking Systems, said he was “flabbergasted” by the idea the deal may be off, and said he had been working on the project for nine years.

“Frankly, it’s embarrassing,” said City Councilman Stephen Levin, who represents the area. “The city took down some residential, rent-stabilized buildings because we were willing to all agree that the infrastructure being built here was for the public good. But obviously, the longer this all goes on and the longer the public good is delayed, the less tolerable it is.”