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Letter to the Editor: Greenburgh Sports Facility Will Create Jobs, Increase Quality of Life

"The Westchester Field House will vastly improve the recreational landscape in Greenburgh and Westchester County."

Editor's Note: In response to last week's objecting to the Greenburgh Game On sports bubble, this comes from the Martin Hewitt, Project Manager:

I am writing on behalf of Game On 365 LLC to ensure that Greenburgh residents have accurate information about the year-round, multi-sport training facility proposed for the former Frank’s Nursery site. Our mission is to provide both children and adults access to a superior sports facility with world-class training and instruction in multiple sports activities. The Westchester Field House will vastly improve the recreational landscape in Greenburgh and Westchester County.

It is important to provide some accurate background about the former Frank’s Nursery site. The previous owner of the land filed for bankruptcy over six years ago and the Town of Greenburgh acquired the land via property tax foreclosure. The Town chose to leverage its value by leasing the land and generate annual income in excess of any taxes ever collected on the property. The lease being proposed is a Modified Gross Lease that includes payment for any taxes due on the property. This allows the Town to retain ownership of this property instead of selling it in a depressed real estate market. Currently, the town collects no revenue from the site.

The Town of Greenburgh weighed many options for the land and issued a 90 day Request for Proposal in August of 2011. Game On’s proposal was selected in a competitive bid process by the Town of Greenburgh. It was determined to be the best use of the property and the annual financial benefit to the Town, as well as the addition of a much needed recreation center, was in the best interests for residents.

When in full operation, The Westchester Field House will improve the quality of life in the Town of Greenburgh, engage youth in positive activities, add value to the community, and provide more than 40 full and part-time jobs in construction, staffing and maintenance. It is proposed that Game On 365 will pay $260,000 for the use of the land in year 1 which quickly escalates to $300,000 by year 3. As is common with most lease agreements, Game On will start paying rent as soon as it receives building approvals for the site.

Prior to construction, a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) analysis will be conducted in accordance with New York State Law to assess the environmental impact of The Westchester Field House. If any remediation is required, Game On 365 will work with the Town of Greenburgh in a public/private partnership and spend up to $250,000 to clean up this Town owned site without the Town incurring any out of pocket expense.

Replacing the dilapidated eye-sore of Frank’s Nursery with an environmentally friendly, low-impact project will have a positive effect on surrounding property values. As with the two facilities operated by Game On partners in New Jersey, we look forward to becoming an exciting part of the community for years to come.

Sincerely,

Martin Hewitt

Project Manager, Game On 365 LLC

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