When you’re looking at NY developers past and present, it may seem sensible to draw comparisons between Rober Moses, New York’s master builder of yesteryear, and RXR’s Scott Rechler – the modern day developer hell-bent on constructing a high-density / high-traffic 11-story housing development at Garvies Point.
In fact, from interviews and anecdotal evidence, it’s easy to deduce that Mr. Rechler fancies himself a modern day Moses – sitting on high in his ivory tower deciding what huge projects to develop for all us little people in Long Island and New York City. Like Moses before him, Mr. Rechler claims to want to help the residents of Glen Cove, by “rehabilitating” our land.
And now, even though many believe that a private developer active in political action committees sitting on the board of the Port Authority is a huge conflict of interest, with his appointment from Governor Cuomo, Mr. Rechler is free to transform our elected officials into rubber-stamping apparatchiks as he works to push high density developments into Glen Cove, Huntington, and who knows where.
Let’s see how the two men stack up:
Robert Moses vs. Scott Rechler
|Title:||NYC Parks Commissioner (among others)||Chief Executive Officer and Chairman|
|Residence||Lush penthouse a 1 Gracie Plaza||Brookville mansion + ultra-luxe manhattan apartment|
|Education:||Yale and Oxford||Clark|
|Famous Quote:||“I raise my glass to the builder who can remove ghettos without removing people as I hail the chef who can make omelets without breaking eggs.”||“I practically live in Glen Cove!”|
|Irony:||Built thousands of miles of roadways, never held a driver’s license.||Foisting 11-story apartment towers here, which the vast majority of Long Islanders do not want.|
|Conflicts of Interest:||Created and led numerous public authorities that gave him autonomy from the general public and elected officials. (Wikipedia)||Private Developer but also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority (where he failed to build consensus and stepped down)|
|Cronyism:||Close ties – arguably control of – New York City Mayors O’Dwyer, Impellitteri and Wagner||Many political contributions to nearly all of our regional elected officials both personally and through his RealPAC|
|Biggest Blunder:||Proposed LOMAX – the lower manhattan expressway||Proposed high-density development on polluted land at Garvies Point|
|Stooges:||Mayor O’Dwyer Impellitteri and Mayor Wagner||Mayor Spinello and Mayor Natiss|
|Public Service:||Built over 200 parks||To build “Sunset Park” on toxic land at Garvies Point, in a place where sunset will not be visible due to large towers|
|Nemesis:||Jane Jacobs||Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront; many residents of Long Island; us|
Moses, for better or for worse, went down in history as the most masterly of New York’s master builders, and his fascinating life and career was wonderfully chronicled in Robert Caro’s best-seller, “The Power Broker.”
Somehow we don’t see a book being written about Scott Rechler… His “contributions” amount to greasing all of our politicians and trying to destroy Long Island as we know it. RXR’s involvement in charity and things like sponsorship of the Long Island Marathon are calculated efforts to build, baby, build. Nothing is genuine, to say the least.
But back to Mr. Moses. The Cross Bronx Expressway more or less destroyed the Bronx. An expressway cutting through lower Manhattan would have been horrible, and thank goodness he was stopped. But love him or hate him, at least Robert Moses did what he did in the service of the people.
Scott Rechler is putting up huge buildings where almost nobody wants them – the vast majority of North Shore residents do not want this development at Garvies Point, and even many, perhaps most, residents of Glen Cove do not want it. The rest of Long Island doesn’t know what’s happening due to the lack of transparency, the “last minute” meetings, changes of venue and times, meetings held at inopportune times, and so forth. By golly – a meeting to borrow $97 million, more than $10,000 for every resident of Glen Cove, was just announced yesterday, for tomorrow. You give two days’ notice on a hearing to borrow $97 million, Mayor Spinello? Are you kidding us?
This entire project is being pushed down our throats by the desperately broke Mayor Spinello and his puppets on the Glen Cove Planning Board and I.D.A. Four people to vote on borrowing another $97 million to subsidize RXR – can you imagine?
Mr. Rechler doesn’t serve the people – he serves shareholders (lots of wealthy Chinese, btw). Rechler’s legacy will not be like that of Moses – if Garvies Point proceeds as it’s currently proposed, the Rechler family will go down in history as having destroyed a way of life. Don’t let them.