UPDATE, MAY 12, 2015: IGY Marinas has officially acknowledged its operational and managerial role for North Cove Marina. A variety of beautification and structural upgrades are taking place. North Cove Marina will have a limited number of slips available starting on May 21. It plans to attract not just megayachts, but boats of all sizes, plus operate “a broadly inclusive sailing program,” in the words of David Cheikin, senior vice president for the U.S. office division of Brookfield Property Partners, which owns the marina. IGY Marinas will further run North Cove Marina as “a community-based marina with seasonal and daily rentals,” he adds.
To book a slip at North Cove Marina, contact Simon Bryan at (954) 552-2837 or via email.
Read on for our original story from January.
IGY Marinas has been appointed by Brookfield Property Partners, a commercial and residential real-estate company. Brookfield owns Brookfield Place, an office and retail complex adjacent to the marina. Brookfield Place is the current name for the World Financial Center. Brookfield Property Partners’ subsidiary, BOP North Cove Marina, won the bid for a 10-year lease of North Cove Marina, but does not have experience in this sector. Melissa Coley, vice president of communications for Brookfield Property Partners, confirmed to MegayachtNews.com that IGY Marinas is its operating partner. (IGY Marinas did not respond to a request for confirmation by press time.)
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), a New York State public benefit corporation overseeing a mix of commercial, residential, retail, and park space on Manhattan’s lower west side, announced BOP North Cove Marina as the successful bidder on January 22. The BPCA states that the company will offer community programs for various ages. A sailing school will teach interested parties, regardless of income, how to sail and even race. Summer camps, water-safety classes, and a corporate sailing league were also part of the proposal. In addition, BOP North Cove Marina may explore festivals, trade shows, seminars, and other programs.
The BPCA states that BOP North Cove Marina intends to spend approximately $450,000 in capital improvements. These include security expenditures plus upgrading the infrastructure and beautifying North Cove Marina. New signs, additional lighting, and public space enhancements like seating and waterfront accessibility are also pledged. In a press release, the BPCA states, “BOP North Cove Marina LLC was the only proposal to include specific resources dedicated to aesthetic improvements.” The BPCA adds that the 10-year license should see BOP North Cove Marina allocate two percent of gross revenue to community engagement and educational programming.
The granting of the bid is not without controversy. Requests for proposals were issued last October by the BPCA. Four bids were received by the November deadline. One was from North Cove Marina Management, the operator for the past decade, whose lease was expiring on December 31. In media interviews, Michael Fortenbaugh, owner of North Cove Marina Management, claimed the BPCA already had its mind made up. He also claimed a community sailing school he created would be kicked out, as would programs for low-income children, in favor of attracting more megayachts. However, the BPCA did inform bidders that community access such as a public sailing program would be a requirement. Meanwhile, a local community board called on the BPCA to halt the bidding process and open it up to more community input. Among its concerns: a company owned by Andrew Farkas, chairman of IGY Marinas’ parent company, had previously employed Andrew Cuomo, now governor of New York. Farkas had also donated to Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign. Five elected state and local officials supported the community board’s request.
According to the New York newspaper Downtown Express, at the announcement of the winning bid, Dennis Mehiel, chairman and CEO of the BPCA, stated that Fortenbaugh’s incumbency was indeed valued. Mehiel was also reported as saying that Fortenbaugh was invited to meet further with the BPCA, as were the other bidders, before it made its decision. In the press release, Mehiel says, “The North Cove Marina is a focal point of Battery Park City, and today we have selected a forward-looking operator who will expand its programs, its accessibility, and its vibrancy for residents, tourists, and all New Yorkers.”
Melissa Coley tells us, “Our vision is an active, attractive and sustainable hub for the community. We will look to our 25 years of experience at Battery Park City in programming free community activities and events. We will be working on a comprehensive plan over the coming months.”