By Sally Goldenberg
April 14, 2011
Opponents of Walmart implored the Bloomberg administration yesterday to delay the sale of a parcel of city-owned land to real estate developer the Related Cos., which is believed to be in talks with the retail giant to locate at the site in East New York.
Charging the land was undervalued by an appraisal, the opponents asked a panel representing Mayor Bloomberg to reassess the land value before recommending the sale to Related to build a mixed-use development of retail and housing.
The property was appraised based on a projection that it would include a 406,000-square-foot retail center.
But Josh Kellerman, of New York Jobs with Justice, said zoning for the site allows for a much larger retail center, which would jack up the land's value.
Bloomberg aides say the appraisal is accurate and gave no indication they are going to delay the $35 million sale of 26 acres of land for the project, known as Gateway II.
Related is believed to be in talks with Walmart executives, though neither party has confirmed that.
The land appraisal was the latest in the opposition's effort to block the discount giant because of what it considers unfair employment policies, such as not letting workers form unions.
Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the sale "will help pave the way for the development of more than 2,200 affordable housing units for thousands of New Yorkers, the addition of new retail stores and the creation of hundreds of new jobs."
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