Thompson Demands $6 M. in Back Rent from State UN Corporation [UPDATED]

City Comptroller and likely mayoral candidate William Thompson Jr. is asking the United Nations Development Corporation to pay $6 million in back rent he says it owes the city. But the UNDC is telling him to take a hike.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Mr. Thompson announced the results of an audit processed by his office. According to the final report, the UNDC owes the city $12 million in rent it has not paid in the last four years.

Upon receiving a draft copy of that audit, the UNDC agreed to pay half that amount, roughly $6 million, but denied the city’s request for the remaining balance. It wants to keep the money on hand in case the UN Consolidation Building Project, a 35-story office building proposed for Robert Moses State Park, revives itself.

The project (“dormant for three years,” as Mr. Thompson put it) was never passed by the State Legislature, and work on it ceased in 2005.

“Enough is enough …” Mr. Thompson said. "It is time to collect what is owed to New Yorkers.”

The UNDC, which was established and is run jointly as a public benefit corporation by the city and the state of New York, signed two lease agreements in 1972 and 1981 granting the city 90 percent of its surplus revenues.

Mr. Thompson said the city’s Economic Development Corporation had been overly lax with collecting money from the UNDC. In a letter dated April 21 attached to the audit, EDC Controller Christopher Malin agreed that the EDC should keep a more stringent tab on the UNDC.

Update 9:10 p.m.

Statement from EDC spokeswoman Janel Paterson, who says the UNDC does not owe money to the city.

UNDC is in full compliance with the terms of its lease with EDC, so the allegation that the UNDC owes the City money is incorrect. The lease stipulates that UNDC may put payments based on its consolidated surplus into a fund reserved for capital projects, and it has kept $12 million in the fund to initiate the Consolidation Project, which we fully support. If that project does not move forward, all of the funds will be remitted to the City.
Thompson Demands $6 M. in Back Rent from State UN Corporation [UPDATED]