Gargano: “We Are In Charge” On Moynihan Station

Gargano: quite peeved

Charles Gargano, the chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, is sometimes portrayed as a developer’s best friend, but Wednesday morning, in his first extensive comments after the failure of Moynihan Station (and mixed in with much less passionate words about Atlantic Yards), he spat out the word “developer” like it was an unripe persimmon. He also didn’t seem to care for Shelly Silver too much.

Here are his choice words:

“The notion that we presented a project that the developers didn’t want to build — who’s in charge here, the developers or the public sector? We are in charge and we put a project out in RFP [request for proposals], and we got responses to the RFP that what we presented to the [Public Authorities Control Board]. We did not present a project that included a six to eight order of magnitude larger than the project that was put out in the RFP.”

And later:

“The comments that were made by [state Assembly] Speaker Silver were, ‘This is not the project the developers want to build.’ What does that mean? What the hell does that mean? We put out an RFP. The next thing is, ‘Well, we’d like to see the whole project.’ Well, we did present the whole project, the Moynihan Station project. So there is no really sound reason not to approve this project. It was just a lot of talk in my opinion to reject the project for personal reasons — whatever, Madison Square Garden. I don’t know what it might be, but we do know, and all of you in the media do know, some of the associations with Madison Square Garden and Speaker Silver.”

Gargano wouldn’t say whether the state would pay another $10 million to extend the option to buy the Farley Post Office from the feds — a step that would be required to keep the Moynihan Station project alive. He didn’t say the project was dead, either, though he did say that the incoming Spitzer administration would need to “revive” it, and wished them well.

Matthew Schuerman

Gargano: “We Are In Charge” On Moynihan Station